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Atafu Porirua group win a 2023 Whānau Ora Award

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

The Atafu Tokelau Community Group (ATCG) was honoured with the Commissioning for Communites Award at the recent Pasifika Futures (PFL) Whānau Ora conference.

ATCG member Zechariah Reuelu (left) collected the award at the recent event. Fellow Tokelau leader Tolu Patelesio (centre) was also on hand and the former Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio (pictured right).

E fakaauau pea na galuega lelei na totoki eo tatou tamana ma matua kua muamua i te holo e vena foki kilatou koi nonofo mai. E amanakia ia Tokelau i luga o Niu Hila ma Tokelau mo te fakaolaolaga o te Gagan ma te aganuku pele a Gagana Tokelau.

The Pasifika Futures (PFL) Whānau Ora Conference held a dinner and awards ceremony to acknowledge its partners and Whānau Ora Navigators serving Pacific families and communities.

Since 2015, Pasifika Futures has partnered with the Atafu Tokelau Community Group (ATCG) to spearhead cultural endurance programmes to keep the Gagana Tokelau language alive.

Zechariah Reuelu was nominated to represent ATCG at the event.

"One of Atafu Tokelau's key priorities is education - we received a grant over three years from PFL to support the Fanogagalu programme to create an accessible way for students to learn the Tokelau culture and language," says Zechariah.

The programme is a collaboration between Atafu Tokelau, Glenview Primary School, Brandon Intermediate School, and Porirua College to provide innovative ways to support Tokelau students to learn more about their heritage.

"These students were supported with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programme in designing a Tokelau language app, Tuku Ifo," says Zechariah.

"We have advocated for Gagana Tokelau to be an NCEA subject, and this finally came to fruition in 2021," he says.

Zecharaiah says that in receiving the Commissioning for Communities Award, the Atafu Tokelau Porirua Community acknowledges and honours the collective work of the Tokelau communities from Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Palmerston North, Porirua, Hutt Valley, and Dunedin to preserve and sustain the Gagana Tokelau.

Tokelau kaiga Latasi Koro (left) and Tolu Patelesio (centre) were also on hand to celebrate the award with Zechariah Reuelu (right).

Zechariah says it was also wonderful to be at the event with "our Tokelau kaiga Latasi Koro and Tolu Patelesio was such a special celebratory moment".

He also thanked Kitiona Yala–Tauira and the dedicated staff of PFL, as well as the Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Barbara Edmonds, PFL Board Chair Dr Kiki Maoate, PFL CEO Debbie Sorensen and former cabinet minister Honourable Aupito William Sio.

The last Pasifika Futures (PFL) Whānau Ora Conference was last held in 2019, so the evening was an opportunity to reflect as well as celebrate as a collective.

PFL CEO, Debbie Sorensen expressed her gratitude to partners and Navigators' for their passion, heart and leadership.

Cook Islands and Porirua community leader Kitiona Yala–Tauira (second from left) was also on hand to celebrate the ATCG award.

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