Engaging with Pasifika

Recommend course:


Pacific peoples are a dynamic and vibrant peoples with a long-standing special relationship with New Zealand. Over decades they have made a significant contribution to the social, economic, cultural and sporting life of New Zealand.

However they also feature in the lower part of New Zealand’s socio-economic, justice, education and health statistics. Mainstream agencies in their efforts to engage with Pasifika have often seen Pacific communities as ‘a hard to reach group.’

This course is designed to help participants engage more effectively with Pacific families and their communities. It offers practical, proven approaches that will contribute to effective interpersonal relationships to improve participants’ understanding of Pasifika communities, participants’ ability to connect with Pacific peoples, and to inform their ability to develop policies and strategies aimed at Pacific communities.

Who should attend:

The course is suitable for anyone who manages or works in areas that involve engaging with Pacific peoples particularly in the area of policy or strategy development aimed at Pacific communities and their families.

It is also suitable for those who are interested in understanding and developing their own cultural intelligence.

Learning objectives:

  • Appreciate the diversity of Pacific peoples
  • Appreciate the influence of Pacific peoples socio-economic context
  • Understand shared Pacific cultural values and motivational drivers
  • Learn how to engage effectively with Pasifika
  • Identify and apply practical tips and strategies
  • Learn how to work collaboratively with Pasifika to achieve a shared strategic goal.

Course outline:

  • General New Zealand and Pacific context
  • Why this is important
  • Self-Awareness – The package you bring
  • Cultural models of engagement
  • Underlying shared Pacific cultural values and motivational drivers
  • Building connection - Understanding and adapting your own communication style to establish and build a connection
  • Practical tips and strategies – including important Dos and Don’ts
  • Practical scenarios
  • What next? – Extending the learning - Navigating the cultural currents of the Pacific

Course format:

Catalyst Pacific uses a deceptively simple powerful Appreciate approach to professional learning and development. The presenters draw on a range of cultural and learning models to tap into participants own experience to connect and embed the course content and shared learning.

The workshop is highly interactive incorporating a range of facilitation techniques including: peer-to-peer interaction, small group and wider group discussion, practical scenarios based on the participant’s real-life challenges and a take away resource workbook for ongoing and future reference.


Catalyst Pacific Limited and Holona and Trish Lui 

The presenters for Engaging with Pasifika are Holona and Trish Lui, the principals of Catalyst Pacific Ltd, a NZ based learning and development consultancy. They have a specialist area of expertise, in building cultural intelligence and effective cross-cultural communication to support high performance in teams and organisations to build and strengthen relationships and achieve their business objectives.

In this course they focus on effective engagement with Pasifika in New Zealand and abroad.

Holona and Trish have a proven track record with more than 20 years’ experience working with leadership tiers, and influential groups and individuals in public sector, private sector, and not-for-profit businesses and organisations.

In doing this, they draw on in a wide variety of proven learning and development, and international cross-cultural communications and cultural competency development tools and frameworks. These include among others; Appreciative Inquiry, the Richard Lewis CultureActive model, the award winning Inter-Cultural Global DISC (iDISC™), ExcelL (Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership) Intercultural Skills Programme, StrengthsFinder, TetraMap, Team Management Index profiling (TMI) and 360-degree feedback.

Trish holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature and Education, Victoria University of Wellington) and Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori Level 4 from Te Wananga of Aotearoa. Trish’s previous roles include: Programme Director for the New Zealand College of Management, which had a joint venture with Victoria University of Wellington for the Centre for the Study of Leadership. Trish is also part of delivering the Victoria University’s ‘Aspire: Women’s Leadership Development Programme’.

Holona holds Bachelor of Arts (English Literature, Victoria University of Wellington) and a Diploma in Teaching (NZ). Holona’s previous roles include: Manager, Communications for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Senior Presentation Director for Television New Zealand and secondary teaching, including English as a Second Language. Holona is also a self-published author of ‘Keeping it REAL, Mentoring with Cultural Intelligence’.

Both are members of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology (NZAPP) and have a strong interest in high performance sport.

Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on:
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: profdev@vuw.ac.nz

Customised workshops:
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

Visit Victoria Professional and Executive Development on: