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Le Va helps guide MPP’s Vaka of Stories

Four people in front of tapa cloth with Vaka of Stories banner.

Nicholas Cao, Dr Max Maiava, Dr Elizabeth Mati, and Pale Sauni at the launch of Vaka of Stories.

The Dawn Raids of the 1970s were a dark time in history for Pasifika migrants in Aotearoa New Zealand. To acknowledge their ongoing legacy, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) is holding a series of events around the country to capture the untold stories of those affected.

Dubbed the Vaka of Stories, the initiative aims to create a safe space for connection, understanding and unity, bringing people together to share their experiences.

Le Va has partnered with the Ministry to provide wellbeing support for participants on this journey, to facilitate healing for those impacted both directly and indirectly by the Dawn Raids.

Dr Elizabeth Mati, Le Va’s general manager and a registered clinical psychologist, is bringing her expertise to the Vaka of Stories, providing support throughout and after the sessions.

Dr Mati said, “Our purpose at Le Va is to support Pasifika families and communities to unleash their full potential and have the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes. This opportunity to talanoa and have meaningful conversations about the trauma of these historic events, under the guidance of trained facilitators and local community leaders, will go a long way towards bringing closure for our people.”

A ‘vaka’ from MPP will travel around the country to hold full-day drop-in sessions facilitated locally at a church or community centre. The programme includes an open forum, smaller focus groups, one-on-one sessions, and a quiet room for those needing time to reflect.

On oral historian will be on hand to collect and record the stories that are shared, which will then be collated into a community-driven historical account about the Dawn Raids.

You can learn more about the Vaka of Stories on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ website.

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