An elder serving member of the Pacific Christchurch community, Guinevere Newport, 83, announced she is very honoured to be part of Etu Pasifika launch, a new Pasifika provider set up by the Pasifika Medical Association in Christchurch this week.
Mrs Newport left Samoa in 1959 for a better life in New Zealand says she is still paddling her canoe.
“I settled in Christchurch in 1968 and I’m proud to have assisted with an integrated framework to help Pacific families settle well in the community and standout from the rest of NZ.”
“I’ve been heavily involved in community projects and worked together with a range of agencies to cement the cracks so that no family needing help was left without support.
“Myself and two great Pacific women; the late Rangi O’Brien and the late Tufuga Lagatule have done a lot of work.”
She says that despite approaching the 90 year old mark she is still going strong.
“I’m proud to be part of Etu Pasifika’s launch. This is a great new chapter in continued support, following the closure of the Pacific Trust Canterbury.”
“I fully support the new provider and I urge all Pacific communities in Christchurch to support them in their quest to pick up some of the services that are needed by our Pacific families.”
“I’ve been part of Pacific Trust Canterbury since it started many years ago and I will continue to support a new provider that will make a difference to the lives of our families in the South Island.”
Mrs Newport says the Pacific community needs a co-ordinated response, working together not just a provision of services but also ensuring that families who need the most help are being attended to.
“This is a great investment and I applaud the Pasifika Medical Association for launching a new provider that I think will work really well.”
“It is important that we get this right.”
“The aim is to help families and children falling through the gaps; those who are most at risk.”
Mrs Newport wishes Etu Pasifika Board and staff the very best and she will use her influence as a Pacific Island leader to make the community aware of Etu Pasifika services and other work they will be doing.
Mrs Newport is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific Island community in April 2008. She continues to contribute strongly to the Pacific Islands community in Christchurch as she has for the last 40 years.
In 2002 she received the Pasefika Medical Association and Voice of Pacific Women on Air Programme Achievement Award, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Achievement Award in 2002, a Zonta Appreciation Award in 2003, and a special certificate from Parliament for voluntary service to the community in 2005.