Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fale Pasifika's tenth anniversary

Fale Pasifika's tenth anniversary

30 September 2014
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October marks the tenth anniversary of the University’s beautiful Fale Pasifika.
The Fale was opened on 2 October 2004 by Prime Minister Helen Clark. More than 600 people attended the ceremony, including such Pacific dignitaries as the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Hon Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi; Eseta Fusitu’a, Chief Secretary and Secretary to the Cabinet of Tonga; and Arthur Iaveta, Consul General for the Cook Islands. Representatives of Ngati Whatua and the New Zealand government also joined the public, university staff and students at this 'moving, joyful and colourful occasion'.
Pacific Studies staff members are currently busy organising events to celebrate the Fale’s first decade in similar style. Head of Pacific Studies Associate Professor Damon Salesa says the planned celebrations include a student art exhibition, a research forum and an official function on the date of the anniversary, Thursday 2 October. Once again, the invitees will include dignitaries from the University, New Zealand government and the wider Pacific community.
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Associate Professor Salesa says the Fale proudly serves Pacific Studies and will continue to do so for many years to come.
“The Fale is the heart and soul of Pacific Studies and also an important meeting place for other staff and students of the University and wider community.
“I have enjoyed watching our staff and students enjoy the environment the fale creates. It’s a positive place where people can meet, talk and celebrate” says Damon Salesa.

"Celebrating 10 years of the Fale Pasifika is an opportunity to unite Pacific artists, staff, students and the larger New Zealand community. More importantly, it is an opportunity to honor and recognize the countless years and dedicated work of dreamers who dreamt, the visionaries who led, and the builders who engineered the Fale, in hopes that it would manifest into what it is today" says Damon Salesa, Associate Professor and Director of Pacific Studies.
The University of Auckland’s Fale is 12 metres high, 26 metres long and 15 metres wide: the second largest in the world after the Fale at the National University of Samoa.
A fale is traditionally a cultural, social, spiritual and ceremonial centre. It serves as a space for discussions, debates, teaching and learning, and is designed to provide comfort, wellbeing and strong sense of identity.
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Long may the Fale provide this space for the Pacific peoples of the University, the city of Auckland and the wider Pacific region.

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