Launch of Wgtn Pacific Business NetworkPacific Island Affairs
High Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be granted the opportunity to get into the positive side of life with New Zealand's Pacific peoples.
You are here today because you are, or intend to be, successful business entrepreneurs in Wellington and later, maybe, in other parts of the country, other parts of the world.
We've all been battered with the unemployment statistics, the poverty numbers, the housing figures, the bad health picture and so on and so on, for Maori and Pacific people in New Zealand.
Well, I for one, look to you and people like you to turn those figures on their head.
You are the wealth creators, you are the job creators, you are the people who will help return our peoples to feelings of self-confidence, of self-esteem, of achievement.
I have long felt it important for Pacific and Maori people to get into business for themselves because, make no mistake about it, there is still a degree of bias against us in the community.
If you're running your own business, that bias will matter less because you'll be doing it for yourselves and, incidentally, for New Zealand.
I'm delighted this Pacific People's Business Network is being formed. I'm sure you'll find it an invaluable resource as you develop your businesses.
I compliment the Capital Development Agency for its work in bringing this together and I'm pleased to see you've linked up with the Ministry of Commerce's BIZ programme.
With partnerships like these, you have nothing but success ahead of you and I wish you well.
It is with pleasure that I now launch the Wellington Pacific People's Business Network.