P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Incorporated is a national non government organisation (NGO) for Pacific women living in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was established as a result of a Pacific womens conference held in Auckland in 1976 and became an incorporated society in 1977. All women are eligible to become members of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A irrespective of background, faith and ethnicity – as long as they agree to support and abide by the aims and objectives of the organisation.
The founding National President was Eleitino Paddy Walker and in its thirty year history the organisation has been led by the following National Presidents: Louisa Crawley, Eti Laufiso, Poko Morgan, Tepaeru Tereora, Tafa Malifa-Poutoa, Dr Jean Mitaera, Dr Diane Mara, Sally Dalhousie and Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn Dunlop. The current National President Caren Rangi was elected in March 2015.
P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Inc has branches throughout the country from Whangarei to Invercargill. Most branches meet monthly and have elected officers. Each branch is relatively autonomous and independent because within the wider aims and objectives, branches run specific projects in response to members own involvements and community priorities. Branches exist to create opportunities for Pacific women to support one another and encourage each other to contribute and participate in the wider community especially in issues that affect them and their families.
All branches are affiliated to the national body through payment of annual subscriptions and membership fees. P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Inc has a regional structure where branches within each of the three regions are co-ordinated by a regional vice-president. The three regional vice-presidents hold elected positions on the National Executive committee.
- To provide opportunities for Pacific Island women to contribute effectively to the cultural, social, economic and political development of Aotearoa New Zealand and its people.
- To give Pacific Islands women opportunities to plan and work together for the stability and development of themselves, their families, their communities and so contribute to the development of the country.
- To create ways and means for Pacific Island women to overcome barriers that may hinder their ability to reach their full potential.
- To inspire unity among women of Pacific Island descent in the furtherance of these aims so that all can speak with one voice in true fellowship.
- To initiate and promote policies and programmes that support Pacific Island women to take active decision-making roles in their lives.
- To initiate and support programmes promoting the education, welfare, health and social development of Pacific Island families and Pacific Island family life.
- To promote understanding between women of all races.
Youth and Branch Development
The Young P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A representative on the National Executive works in conjunction with members and branches, to network with younger members between the ages of 12 and 25 years of age inclusive. The aim is to identify the issues and needs of young members so that these can be acknowledged and responded to at all levels of the organisation.
Vice Presidents of each region work with Branch Presidents to develop members and branches, hold regional events and activities, and develop new branches.
As a national organisation PACIFICA Inc participates with other like-minded Pacific organisations in maintaining relationships and networks internally and externally. Representatives of the organisation meet regularly with the Ministry of Womens Affairs (MWA) and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (MPIA). A close relationship is maintained with the Maori Womens Welfare League (Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko I te Ora), and by links with other womens organisations such as Pan Pacific South East Asia Womens Association PPSEAWA), National Advisory Committee on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and the National Council of Women (NCW).
Regionally and internationally PACIFICA Inc was a founding member of the International Womens Caucus convened by MWA. In 2007 the National President of PACIFICA Inc was part of the government delegation attending the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) and the presentation of the CEDAW report by the New Zealand government as well as the national womens organisations presentations of their Shadow Reports (NCW & MWWL) on the progress of the elimination of discrimination against women.
New Horizons for Women Trust (NHWT)
PACIFICA Inc has been a trustee for several years. It awards grants and scholarships to women to access second chance education. The growing number of Pacific women receiving awards is largely a result of the involvement of PACIFICA members on the Trust: Rowena Sutton, Josephine Tiro, Jacinta Faalili and Magila Annandale. Anne Fitisemanu is PACIFICA’s current representative serving on the New Horizons for Women Trust. Link: rorohiko.net
Ministry of Health, National Screening Unit (NSU)
Since 2006, the National Executive Committee of PACIFICA Inc has been the Pacific Advisory Group to NSU. We provide advice and support on policy development, programme implementation and publicity campaigns aimed at encouraging Pacific coverage and participation in various screening programmes. Pacific women as a group continue to be less likely to avail themselves of screening services and early detection and treatment of cancer is prevented. PACIFICA Inc provides advice on: Breast Screen Aotearoa; National Cervical Screening Programme; Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme (UNHSEIP); Newborn Metabolic Screening Proramme (NMSP); and Quality Improvement Measures for Antenatal Screening for Down Syndrome. The contract with NSU is renewed annually.
Pacific Womens Economic Development Plan (PWEDP)
PACIFICA Inc works in conjunction with MPIA as part of this cross-government initiative for Pacific peoples to develop a womens leadership initiative not just for members but also reaching out to include other Pacific women in the community.