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New MIT Pacific Centre opened

June 3, 2016

Minister for Pacific Peoples Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has praised the Manukau Institute of Technology for going out of its way to recognise and embrace its Pacific population with a Pasifika Community Centre.

Mr Lotu-Iiga and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce opened the MIT centre today.

“I see this new space as a place where ideas and inspiration will thrive. I see it helping to grow our young people to have an increasing influence on the economy and culture of New Zealand. I see it as a place where we can all come together to help build skills and knowledge. It will increase learning opportunities and ultimately lead to higher paying jobs for our pacific people,” Mr Lotu-liga said.

He said that the government is dedicated to helping give young Pacific people the support and resources they need to thrive.

Growing population

“Counties Manukau has New Zealand’s largest Pacific population. It also has one of the largest Pacific populations in the world. More than 110,000 Pacific people live in the Manukau area and 35 per cent of MIT’s students are Pacific,” Mr Lotu-liga said.

This centre is the latest project specifically designed to meet the needs of the region’s growing population of Pacific people.

“One in four babies born in Auckland are now of Pacific descent. As the Pacific population grows many more of our Pacific children are multi-cultural. It is fitting to have this facility here for all Pacific cultures to use,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.

Budget 2016 allocated the most funding ever for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, at just under $10 million. This includes Pacific Employment Support Services (PESS) which will help pacific youth find work or take up suitable training programmes.

More funding was also allocated in Budget 2016 for Maori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT). This will provide places for 2500 young Maori and Pasifika learners in MPTT programmes this year.

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