Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pasifika urged to volunteer for community patrols in capital

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Seinafolava Sanele Chadwick | Reporter/Director - Wellington

A group of Wellington Pasifika people are helping keep their community safe with the support of New Zealand Police.

The Wellington Pasifika Patrols have just finished their latest recruitment round for volunteers and Pasifika Warden Lafulafu Ekenasio says it’s a partnership between the Pasifika community and Police.

“We walk around in town and we say hello,” she says.

“We Pacific Islanders, out in the middle of town, is different from Police. And I feel people warm to us; we look like them.”

For some of the volunteers, being a Warden is a great stepping stone to becoming a Police Officer. Pule Raua Kaua says he’s been part of the Pasifika Patrols for 6-years.

“So my role is just helping out the Wellington Community during night time, during day time if there’s any special event or something,” he says.

“So that’s my role. Just come down in my spare time and help out the community.”

The group has formed a strong partnership with Police since it was established in 2014. Wellington Pacific Liaison Coordinator Sergeant Ngametua Mete is proud of the volunteers and says:

“The whole reason they exist is so they can show our Pasifika communities that it is the Pasifika families and their own running this space. So we’re here to support them.”

Police work is also inspiring other Pacific people to think about a career in Police, including Vesa Tupa’i who is a current Station Support Officer at Wellington Central.

“My dream job was to become a flight attendant but since working in Police and just being around the culture and environment within Police has made me want to become a sworn officer.”

It’s this spirit and commitment to keeping the community safe that Ekenasio wants to see more of.

“If you’ve got time, go and volunteer. Help in a group. It’s a wonderful feeling,” she says.

“We do it to look after our people, make a contribution to New Zealand. And shine the light that Pasifika people are beautiful people with a lovely culture.”

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