Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Strong support for Fale Malae on Wellington waterfront

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Angie Enoka | Guest Writer

A Fale Malae on Wellington’s waterfront is one step closer to its development plans with the almost unanimous decision from Wellington City Council with a 17-1 vote from councillors and mana whenua representatives.

This a significant milestone receiving first stage landowner approval from the Council which means that the Fale Malae will be incorporated into the Council’s development plan for Frank Kitts Park.

This will enable the Trust to progress the design, resource consent and funding.

The proposal is to demolish the earthquake-prone underground car park under Frank Kitts Park and build a Fale Malae in place of that structure.

Chairperson of the Fale Malae Trust and Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr

Chairperson of the Fale Malae Trust and Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr said the trustees are humbled by the level of support for the fale and reiterates that the Fale Malae is for everyone.

“We have a vision to build a place for all New Zealanders, with international standards for all visitors in the heart of the Capital city.

“This project is incredibly important for Pacific people and will be open to all. Community groups will have primary access and the goal is to make it affordable for everyone to use it.”

This has been challenged by some views that the construction of Fale Pasifika should not be in the proposed location.

Mr Orr pledged to the Council the project needs to be where it should be location wise. As people of the Pacific, the moana is right there. We are facing our long-time cousins Te Ati Awa across the lagoon and Whare Waka in close proximity. The Fale Malae Trust can’t think of a better position.

“It also brings enormous benefit to the Council. Because we know what’s in there has to go. It’s a mess. It’s an embarrassment. This here [project] will be a very cost-effective way of the Council creating a beautiful space that has great pride. It actually brings people back to the waterfront.

“We’ve been shuntered around, what’s wrong with Cannons Creek, what’s wrong with behind The Shed, what’s wrong with the back of Te Papa and I just find that embarrassing. I just find that sad. This is where we belong.”

Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban

Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban said the Fale Malae would be a beautiful public space that celebrates New Zealand’s place in the Pacific and the role of Pacific people in New Zealand’s national identity. It will be constructed to be a focal point for Pasifika culture in the heart of Wellington.

The proposal indicates the Fale building on reclaimed area, with a low-risk structure, and the architects do not see any problem with regards to sea level rise and longevity.

With most Councillors voting yes, the Fale Malae Trust is now taking the next steps towards full landowner approval subject to a lease agreement, satisfying funding requirements, and resource consent.

A powerful contingent of strong supporters of the Fale Malae proposal welcomes the news as a step towards creating this Pacific hub for communities and everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand to enjoy.

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