Return in investment for MPP Southern Regional Manager

posted: 4:00 pm - 3rd August 2018
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(Picture caption: Governor General of New Zealand, the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with MPP Southern Regional Manager Diane Fenika at a ceremony to acknowledge Diane's service to the PYLAT Council.)

Diane Fenika’s recent acknowledgement by New Zealand’s Governor General for her service for the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) Council is the return in the investment of time and creating the safe space for Pacific voices to be nurtured and heard. 

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Southern Regional Manager attended an intimate affair at Christchurch’s Rydges Hotel last week where she was publically acknowledged by Governor General the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy for her active role in the formation of the PYLAT Council in 2010, and her on-going service at the organisation.

Diane has helped the Council, which is supported by MPP, to grow and has championed it on to a national stage, while also helping to create the many networks it uses today.

She is a mentor and leader for many in the Christchurch-based organisation.

Diane says it was very humbling to be in the presence of the Governor General at what was an amazing and intimate ceremony.

Other recipients acknowledged for their service to Pacific youth and PYLAT – Groups include:  Y NOT, No Limits, Spac Pac  Collective, PACIFICA Women (Christchurch) and individuals Stacey Holbrough for support in the Youth Voice Canterbury (Christchurch City Council) and Diane for service to PYLAT and the PYLAT programme (through MPP), she says.

“It was an intimate affair so it was really lovely to be able to talk to everyone, which included fellow recipients and their family and support people. 

“My husband John, and MPP reps Howard (Jamieson) and Richard (Stanley) attended, as well as Pacific student representatives from secondary schools and their teacher/Pacific support staff.”

It is challenging to pin-point exactly what the acknowledgement means for Diane, as it means so much.

“For the Ministry (for me now) it means we are on the right track in terms of creating spaces for our Pacific youth voice to be heard. 

“It means the Ministry are open to be being led by their voice but at the same time ensuring the integrity of the Ministry and their voice is of sound quality and standard for government and in other spaces we work in. 

“It also means that eight years ago I’m proud our Mainland team persevered through the challenges to ensure PYLAT went ahead.”

The team back then consisted of Amanaki Misa, Dr Robert Nicole, Terisa Tagicakibau, Melissa Stanley, along with Diane, who says it is just as much their acknowledgement as it is hers.  

“This is the return in the investment of time and creating the safe space for their voice to be nurtured and shared.”

To hear from young amazing leaders past and present speak about Diane’s service, time, advice and mentorship has been very rewarding, she adds.

For Diane, it is about trying to do as much as she can now to build and create a legacy of engagement, so Pasifika youth are confident to stand and be a voice for their generation.

“PYLAT Council is a unique group as, to my knowledge no other Pacific youth group is determined and driven as they are.

“My drive is by goal to ensure the Mainland builds a strong Pacific voice, PYLAT included. 

“They have created a platform that is well established and challenges the Ministry, and that’s a good thing (within reason).”

Diane says she is thankful she had the opportunity to acknowledge MPP at the ceremony.

“We are government and often we go unnoticed for the tireless hours and time we invest in our community, so it is nice to be acknowledged by the community.”

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