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Pacific Business Trust welcomes new Chairperson

The Pacific Business Trust welcomes newly appointed Chairperson Tevita Funaki to lead the Trust’s through an exciting phase of business transformation.

Announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon. Aupito Su’a William Sio in a statement last week; Mr Funaki brings extensive governance, business and community experience to the role and has served as a board member since May 2018.

A graduate of the University of Otago with a BCom, Tevita has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Fono since July 2010. Prior to this, Tevita held leadership roles in health and education as well as experience running his own consultancy.

Mr Funaki says he is driven by the dream to see more Pacific people experience greater levels of wellbeing and this includes economic prosperity.

“For Pacific people, wellbeing is holistic. Unlocking economic prosperity for our people will provide opportunities to address health and social challenges. This also recognises the cultural capital that we have as Pacific people. All of this can contribute to improving the wellness of our people and communities”

Mr Funaki also says he is looking forward to the transformation that PBT will be leading.

“We need to continue being courageous and ensure that we maintain our strong values as we align our work to the needs of our community. We are not only working for those who are in business now, but setting up for future business owners and leaders.”

The Pacific Business Trust also acknowledged the contribution of outgoing Chair Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira and board member Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu.

“Fa’amatuainu has been a staunch advocate for Pacific businesses. His leadership and wisdom guided the Trust through significant times of change including the sale of our Otahuhu premises as well as advocating for PBT to become a Pacific National Economic Development Agency and supporting the Minister with the budget process.” says Mr Funaki

“He championed the joint project with Treasury that resulted in the launch of the very first New Zealand Pacific Economy report last year.”

With two outgoing members, Samuelu (Sam) Sefuiva and Leaupepe Rachel Karalus join the Board and have both been appointed for a three year term.

Sam has over 30 years’ experience in public policy, strategic and business advice, cultural and economic development and executive leadership. Sam has a strong professional and personal interest in the Pacific region particularly in human rights, social enterprise and public policy.

Leaupepe is currently the Chief Executive of K’aute Pasifika Trust. Before taking up this role, Rachel practiced as a litigation lawyer for almost 15 years in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato. During that time, Rachel held governance roles on the board of K’aute Pasifika Trust and Lifeline NZ. She has current executive/board roles with the Hamilton Christian Night Shelter and Child Matters.

The Pacific Business Trust board members are:
Tevita Funaki (Chair)
Rachel Taumoepeau- Afeaki
Maria Fuata
Ron Viviani
Samuelu (Sam) Sefuiva
Leaupepe Rachel Karalus



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