Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

National Party’s four Pasifika Candidates say it’s time for change

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Avatar photo
Soana Aholelei | Reporter / Director

The National Party has four candidates of Pasifika heritage standing in this election and one of them is no stranger to the campaign trail.

That candidate is Samoan businesswoman and list-only candidate Fonoti Agnes Loheni who says she’s feeling positive about this campaign despite the challenges many families are facing.

“My gut feeling is that the struggle is very real and, ultimately, very sad for many families, and they are looking for change,” she says. 

“There was definitely a strong sentiment for change, for a change of government, for some hope and so I believe that we’re in a really, really good position, but we don’t take it for granted.” 

Walking through the Māngere Bridge Village meeting the locals on a Sunday morning, Agnes is with newcomer Rosemary Bourke.Tthe Tongan-Samoan is National’s Candidate for the Māngere electorate.

“Being the first-time candidate for Māngere I go out on the streets, I door knock and our Pacific people are the same, like all Kiwis. The cost of living has affected them even more so and I really believe if we understand that hard work and adversity, the National Party can really help with rebuilding that economy.” Says Bourke

“I put my hand up because I thought, well, I’m not the same, like everyone else. I want them to understand that they can see themselves at that table to communicate within Parliament what the needs are, what we can do, because we have solutions in Māngere, but they also need maybe some help as well.” Says Bourke

On the west side of Auckland is another new candidate for the National Party in 28-year-old Cook Islander Angee Nicholas who is standing in Te Atatu.

“I was raised out in West Auckland, I still live in West Auckland to this day and in terms of my work, I have a youth development background and I also practiced as an in-house lawyer at the Royal Commission of Inquiry The-Abuse-In- Care,” Nicholas says.

“You know, Pacific people, they’re very, very hard working and hard work should be rewarded. But there are other values, of course, that I share that are National Party values, like taking personal responsibility as Pacific people. We are huge on that; our parents hold us accountable to many things and obviously try to make sure they steer us in the right direction.” 

The last Pasifika candidate for the National Party is Kelston local, Dr Ruby Schaumkel who is of mixed Tongan, European and Chinese descent. She’s supporting the local business community. 

“Kelston is our first home when we arrived in New Zealand and my parents always taught us the value of hard work, personal responsibility and the grit and tenacity to succeed and never give up. So that’s been the values that I’ve lived by my entire life,” she says.

“Business is what drives a strong economy with productivity,  I think a lot of people don’t understand that. And you know, businesses deserve strong representation.”

The four candidates in the National Party have one clear message for the Pacific Island community in Aotearoa.

“We have improved because we’ve got four candidates this time round with three other wonderful women that I’m really proud to be a candidate alongside and that’s a really big step ahead for us,” says Fonoti. 

“National is positioned well with its policy to fix the economy, to reduce the cost of living so that people can get ahead and get the country back on track,” says Dr Schaumkel

Angee Nicholas says, “this year is our opportunity for change and we are asking people party vote to make sure that we are able to get all New Zealanders, Pacific alike, ahead.”

Similar News



Stay Connected

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive daily updates direct to your inbox!

*we hate spam as much as you do

Recent News