The Wellington Pasifika Business Network started in 2014 with the passion of a small group identifying a significant gap in the market, particularly the lack of visibility of Pasifika businesses in the region. The genuine commitment to bringing together the Pasifika business community was premised on the primary goal to encourage innovation, prosperity, and growth of small business through quality network events and engagement whilst celebrating our successes and challenges in the world of business.
In May 2022, the Wellington Pasifika Business Network, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and the Te Awe Māori Business Network joined forces in a significant agreement known as The Power of 3. The strategic aim of this collaboration is to strengthen and promote business entrepreneurship across all three networks. Together, they aim to enhance support and create opportunities for businesses within the Pasifika, Māori, and wider Wellington communities. By leveraging their collective expertise, resources, and networks, the Power of 3 seeks to foster growth, innovation, and economic prosperity for entrepreneurs in these communities.
Meet Paul, the Managing Director of Manaaki Management Limited, a leading event and venue management company in Wellington. With an impressive portfolio that includes prestigious venues such as the Wharewaka Function Centre, Karaka Café, the Wellington Rowing Club, and Pipitea Marae & Function Centre, Paul’s company offers comprehensive services to ensure unforgettable experiences.
With over 20 years of business expertise, Paul has established a remarkable reputation in the hospitality industry. Demonstrating his versatile skillset, Paul actively participates in governance roles that align with his values and aspirations. He selectively serves on boards that prioritise community well-being, as well as striving for positive outcomes for Māori, Pasifika rangatahi, business development, entrepreneurship, and education.
Paul’s Current Board Positions:
Previous Board Positions:
With his extensive experience, diverse skillset, and dedication to fostering success and inclusivity, Paul is a valuable asset to the Wellington Pasifika Business Network and the wider community.
Luamanuvao sits on the Board as the Patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network. As New Zealand’s first Pacific Island woman Member of Parliament and first Pacific Island woman Minister of the Crown, Luamanuvao brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and connections to the Board.
In 1992, Dame Winnie was bestowed the title of Luamanuvao from the village of Vaiala, Vaimauga, Samoa, in recognition of her work. In the 2011 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for services as a Member of Parliament. She was also appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to education and the Pacific community.
We are blessed to have Luamanuvao as our Patron.
Sandy is an experienced media broadcaster who has led many brands like Newstalk ZB, ZM and The Breeze. Sandy made a shift to technology sales using his relationship and presentation skills to lead in many multinational tech companies like IBM Canon and ASI.
Sandy sees the natural talents that Pasifika people have as keys to different roles in the commercial world.
Sandy is actively promoting Pasifika in Tech
Holona is a Director of Catalyst Pacific Ltd, a learning and development practice specialising in leadership development, executive coaching, team management, cross-cultural team management, coaching and mentoring.
Holona brings to the Board more than 20 years’ experience in public, private and not-for-profit sectors developing cultural intelligence, diversity and inclusion training in teams, effective cross-cultural communication for high performance, and effective Pasifika engagement.
Raphael is a proud Samoan New Zealander with more than 20 years’ governance and leadership experience across a range of sectors and organisations.
As Managing Partner of SenateSHJ, he leads one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent communication and reputation management consultancies. Raphael is a key adviser to a range of clients including CentrePort, Contact Energy, the Kiingitanga, South Seas Healthcare and Tāwhaki. An internationally recognised communications practitioner, Raphael helps clients manage their reputation.
Before joining SenateSHJ in 2008, Raphael was head of corporate responsibility at Vodafone NZ and was seconded to Vodafone Group in the UK for two years. In the early 90s, Raphael worked as a reporter on The Dominion newspaper and as a press secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
As an advocate for Pasifika engagement and success, Raphael’s values align with the vision of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network. His strategic counsel serves as a valuable asset to the network, ensuring effective communication, strong reputations, and fruitful relationships in the business community.
An economist, Natalia is currently Director Strategy, Policy and Design at Toitū Te Whenua, Land Information New Zealand. She understands the various challenges but also highs of being in business, having managed multiple small family businesses in the food industry, and she was on the organising committee for the inaugural Wellington Pasifika Start-Up Weekend.
She has worked as an economist at Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL), and in economic development, policy, strategy, and management roles across Local Government New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
She is a strong Pasifika community advocate, currently serving as Co-Chair, and a Samoan representative, of the Wellington City Council’s Pacific Advisory Group. She was President of the Wellington Central branch of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Inc. for several years and is an alumni of the regional Young Pacific Leaders program. She is a mentor in the Public Service Pacific Mentoring Programme and sits on the Board of the Government Economics Network. Natalia is also a speaker and facilitator who enjoys bringing people, ideas and solutions together, and also enjoys creative writing having had several stories published in anthologies.
Toli has over 20 years of legal/policy experience in the private and public sectors in Aotearoa and in the UK.
Her professional career has ranged from working as a criminal barrister in Aotearoa to representing the local authority in the Family Courts in the UK.
In the public sector, she served as a senior policy adviser for Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kīwa (Ministry for Pacific Peoples), and as a senior solicitor at Hīkina Whakatutuki (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).
Toli was recently appointed Deputy Director of the Te Kura Public Justice Sector Programme in the Te Tari Toko i te Tumu Whakawā Office of the Chief Justice.
Her legal experience and desire for Pasifika communities to reach their potential, has led to appointments on various not-for-profit boards that focus on educating and assisting youth and Pasifika communities to aspire and thrive.