Old School Reserve Open Day – June 1st, 1.00pm – 3.00pm


A concept plan has been developed for the future development and use of Old School Reserve on Kirkbride Road in Māngere.

The Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board has approved the plan for public consultation.

And Auckland Council is wanting to seek feedback from the community on proposals within the concept plan.

On Saturday 1st June, 1.00pm – 3.00pm, CIDANZ will be hosting an Open Day for the local Mangere community to come and see the concept plan for the Old School Reserve. We share the Old School Reserve with Auckland Teaching Garden’s, and two Pacific Early Learning Centre’s, so input into the concept plans will affect all of us. For more information or to ‘have your say’ visit: https://bit.ly/2ElmK8y

A New Wave of Change-Makers

The birth of CIDANZ came from a place of determination to see our Cook Islands people becoming self-sustaining, financially free, culturally richer, and thriving in New Zealand. Although the vision and purpose for this place has remained the same, the people leading the great work we are doing has not.

The direction of our organisation has changed greatly, forcing us to reasses whether we had the skills or not to achieve our vision. This had led to us needing to recruit the skills of those we knew would enable our organisation to hit the ground running… at a faster pace. Today we officially welcomed on board four new staff members under the leadership of Chief Executive Rouruina Emil’e-Brown – Chris Arere (Manger of Youth Development), Johanna Chetwynd (Financial Controller), Dr. Gillian Stewart (Director of Research, Impact and Evaluation), and Elizabeth Fa’alili (Business Support Manager).

Chris Arere has been developing a youth programme that will herald a new youth leadership program. The program is culturally enriched with life and leadership skills for our young people. Johanna Chetwynd currently managers her own accountancy business. Believing in vision and direction of CIDANZ, Johanna brings a life-time of skills and wisdom to our organisation. Dr. Gillian Stewart had contracted with CIDANZ previously, evaluating our progress through the years, puling together our story, and the social impact we’ve had over the years. She has and will always be recognised as an invaluable asset to the organisation. Elizabeth Fa’alili comes to us from the Mental Health Foundation NZ. Our newest staff member, we’re excited to have her as part of our team, and look forward to witnessing the great work she’ll surely do while with us.

Thank you for being a part of this wave of change.


“It Takes A Village…” – Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019


“It takes a child to raise a village” has been a concept our communities have lived by for many years, and continued to do so today, 4th May 2019. Our communities came together to support the very first Pasifika Pink Shirt Day, sponsored by Mental Health Foundation NZ (MHF), and led by CIDANZ with many partners around the table – Pacific Business Trust (PBT), the Village Collective, MHF and more.

In Aotearoa, young people who identify as part of our rainbow communities experience higher rates of bullying. “Discrimination and social exclusion on the basis of sexuality or gender identity has
been directly linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for LGBTQIA+ young people. While all young people are potential targets of bullying, some groups can experience higher rates. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying are based
on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Young people who identify as LGBTQIA+, or are perceived to be part of the rainbow community, experience higher rates of bullying than students who do not. However, it is important to note that not all of these students will experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying. LGBTI young people are resilient, have higher rates of volunteering and community engagement and are an important part of our community. Despite this, LGBTI young people are particularly vulnerable to experiencing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying” (https://bit.ly/2VpoWGK).

Each and every one of us in our Pasifika communities has a part to play in preventing bullying and making our schools, workplaces, and communities safer and kinder.

Special meitaki ma’ata to Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Chair Lydia Sosene, Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio, all the speakers and guest performers for being a part of the very first Pasifika Pink Shirt Day.


“Kia Matutu” – An ANZAC Day Message


“Akamaroiroi tatou na e akaketaketa no to tatou nei au tangata, e te au Oire o to tatou Atua, e na Iahova e rave i tei meitaki iaia ra.”

“Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord’s will be done!” – 2 Samuel 10:12

Courage. It’s an attribute our organisation has needed in order to get to where we are today. Although it’s one word, the weight of what it means varies across our people both in the present and in the past.  For our ANZAC soldiers it was leaving their families to stand in solidarity with the Crown and New Zealand. For our grandparents, and even great-grandparents it was leaving the Cook Islands in order to raise their families in a western world that was often lonely and isolating. For some of our young people it’s learning how to drive for the first time, and for our pepe’s it’s trusting that if they let go of our hands, that they won’t fall as they wobble through that first step. Courage is not the same for all of us, and yet in our everyday lives we are constantly displaying it in our own ways.

The month of April has seen our organisation continue to embrace courage in its many forms to get on with the work. Cook Islands Language Week has been confirmed for August 4th – 10th, with the opening launch set for Saturday 3rdAugust in Tokoroa. Our sporting communities came together to workshop with Auckland Council’s sports policy writers to assess where in South Auckland was the most need for our communities; more sporting facilities was highlighted. A small team was part of the Pacific Trades and Invest ‘Path to Trade’ Show that featured many Pacific entrepreneurs and products. We’ve also secured the contract to operate the Papakura Netball Centre Cafeteria for another season. CIDANZ has also taken on the contract to deliver the very first Pasifika focused Pink Shirt Day on May 4th, and as of today Wednesday 24thApril, will be hosting the ANZAC Commemoration for 2019.

With New Zealand on high alert we are of course concerned about the safety of our communities. However, like those of our Muslim community who knelt in the open in prayer at the Mangere Christchurch Memorial, the commemoration will go ahead. To some it may be an act of courage, but for the last 100 years we had forgotten our ANZAC Tupuna’s – holding the ceremony was our way of continuing to remember them.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela

Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019 – “Courageous Conversations”


Pink Shirt Day is celebrated globally, beginning in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a pear was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. We are proud to present the very FIRST Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019!

Join us on Saturday 4th May 2019, 10.00am-2.00pm at the Mangere Arts Center. Through “Courageous Conversations” our Pasifika LGBTQI+ Community will be sharing their stories on how we can become an anti-bullying community.

“Path to Pacific Trade Show’ – An enterprising step forward


The Cloud was abuzz this past weekend hosting the ‘Path to Pacific Trade Show’ that packaged and brought to New Zealand the very best of our enterprising Pacific Islands. The day featured many traditional products such as tivaevae’s, ei katu’s, pearls from Manihiki, “organic jams and coconut soap from Fiji; rare gems and stunning handicrafts from the Solomon Islands; fashion, bilum weaves, coffee and baskets from Papua New Guinea; jewellery, garments and tapa art.”

“Hosted by New Zealand-based Pacific Trade Invest (PTI NZ), the economic development agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the trade show is part of PTI NZ’s Path to Market programme – an export capability building initiative for Pacific Island companies to export into New Zealand, helping boost employment and entrepreneurship in the islands.”

Ian Furlong, Trade Development Manager for PTI NZ, was inspired by what CIDANZ’s cooperative model has been doing for local communities and families; inviting our organisation to be a part of the Trade Show. We were able to feature many of our families, including the arts and crafts from members of the Taokotai’anga Vainetini Collective, Tarani Crafts, AMD Youth Enterprise, and respective craft-makers across Auckland. Of those families featured was also couple Jessica and Paul Rawiri, owners of SaMaori Coffee.

Creating pathways into the market has been part of our organisations goals to help our families achieve their enterprising dreams. We extend our warmest regards to Ian and PTI NZ for a wonderful and successful event.

Island Night – A night made by families, for families!


Here at CIDANZ we’ve always kept the values of families at the center of everything that we do, including Island Night. Created as a safe space for all of us to come together and eat, sing, laugh and enjoy everything that makes us who we are, Island Night has grown not because of what we have done as a an organisation, but what our families within our organisation has done to make this night possible.

The night began as a way for our enterprising families, those not quite ready to get into business, to gain business confidence and trade in a market that they were comfortable in. Through this we have seen families set mouth-watering menu’s, investing hours, time and dollars into make those menu’s come to life, attracting friends and families to Island Night, and at the end of it, reinvesting in the next Island Night.

Island Night has also been the host of our arts including being the witness to beautiful performances by Te Au Moana Dance Troupe, and MBrace Pacific Dance Group. It has seen the crafts of several Mama’s, and a fashion line from Varu owned and operated by Richard Tekeu. Island Night has belted out some Cook Island music classics, and housed many performances, creators, cooks, and bakers.

The only investment our organisation makes into the night is staff time to set-up, a venu and a food truck. Otherwise, Island Night is owned and operated by families for families. We’re so proud of our community for coming together to make this happen. If you are in Auckland, pop-in every Friday, 5.00pm till late – and see what our families have to offer.

For updates on Island Night, Like and Follow our Facebook page @cidanzakl


Kai Tupuna & SaMaori – Open for Another Season


Following the success of our food cooperative model at Papakura Netball Center in 2018, was the renewal of the contract that this weekend, saw two new families operating the cafeteria area’s. They were Kai Tupuna, owned and led by Cook Islands mother-daughter duo Tearoa & Michelle Potoru; and SaMaori, owned and operated by Samaon/Maori power couple Jessica and Paul Rawiri.


Our food cooperative model is simple. Families become an affiliate to our organisation, granting them access to all our skills and services. Based on their business focus, they enter our enterprising program and work towards either becoming an established business or expand on their current business.  CIDANZ then seeks out real opportunities for families to tests their products and services in. Based on the return from opportunities, families begin to achieve their financial goals, and meet their financial outcomes. Depending on the investment of CIDANZ into the families and opportunities, a percentage is brought back into the organisation. Those earnings are then re-invested into the program to help new families.

During this process we are inspired by the families, learn more from them and add a little more to our basket of knowledge. We are proud to welcome SaMaori to the fold, and even prouder to see Kai Tupuna continuing to do what they do best.

For more information on SaMaori, visit their website at https://samaori.co.nz/

And for more information on Kai Tupuna, contact Kai Tupuna at mpotoru@gmail.com

“Increasing Aucklanders Participation in Sport” – A Community Consultation

The Cook Islands sporting community participated in a consultation workshop on Wednesday 27th March 2019. The workshop was one of several consultations currently being undertaken by a small team from Auckland Council’s policy department. The aim of the workshop was to share with the community Auckland Council’s Sports Investment Plan for 2019 – 2039, and to seek ideas around what are the current ‘needs’ in the community. The plan seeks to invest $1 Billion across the whole of Auckland over a period of 10 years.

Many attendees including Tupou Manapori, President of Auckland Cook Islands Sports Association (ACISA) shared their views on the lack of sporting facilities and greenery in Mangere and Otara. And while there were facilities available, gaining access to those facilities were difficult. With Auckland Council encouraging the community to seek answers online, it was identified that the face-to-face interaction at the ground level was removed from Auckland Council’s operations. This was discouraging to attendees because having someone to talk to encouraged a partnership between council and community, and made the community feel heard.

Other issues brought to the forefront was the way in which sports information was communicated, and how ‘our voice’ was not present throughout the document. The community was adamant that if council were to bring together another consultation workshop, they would like someone preferably from the same cultural background who understood Maori.

As the Sport Portfolio holder for Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board, Nick Backulich also attended the workshop to hear the insights of the community, and to offer a word of encouragement. Mangere and many area’s in South Auckland house the highest Pacific population, and with it majority of Auckland’s sporting talents. Investment in South Auckland is not only an investment in the community, but also in those talents!

Auckland Council encourages our people to have their say at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/

Mini Pasifika Pop-Up at Kirkbride Road, Mangere


In light of recent events, the last day of Polyfest and the whole of the Pasifika Festival was cancelled.

Statement from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage:

“Given the need to prioritise police resourcing following the terrible events in Christchurch, we have today decided to cancel the Pasifika Festival for the coming weekend, 23 and 24 March.

Initial discussions with New Zealand Police gave us hope that through the festival we would be able to bring Auckland’s communities together at this time of national mourning.

However, given the unprecedented nature of what has happened, we appreciate and respect that the New Zealand Police must prioritise resourcing to ensure the safety of all our communities across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Pasifika Festival will return bigger and brighter than ever in 2020.”

Many were disappointed with the outcome, but understood ATEED’s position on the matter. However, stall holders who had spent months preparing for these events, have been left without support and with beautiful products they intended to sell at these festivals.

To support those stall holders who had invested in traveling here from our beautiful Cook Islands, we are hosting a mini pop-up at CIDANZ today and tomorrow. This is the opportunity for us to still get our Pareu’s, Eei Katu’s, Drums and Ukes all the way from the Cook Islands. Which leaves the questions, when and where?

When: 21 – 22 March, 2019, midday to 8.30pm 

Where: CIDANZ HQ, 283 – 289 Kirkbride Road, Mangere.