Family pride on pa­rade

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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