Manukau, AKL 1:45PM - The Pacific Business Hub based in Manukau City is opening its doors this Saturday 14 March (tomorrow) to provide some relief and support for the Pacific vendors who are left stranded with the announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 Pasifika Festival earlier this morning.
The organisers of Pop-Up Pasifika have released this statement;
"We are all aware of the outbreak of the new disease called COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). With continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low. With that in mind the Pacific Business Hub will open up its premises to hold a Pasifika Pop-Up Market to allow our communities the opportunity to have stalls. But please note, our disclaimer below. We open our doors on the understanding that we are all responsible for our own health and safety at all times. If you have developed symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath seek medical advice and stay home."
Guests and visitors enter and use these premises at their own risk. Neither the owner of the Pacific Business Hub or their representatives or agents are liable for loss or damage to guests or visitors, nor for any injury or death of any guests or visitors whether or not such loss, damage, injury or death is as a result of the negligence of the owner and/or their representatives.
If you're a Pacific vendor that has been affected by the Pasifika Festival cancellation please get in contact with the organisers as they have limited spaces available. A small fee is being charged to cover the costs of the event.
Office: 9 Sharkey Street, Manukau City
PRESS RELEASE by The Pacific Business Hub - Monday 24 Feb, 2020
Manukau, AKL - The location is perfect. It’s smack in the heart of bustling Manukau City, close to the mall but on a parking-friendly side street. The bold signage is unmissable. Its huge lettering, sprawled across a glass-encased shopfront, welcomes you into The Pacific Business Hub.
Last Friday 21 February, The Pacific Business Hub was officially launched! The event also marked a milestone for the establishment as it celebrates its 1-year anniversary since opening its doors.
For founder, Laura Keil-Hall, the Hub is the fulfillment of “a passion and a dream”. It started with a bit of inspiration from her years as a Bank of New Zealand business manager.
The concept of The Pacific Business Hub is based on the existing model of co-working and shared office space. A base for small and new start-up businesses to collaborate resources and share space.
Laura remembers: “The first time I walked into [BNZ’s] Highbrook Partner Centre, I immediately said to myself, ‘I would like to one day offer a space like this for…the Pacific.’”
Laura envisioned a professional yet nurturing hub for Pacific entrepreneurs, an affordable place for startups and small businesses to set up office, meet with clients, get creative, collaborate and be inspired by other ambitious like-minded thinkers.
The difference is, the Hub is not your average traditional shared office co-working space. In its core essence it incorporates Pacific cultural values and strengths in how it operates.
What Laura’s achieved so far is certainly appealing. Through the main doors, a lovely fragrance beckons you into a tastefully furnished foyer bordered by a trio of meeting rooms.
A large reception desk acts as a gatekeeper for the rest of the space, and on the wall above it is a gallant declaration of the Hub’s mission to, “Enable, Empower and Enrich”.
Laura elaborates that the Hub itself is an enabling space where they provide practical business solutions to help and support businesses that are owned and operated by Pacific peoples. One of the solutions is providing affordable office space.
“You don’t have to worry about overheads [here],” Laura says. “You don’t have to worry about paying a separate bill for your Wi-Fi, a separate bill for the power, a separate bill for cleaning… you’ve got all of that included in that [tenancy] package. The office packages vary and are tailored to the needs and budget of the business so basically we try and make things work.”
Laura believes that by providing solutions enables people and when you enable people, you also empower them. “When people feel empowered they gain the confidence to pursue whatever aspirations they may have. The end goal we want from being enabled and feeling empowered, is enriching our lives, not just ours but everyone else around us.”
She also brings her vast network of connections to the Hub, as well as a wealth of corporate and financial experience. But Laura also knows – firsthand – the struggles of building your own business from scratch. For her, the entrepreneurial life comes with its own set of challenges and learnings.
Just over 12 months ago, her first major task in setting up the Hub was to find a space for it. “I got to go out and have a look at properties and understand how that system works and how agents work and what’s involved, and when I finally found the place…I got scared,” she says. “The commitment and the responsibility was huge.”
But after she passed on the building, she couldn’t get it out of her mind. “I prayed a lot… and the actual building kept popping up in my head. I literally couldn’t get to sleep thinking about it.” She had a chat with her husband, reviewed all her research, was prompted to calculate the figures again and eventually concluded that the Hub really is a viable business opportunity. “It was a no-brainer. So I said, Okay. I’m going to do this.”
As she continues to pray, asking God for help and support, she felt like her focus sharpened and, “everything kinda fell into place.”
Laura has since thrown her heart, determination and personal finances into this venture, she’s always the first to acknowledge the encouragement of her family and close friends and colleagues.
“I have a really good support system…through my brothers and sisters, the Samoa Business Network, the women of PACIFICA where I am a part of the Exec for the Manukau branch as well as the businesses themselves that are based at the Hub. But my biggest and most loyal supporters are my husband and my kids. I am so grateful to them for enabling my dreams and my aspirations because it certainly hasn’t been easy.” Laura continues “above all else, it has been my strong faith and belief in God that has enabled me to take the leap and continue persevering and I honour and glorify HIM by doing this work.”
The Pacific Business Hub is now fully outfitted and beautifully furnished. Its website and social media have grown rapidly. The Hub in its short 12 months of operations has had successful business activity under its belt with interest in tenancy continuing to increase.
The entrepreneurs who’ve moved into the Hub – usually from their kitchen tables or garages – have also gained a proper commercial business address as well as a clean, professional work environment that’s free from the many distractions of home.
Kristy Morgan, of Cook Island descend and one of the businesses based at the Hub says “When I first saw this place, I instantly fell in love with the décor and set up. It felt very Pacific and professional at the same time, a perfect blend of the two worlds.”
Kristy shares that the environment at the hub is supportive, where everyone celebrates each other’s successes and pushes each other to reach their own goals and aspiration. This is a change from the corporate environment in her line of work, where it can get competitive. “The Pacific Business Hub is empowering and uplifting. People genuinely want to see you succeed and that’s the best kind of place to start your business”, says Kristy.
Niuean Emani Lui of MakaNet shares, “Our customers have grown since we linked up with the hub, most of them have come to us through our networks here.”
The ISP entrepreneur shares that the hub enables collaboration, sharing, mentoring and networking amongst pacific businesses and entrepreneurs.
“Working with them every day, side by side inspires me and my team. We all share the same vision for our pacific people and strive towards creating opportunities for them and our communities.”
But it’s not just the on-going tenants who are benefitting from this space. The breakout area’s modular furniture can easily be reconfigured into temporary retail stalls.
In fact, the Hub has already hosted several Pacific themed Pop-Up stores, most notably providing a last-minute outlet for vendors who were stranded by the cancellation of 2019's Pasifika festival.
Soon, Laura will be offering individually tailored business mentoring for patrons of the Hub under her consultancy business LKH Consulting. How this service will work is, let’s say someone comes in with an idea for a new venture. “I will sit down and have a quality conversation with them…” Laura explains, “It’s basically just understanding their needs then putting some plans in place to make it happen, and I will open up my networks and connections to actually be able to do that. I will also be checking in on a regular basis to make sure that they are on the right track.” There will be a range of other services that will be provided under this new service, i.e. personal budgeting, pathways to home ownership etc.
Looking at the Hub’s 1 year in review; they currently house 18 businesses, hosted 3 successful pop up markets supporting 20+ businesses, delivered 8 pop up shops that enabled individual businesses to have a shop front, hosted 2 large visiting groups of 40+ officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment as well as 30+ students from New York University Stern Business School earlier this year. Hosted a number of business networking events & community events, launched a number of businesses, have done a multitude of business consultations and hub tours and to top it off to mark its exact 1 year anniversary on 1 February, it launched a new initiative called ‘The Pacific Business Journal’, a platform dedicated to telling the stories of Pacific peoples in business.
1 Year Review in Photos
The official launch was also a tribute and a celebration of the Hub’s patrons as much as it was for the Hub. Laura acknowledges all of them for believing in the vision and the desire to work together and collaboratively to support one another to reach a common goal of supporting our wider Pacific community. The event was attended by stakeholders, clients of the businesses at the Hub, family and friends.
The Honorable Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito Su’a William Sio was also in attendance and posted on his Facebook Page saying “Members of the Pacific Hub represent a fast growing number of Pacific peoples of Aotearoa who are leading in innovation and exploring new income-generating pathways. When Pacific peoples succeed, thrive and prosper we are also contributing to enriching Aotearoa New Zealand.”
On the night, he acknowledged Laura’s hard work with the community and her drive to see Pacific peoples succeed in business. He says she is firm but loving.
Businesses and organisations based at the Hub;
Elemai Therapeutic Clinic, Bluwave Galumoana, AP Civil Construction/Workforce Connect, MakaNet, JV Life, Pacific40 Ltd, Kristy Morgan Barrister, Timaloa Law, Bluespur Consulting, PolyX NZ, AGNIU Accounting, Talanoa Media, APS58 Productions, Le-Ata, Staavias, Wulf Publishing, Samoa Business Network, Good Samaritan Church.
Special mention of the Pacific businesses that put together the launch event; Marie & Pauline Decorators Ltd, Bloomed NZ, L&T Elegant Prop Hire, Up Café, MBrace Dance Group and Tui Eddie Taualapini & band.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS.
More photos of the Launch!
PRESS RELEASE 28/01/20 - Seki Media
11-year-old Christian Sagote of Melbourne, Australia is a Weet-Bix TRYathlon star.
The energetic youngster whose family originates from the village of Leauva'a, is one of eight children in Australia chosen to feature on the Weet-Bix cereal box.
Participation in previous tryathlons was a prerequisite for the exciting accolade but it was his interview with the Weet-Bix marketing team that impressed them the most.
"I want to encourage more of our Samoan and Pacific kids especially to enter the tryathlon because it's fun and it's important to be active," he said.
"Our people have high rates of diabetes and obesity issues so it's important to have a healthy mindset early when you're a kid."
Last year Samoa was listed sixth in the top 10 obese countries of the world according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The child obesity statistics are alarming and at least 20 percent of children between 5-19 years are obese.
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health also reported last year that Pacific Island children made up the largest group (28.4 percent) of obese children in the country. Children living in socio economically deprived areas were more likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived. A lack of education around nutrition and physical activity were also contributing factors.
Christian says that the irony of these numbers is that Samoans are also strong and athletic people too and boast some of the world's biggest sporting icons.
"It doesn't have to be like this. We can all achieve anything when we put our mind to it.
“The best part of the tryathlon for me was crossing that finish line. My mum says it's always important to 'finish' things in life, even when it gets hard."
Sanitarium marketing brand manager Tyler Van der Veer says that Christian's desire to make a difference in his community is what struck a chord with Weet-Bix.
"Christian realised how much of a positive impact his actions could have on his community," he explained.
"He used his experience at the Weet-Bix kids tryathlon to help encourage so many others like him to live an active, confident and healthy lifestyle."
Van der Veer adds that for 22 years, the Sanitarium Weet-Bix kids tryathlon has been passionate about encouraging every kid to give it a go and that over the years the tryathlon has attracted more ethnic groups.
"We have seen a huge increase in the diversity of kids attending the tryathlon, something we are very pleased about. Celebration of diversity has always been deeply ingrained in our event and this diversity grows each year."
Christian who is raised by his mother Lia Sagote, moved with his mum to Melbourne in 2015 from West Auckland New Zealand in search of a better life. And they haven't looked back.
Christian also excels in soccer and basketball playing for elite Melbourne clubs. He enjoys school, computer coding, building apps and hanging out with his friends. He will participate in his third Weet-Bix tryathlon in March and says that this year's event will be even more special as he won't be doing it by himself anymore after helping to register 10 of his cousins for the event.
He is proud to be a Samoan Boy featured on a Weet-Bix cereal box in Australasia.
The Weet-Bix boxes will be distributed from January to April in Australia and the Pacific Islands including Samoa.
What is a Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon?
The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is a non-competitive event. It is a community engagement program that assists kids to develop self esteem. Australia’s largest Kids TRYathlon series aims to encourage kids to get fit & active while having fun with their friends.
The TRYathon is conducted along the lines of an adult triathlon, i.e: swim, ride and run in one event.
The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is for kids aged 7 – 15 years of age.
It doesn’t matter if you have participated in the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon Series before or not. The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is all about TRY-ing your best and having a go!
Manukau, AKL – Thursday 12 of September is a day to be etched in memory and New Zealand’s history, when 30+ people arrived from Samoa and received by the Pacific Settlement Support Services team.
PSSS provides settlement support services for Pacific newcomers to New Zealand which includes those who have been successful through the Samoan quota or the Pacific Access Category (PAC).
The Pacific Business Hub in Manukau City where PSSS is located was abuzz with activity with it’s 2-day Kiwi Life programme as they received individuals and families from Samoa who had been successful with the quota.
The day was opened with a prayer by Pastor Lui Ponifasio to bless and encourage our newcomers about life in New Zealand.
“Aua le faalogologo tiga, galue malosi ma le faamaoni, aua le ma e fesili mo se fesoasoani ma aua nei galo Iesu” – Don’t give up easily when things start to get difficult, work hard and be committed, don’t be shy to ask for help and never forget Jesus.
“E le o toe tafe le susu ma le meli i Niu Sila.” - Milk and honey doesn’t flow freely in NZ anymore.
He ended by encouraging everyone to be involved in their new communities, enjoy the many opportunities that NZ has to offer and to be prosperous.
This was followed by refreshments for our newcomers to NZ and their families, which were about 50 in total on Thursday.
There was a resounding echo of gratefulness by our newcomers from Samoa and their NZ families alike. “Faafetai lava mo lenei feasoasoani, e ese le aoga toe taua, manaia o lea ua iloa mai le ofisa e toomaga iai pea fia maua le fesoasoani.” - Thank you for this service, it is very useful and important and it is nice to know there is an office to go to when help is needed.
It was followed by a presentation by the New Zealand Police, delivered in the Samoan language, informing and educating the people about Law & Order as well as a presentation from Inland Revenue Department who helped the team with processing IRD numbers.
Friday saw the team doing one-on-one sessions with each individual or family to find out what their immediate needs are and what their goals are in the near future with the day ending with the team taking them to the Bank to open bank accounts.
Pacific Settlement Support Services, a first of its kind service in New Zealand, was set up 3 months ago by 3 Samoan women, Zeprina Fale, Laura Keil-Hall and Mandy Siitia through a collaboration between their organisations. Zeprina and Mandy through Bluespur Charitable Trust and Laura through LKH Consulting. Laura also owns and runs The Pacific Business Hub.
Later they connected with Roberta Tiatia and Sheryl Silitia of Lototau Agency Immigration Services based in Samoa whom they now work closely with and as a partner in Samoa doing pre-migration work.
“We saw the need for this service based on our own shared migration experiences” says
“Statistics and anecdotal feedback from many of our Pacific people points to the lack of settlement support and a need for a service such as this” she continues
Mandy Siitia adds “For us it’s continuing the work that some of our Pacific Island families have been doing since the 1950s”
Laura Keil-Hall adds that she has been involved with talks and conversations with some government people and stakeholders in the past and tried to push for something like this but it always fell on deaf ears. She says this is a crucial service that is needed by our people and yet no one wants to do something about it until she met Zeprina and Mandy who were equally passionate about this and now here they are.
What PSSS wants to do is to position our Pacific people for prosperity and give them the best start possible with life in New Zealand.
Because it’s never been done before, the PSSS team are looking to flex and adjust according to the needs of the people, and the programme to be delivered in a way that is culturally relevant and spiritually sensitive.
The service is not funded so a fee is charged for the services.
PSSS acknowledges the support of the Community, New Zealand Police, Inland Revenue, the In-Hub businesses at the Pacific Business Hub and the Samoa Business Network.
To make contact with Pacific Settlement Support Services, you may visit their office in Auckland, 9 Sharkey Street, Manukau City or contact +64 218 8273 or +64 21 963 301
PRESS RELEASE published by The Pacific Business Hub
Manukau, AKL- The idea of convenient shopping has a new meaning with Pacific40 Limited launching its Talofa Voucher project in partnership with Ah Liki Wholesale Limited.
The tech company born out of The Pacific Business Hub and supported by the Samoa Business Network has established an e-commerce platform that allows customers in NZ and around the world with online banking/credit or debit card access to buy a shopping voucher for their family in Samoa.
What is unique about the concept is that the person buying the voucher will select the shop that is closer to where their family reside to redeem their Talofa Voucher. This means customers do not have to travel to Apia or Salelologa to redeem their vouchers but can do their shopping at a partner store that is closer to where they live. This will save money on transport and allow customers longer opening hours as most shops in villages are open until 10 or 11 o’clock at night.
“We are launching Talofa Voucher with the 4 Farmer Joe Supermarkets in Upolu to start with and then hopefully expand to other retail stores around Upolu and Savaii,” said Falute Vaauli-Lene, Director and Operations Manager of Pacific40 Limited.
She went on to acknowledge that the concept was only possible with a fully established retail infrastructure around Samoa and that is where the partnership with Ah Liki Wholesale Limited was important. Ah Liki Wholesale Limited has a strong network of retail shops around Samoa through their wholesale business and it is a vital component for the Talofa Voucher shopping experience.
“Ah Liki Wholesale Limited welcomes the opportunity to work with Pacific40 through the Talofa Voucher service as it will allow retail shops in Samoa access to customers in NZ and around the world to help drive sales” said Taimalieutu Charlie Westerlund owner of Ah Liki Investment Limited.
Talofa Voucher is now available for purchase to customers in NZ and around the world with voucher redemption at Farmer Joe Fugalei, Famer Joe Magi at Siusega, Farmer Joe at Vaitele Tai and Farmer Joe Aita at Saleimoa. For more information customers can visit Pacifi40 Limited Facebook page or their website at www.pacific40.com
Vendors from the cancelled Pasifika Festival recover their costs at a pop-up marketplace event hosted by The Pacific Business Hub.
Published by The Pacific Business Hub - Lillian Arp Manaui Media
Manukau, AKL- The sudden cancellation of 2019’s Pasifika Festival left several merchants stranded and overstocked with product intended for the 2-day event. Some quick thinking from Auckland’s Pacific business community, however, lead to a mini-marketplace weekend at the Pacific Business Hub, where merchants were able to recover their costs.
“It was spur of the moment,” says Laura Keil-Hall, founder of the Pacific Business Hub. She initially offered to host the urgent retail event in collaboration with Samoa Business Network (SBN), for a group of four fashion houses & designers who had flown in from Samoa for the festival. SBN had planned a shared stall for these businesses at Pasifika, followed by a Pop-Up Shop at the Hub on Monday, following the Festival. When the Pasifika cancelation notice was released, they quickly improvised the plan, and offered to the Samoan businesses, to extend the Pop-Up event to three days, to support them and ensure they generated revenue to make the trip worthwhile. Within a few hours after the Pasifika announcement, they posted promotions for the ‘Pop-Up Pasifika’ event via social media, and leveraged on established networks to promote the event.
But after promotional material for this new ‘Pop-Up Pasifika’ was released, “I got messages and emails from other festival vendors wanting to be a part of it,” she says.
A total of fourteen merchants eventually set up shop at the Pacific Business Hub in Manukau City. They included the four from Samoa as well as a clothing brand from Tahiti, greeting card makers from Australia, pearl jewellers from the Cook Islands and even a few New Zealand-based Pasifika businesses.
The Pop-Up opened on Saturday, 23rdof March, to a warm public response. “It was awesome!” Keil-Hall reports. “The people who came to the event came to buy.”
“Some of them said it’s nice to have authentic Pacific products,” she continues. “I’d see a few people actually try to get one [item] from each stall, so that was really good.”
Keil-Hall drew on her years of experience in event planning to pull off this impromptu marketplace, but a huge advantage was that she already owned a venue for it. She had opened the Pacific Business Hub – a shared working space aimed at Pasifika entrepreneurs – only a few weeks earlier and was working towards its official launch when she learned about the cancellation of Pasifika.
“One of the vendors said, when they heard about that, they cried,” she says, “because they didn’t know what to do and they’d ordered all this stock and they’ve got nowhere else to go. I mean, I definitely understand the situation and why [Pasifika] was cancelled, but we’ve still got to think about the livelihood of these vendors [who had] spent a lot of money… at least give them another option to… make some money back.”
By all accounts, Pop-Up Pasifika was a success. Keil-Hall visited with each of her hosted merchants who reported: not only did they hit their expected revenue targets for the weekend, but they also made a lot of new connections and have plans now for future collaborations.
Keil-Hall was especially moved by the sense of positivity and aroha over the weekend, from the supporters who came through and amongst the vendors themselves. They helped each other set up stalls or and even shared their EFTPOS services. And then, Keil-Hall laughs, “they all asked me whether we can actually have [this Pop-Up] as an annual event!”
The vendors paid $60 per day for a stall in the Pacific Business Hub. The Pop-Up Pasifika event ran for three days, from Saturday the 23rdto Monday the 25thof March.
The Pacific Business Hub is especially grateful to Afamasaga Jackie Curry of the Samoa Business Network and Martin Anae of Bluwave for their generous support of this event. Also acknowledging the support of PCF, PTI NZ, MFAT, PACIFICA Inc. & some Local Councillors.
We also wish to thank and acknowledge the contribution of Pacific Media Network and Radio Samoa for being very accomodating and helping us reach our audiences.
List of vendors;
Aolele - Handmade Adornment (Samoa - NZ local)
Insider Samoa (Samoa)
Island Kiwi (NZ residing in Hawaii)
Kingdom Design (Tonga - NZ local)
Koloa Jewellery (Tonga - NZ local)
Kora Pearls (Cook Islands)
Nelly Samoa (Samoa)
Nesian-Phresh (Tonga & Samoa from Australia)
Rimani Samoa (Samoa)
Siamu Popo (Samoa)
Tuiga by FotuoSamoa (Samoa - NZ Local)
Tulela Boutique (Samoa)
Under the Bird / Soy Delights NZ (Samoa - NZ local)