Fale Malae Trust thrilled by Budget 2020 funding

The Fale Malae Trust says it is thrilled with the support provided in Budget 2020 for the Fale Malae Trust and Pasifika communities in their shared vision of building a twenty-first century Fale Malae in the heart of the capital’s Parliamentary precinct.

With a $10 million commitment through Budget 2020, the project, a partnership with the Fale Malae Trust, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington City Council, Central Government and Pasifika communities, can now progress to a new phase of planning and development.

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, and Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples, Carmel Sepuloni says “We have committed to supporting the establishment of a New Zealand Fale Malae based in Wellington.”

“The Government recognises that there is an opportunity to promote New Zealand’s Pacific heritage by creating a Pasifika-focused space to be shared and enjoyed by all New Zealanders. The Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage will work with key stakeholders to commence detailed planning of the feasibility of this project as soon as is practicable.”

Following an agreement from Wellington City Council back in March to support the project in principle, Adrian Orr, Chair of the Fale Malae Trust, says he and the wider Trustees are delighted with the Budget outcome. Orr reflects, “This project represents an opportunity to create a place of belonging for all New Zealanders, recognise the accomplishments and diversity of our Pasifika communities, and better connect and support them with tertiary education and civic engagement.”

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the Fale Malae project epitomises the best of town, crown and gown collaboration. “This will be an iconic building that engages the Pasifika community in Wellington, New Zealand and the wider Pacific with the government of Aotearoa New Zealand and our nation’s globally ranked capital city university. It will be a dynamic space, encompassing diverse world views; a place where New Zealand’s role in the Pacific can be both challenged and reinvigorated.”

Wellington Mayor, Andy Foster adds, “I am delighted by Government’s support for the Fale Malae. Our Pasifika community is an integral part of our multi-cultural city. As the capital of a South Pacific nation it will be very fitting to have such a centre of Pasifika culture in Wellington.”

Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University of Wellington and a member of the Fale Malae Trust is ecstatic with the Budget outcome, “It is wonderful to see us reach the next milestone in our goal of developing the Fale Malae. This is a project many people have worked on for many years, and having the New Zealand government work together with the Fale Malae Trust, the University, and the Wellington City Council to help us create this space for Pacific peoples shows confidence in our future.

“It models the global-civic partnership for our capital city and confirms New Zealand’s identity as a Pacific nation,” says Dame Winnie.