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Congratulations To Council For Saving Festival

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

13 FEB 2009 - The Auckland City Council committee which has saved next month's Pasifika festival deserves congratulating, after the disappointing move by some government agencies to withdraw funding, says Labour's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

"The annual festival, which will now go ahead next month, has become a major event for the Pacific community with a significant number of positive social and economic, as well as cultural, spin-offs.

"Labour has always been a big supporter of the festival, which has become an important vehicle for a fantastic expression of Pacific pride and for expanding understanding of, and enjoyment in, things Pasifika for all New Zealanders.

"The decision of several major sponsors such as the Accident Compensation Corporation to pull funding from this year's event, is very disappointing - especially considering agencies such as this still have some work to do when it comes to connecting with Pacific people," said Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

"I'm pleased that senior Government minister Gerry Brownlee has denied claims he told Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga that he'd instructed Government agencies to pull funding from the festival - although I'd like Sam to explain why these mixed messages are floating about.

"As the only Pacific MP in the new Government, he will carry a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and the community will want to be assured that he is advocating vigorously on behalf of Pacific peoples.

"Labour's Pacific MPs - myself, Su'a William Sio, Carmel Sepuloni and Charles Chauvel - will of course be working hard to continue doing this.

"What is most important for now however is that thanks to the city council's arts, culture and recreation committee the festival is to go ahead. It should never have been placed in jeopardy in the first place. Auckland is afterall the Pacific capital of the world."

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