Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

New programme aims to create more leaders from the disability community

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Anauli Karima Fai'ai | Reporter/Director

A new programme is hoping to change perceptions of what leadership looks like by developing more leaders from the disability community.

The programme, called Le Ala, was put together by friends Daniel Te’o and Pale Sauni, who noticed a lack of Pacific people taking up leadership roles in the disability sector.

Around ten Māori and Pacific participants signed up for the programme, which consisted of five weekly sessions in April and May.

Daniel says the programme aims to give participants more confidence to lead and embed their learnings into their family life, community and employment.

“This programme was something that they needed to be able to really understand or really solidify who they thought they were and it’s like, for me, you can never be a fully competent leader, leaders always continue to learn,” he says.

Limoni Aumalesulu

Limoni Aumalesulu, a music tutor by trade, is no stranger to leadership but says the inclusion of Pacific values in the programme has given him more confidence.

“There’s a saying in Samoan, ‘O le ala i le pule o le tautua’, and that basically explains that in order to lead, you must first learn how to serve, and I guess that was the pinnacle of the course for me,” he says.

Samantha Kalolo-Tamatea

Another participant, Samantha Kalolo-Tamatea, says that the programme is a long time coming because there needs to be more Māori and Pacific leaders from the disability community.

“We have so many people working with our disabled people all the way from babies to our elders, and they don’t understand our people, whereas those of us who are differently abled spend a lot of time with our families, and we learn how to integrate and engage,” he says.

The programme concluded earlier this month, with each participant giving a presentation on leadership before receiving a certificate of completion.

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