Family pride on parade
Strong Pacific communities are like rugby players: both rely on a strong core.
Strong nuclear families, not muscles, are the powerhouse of Pacific communities, an organiser of next week’s Strong Pacific Families parade says.
‘‘If you don’t have a strong gut, if you don’t have a strong core, your body won’t function,’’ Porirua Strong Pacific Families co-ordinator Kitiona Tauira says.
The rugby metaphor is appropriate, as this year’s parade has been shifted from December to September to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.
Four floats will form the backbone of the parade, each representing a team that will train at Porirua Park during the tournament – Canada, the USA, Wales and Fiji.
Despite the rugby theme, the annual parade’s key message remains celebrating healthy, non-violent Pacific families.
‘‘It’s about ways to stop violence in the home, we need to eliminate this disease from our homes,’’ Mrs Tauira says.
‘‘Everything starts in the family – strengthen the core with values like love, service, doing good to others.
‘‘It’s about nurturing strong Pacific families.’’
In the islands there is typically a village council to ensure the community runs smoothly, but that structure is lost when families migrate to New Zealand, Mrs Tauira says.
Without a strong community and extended family to rely on, nuclear families – mothers, fathers and children – need to be a strong supportive unit.
‘‘It’s about teaching the kids about doing good, parents need to live by example.’’
The parade also gives the Pacific community pride, which is important for the current crop of third and fourth generation Kiwis who no longer have have a connection to the islands., Mrs Tauira says.
‘‘It’s about knowing who you are and the ancestors whose name and identity you carry.’’
The causes of violence in Pacific communities are not 100 per cent clear, but key factors are poor education, poor environment, and poor health.
‘‘ There’s a misconception out there that violence is part of culture, especially Pacific culture, which is not true. Violence never was or is a part of Pacific culture.
‘‘ Unfortunately that misconception is ingrained and we need to clean the slate. There is no room for violence in Pacific communities or in any communities for that matter.’’
Porirua Strong Pacific Families Rugby Nations Parade, Wednesday, September 14, noon till 1.30pm. To walk in the parade meet at Porirua Elim Church, 11 Heriot Dr, at 11am. Route: Heriot Dr and Hagley St finishing at Te Rauparaha Park.
Fun time: Revellers on a Rarotongan float enjoying the Stronger Pacific Families Parade last year.