Posts Tagged “Pacific Island jobs”
A New Zealand-based Tongan chef says people from the Pacific should not feel that their food is not good enough for five-star dining.
Alex Kaihea recently appeared on the TV show Real Pasifik, alongside celebrity chef Robert Oliver, as part of efforts to develop awareness about the region’s food.
He’s told Pacific Beat the islands have excellent fresh ingredients and a long food tradition, but the big hotels and resorts have yet to catch on.
“All the head chefs are from Europe and when they come to New Zealand or Australia or even the Pacific, they tend to bring in their food and style,” he said.
“The junior chefs, the young islanders, they are still training and they undervalue their food or they don’t know any other way of using traditional food to make it look professional.”
Robert Oliver says the show has been an opportunity to showcase the diversity of Pacific cooking.
“For so long the Pacific had been tourism branded and there was a lack of differentiation between the islands and the cuisine story there, so it was all this kind of Pacific food blob,” he said.
“If you go from the Melanesian Islands all the way through the Polynesian, every single island has a distinct heritage and a distinct cuisine.”
He says says one of the benefits of traditional Pacific food is its healthiness.
“The original Pacific diet was so robust and full of known health properties and a lot of those values were pushed aside when the region was colonised,” he said.”So it’s about revisiting those food stories and bringing them back to the plate.”
Mr Kaihea says shows like Real Pasifik have been an avenue to showcase how to make Pacific cuisine presentable.
“Every island, we do the raw fish (and) fresh vegetables and we make the coconut cream from scratch because it’s much healthier that way,” he said.
“It’s a really, really good example of a Pacific Island dish – pretty much from Samoa, Rarotonga to Fiji (to) Tonga – but mainly what we do is we put it in a big bowl and it’s unattractive to people.
“But when we put it in a coconut shell, make it even and include cherry tomatoes…and make it presentable – that’s one of the dishes that represents Pacific Islanders.”
Mr Kaihea says some of the Pacific recipes can involve almost a whole day of cooking, but local chefs are learning new techniques for speeding that up.
“We’re still bringing in some of the techniques from what we know as a professional kitchen and try to make the island food presentable and the techniques for production,” he said.
“It’s finding international techniques for cooking, but you’re not getting away from the ingredients of the Pacific cuisine.”
It can be tough to talk about the future; sometimes it seems like there are so many unknowns.
Just think about how much the world has changed since the introduction of New Zealand Superannuation (NZS) in 1977 creating a universal – and not means-tested – scheme that paid 80 per cent of the average wage to married people over 60.
During the ensuing years, adjustments have been made to the scheme which in itself was the latest incarnation of much older systems. This shows we can be flexible when we need to be – and right now, with a population which is living and working longer, we need to talk about superannuation.
It’s time for an honest and frank discussion about how NZS might need to change to reflect these changing circumstances and lifestyles because the current arrangement of eligibility for NZS at 65 may not suit everybody’s needs.
Earlier this year, United Future leader Peter Dunne released a Government Discussion Paper on a Flexi-Super plan and New Zealanders have just a few more weeks left until the Friday, 11 October deadline to comment on the proposal.
Flexi-Super gives New Zealanders the option of choosing to take a reduced rate of NZS from the age of 60 or an increased rate if they delay taking up superannuation until they reach 70.
“The basic motivation for this policy is giving people more choice because New Zealanders want choice about how they live their lives,” Mr Dunne says. “At the moment, they have no option but to carry on working until they’re 65 or leave and make do.”
Under Mr Dunne’s Flexi-Super plan, the standard age of eligibility for the state pension remains at 65 and payments stay at two-thirds of the average after-tax weekly wage for those who take their super then. But the earlier someone decides to first take NZS, the lower the payment will be each year relative to the rate they would have received had they decided to first collect NZS at 65; alternatively, taking NZS after age 65 means receiving a higher relative rate.
These rates will be adjusted for inflation and wage increases, so the mechanism for adjusting rates of NZS does not change. It will remain possible to continue working and receive NZS – and that could offer greater flexibility to those in physically demanding jobs.
The paper points out that there are advantages and disadvantages in allowing such flexibility.
Advantages include making the system fairer for workers in tough, physical jobs and those, such as M?ori and Pasifika, who have a lower life expectancy. It also avoids the possible stigma associated with seeking benefits among those who, for a variety of reasons, can no longer work. It may also enable some people to pay down debt or build up assets.
Giving people the option to wait till they are 70 before drawing down NZS will encourage older workers to stay in the labour force for longer, helping to retain much-needed skills, experience and institutional knowledge.
There is a risk that Flexi-Super may reduce incentives for the 60 – 64 year olds to work and if NZS is taken too early, it could create hardship for many who retire early. It is vital for us all to understand that the reduced rate we accept in return for being paid earlier would be the rate received for life.
The State might end up having to supplement the incomes of people who retire early, then find themselves unable to make ends meet because of an unforeseen change in circumstances.
A layered system could also seriously complicate what is at present an easily understood and administered system. Government actuaries will face a Herculean task to figure out a sliding scale that takes all the required factors into account and delivers a system that is cost-neutral, as is proposed.
“This is part of a wider conversation about financial literacy that we all have to have and I encourage all New Zealanders to think about these issues and discuss them in the course of daily life,” Mr Dunne says.
According to a Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll in February, 49 per cent of people want to choose when they receive their state pension, with reduced or enhanced rates depending on the age they start drawing payments.
So we need to consider carefully Flexi-Super and the Government wants to hear your views. The Discussion Paper can be viewed at www.unitedfuture.org.nz and also on the Minister of Finance’s website.
Submissions can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Flexible Superannuation, The Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington 6140, New Zealand. Following this consultation, the Government will consider whether to further explore the Flexi-Super proposal. More detailed policy work and more consultation will take place before any decisions are made.
A young Māori conservationist says its essential tangata whenua are involved in programmes to manage natural resources.
TK Hawaikirangi from Ngāti Kahungunu is a recent graduate of DOC’s Tauira Kaitiaki Taiao cadetship programme.
He spoke to last month’s World Indigenous Network in Darwin on the Ngā Whenua Rāhui programme, which allows Māori land with high conservation values to be managed as part of the conservation estate.
He says environmental protection is a growth industry, and treaty settlements means more skilled Māori will be needed to manage conservation land returned to iwi.
You thought Gollum looked unrealistic, or you could do more convincing blue aliens than in Avatar?
If so, you might be just the one who Weta Digital and Victoria University are looking for.
The two have paired up to announce a computer graphics PhD scholarship that will put the winner right at the cutting edge of movie special-effects magic.
“The successful candidate will have the ability to go deep and solve a problem fundamentally,” Weta Digital chief technology officer Sebastian Sylwan said.
He expected fierce competition for the scholarship – whoever wins will have their PhD fees covered for three years and be awarded an annual $25,000 stipend with the distinct likelihood of a job at the Oscar-winning effects studio behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and The Adventures of Tintin.
Whoever takes the coveted spot will enter the rarefied world of Weta Digital research to explore mysterious gaming and movie special-effects disciplines such as numerical simulation, computer vision, rendering and the mashing of data structures.
Mr Sylwan, who was head of research and development on Avatar, said that, although it might seem as if movie effects had become as lifelike as possible, computer graphics were far from “hitting the ceiling”.
With film directors demanding increasingly realistic and complex effects, there were still two major problems in the sphere of computer-generated make-believe.
“Rendering humans is still a problem, from the peach fuzz on the face to the fibres in clothes. Simulation is still a problem too: for example, a vast ocean moving still takes massive computational power.”
The scholarship will be part of Victoria University and Weta Digital’s computer graphics programme, which was started in 2011 and now has about 80 undergraduate students.
The postgraduate scholarship is being touted as a way of enriching the “eco-system” around Weta Digital, academia and the capital’s entertainment and digital industries. “We want to help grow that eco-system in Wellington and New Zealand,” Mr Sylwan said.
University computer graphics associate professor John Lewis said the scholarship would help forge stronger ties between academics and movie industry research.
The 2013 APAC Forum provides participants with practical examples and tools to help healthcare providers, nations, organisations, teams and individuals, maintain and improve the quality of care to patients, in the face of both a shrinking funding base and growing demand for services.
In addition to a fantastic programme, the forum includes ample networking opportunities for you to meet with some of the world’s leading authorities on quality improvement in healthcare.
Don’t miss this unique dynamic and inspiring event.
Places are limited so to reserve your place today by registering here.
Proudly sponsored by Ko Awatea Health System Innovation and Improvement, Counties Manukau Health and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Thursday, 31 January 2013, 11:42 am
Press Release: Fulbright-Creative NZ
Call for applications – Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency
Fulbright New Zealand and Creative New Zealand invite applications for the 2013 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency, which offers a New Zealand writer of Pacific heritage the opportunity to work for three months on a creative writing project exploring Pacific identity, culture or history at the University of Hawai‘i. The project may be in any genre, but priority is given to works that focus on developing New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction (including biography, history, arts-related and cultural topics) and playwriting.
The residency is valued at NZ$30,000 and includes return airfares to Hawai‘i, accommodation costs and a monthly stipend. Previous recipients have included authors Sarona Aiono-Iosefa and Marisa Maepu, poets Tusiata Avia and Daren Kamali, playwrights Victor Rodger and Makerita Urale, and filmmakers Sima Urale and Toa Fraser. Hawai‘i has been identified as a strategic location for artists and is considered the hub of Pacific writing with numerous universities, library resources, networks, writers’ forums and publishers. It is also an important link to the mainland US and has a strong indigenous culture.
Last year’s writer-in-residence, Daren Kamali, says that the residency offered more than he expected. “I was introduced to the right people and given the appropriate space, time and resources to create material for my manuscript, performances and presentations of my work. The University of Hawai‘i at M?noa was an ideal place for thinking, writing and accessing Pacific material, especially from the Hamilton Library which had a wealth of Pacific books and journals relevant to my research.” Daren was able to network with writers, poets and musicians from across the Pacific, had numerous opportunities to present and perform on- and off-campus, made significant progress on writing his second book of poetry, Squid Out of Water, and secured a Hawaiian publisher for the book when it is completed.
This year’s Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency is available in either the Fall semester (August to November) or Spring semester (February to May) of the 2013-2014 US academic year. The deadline for applications is 5:00pm, Friday 1 March.
See www.fulbright.org.nz/awards/nzscholar/fulbright-cnz or contact Makerita Urale at Creative New Zealand for further information – email@example.com / 04 498 0729.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013, 6:12 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government
Pacific students ready to step into the trades
A unique partnership between tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and Pacific churches has seen hundreds of Pacific people trained to help in the Christchurch rebuild, says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata.
The two groups combined to implement the $6 million Pacific Trades Training Initiative, which is part of the Government’s wider $42 million Skills for Canterbury package to maintain the expanded training pipeline for trades people for the Canterbury rebuild.
On January 30th, the Fellowship of Samoan Ministers Wellington Region hosted an event to celebrate the graduation of 67 local students from the 2012 initiative and welcome students into the 2013 programme.
“The Pacific Trades Training initiative was developed to reach Pacific students who may not normally consider entering into trades such as carpentry, joinery and plumbing. It’s fantastic to see Pacific students succeeding as a result of its introduction,” Mr Joyce says.
The initiative is effectively a scholarship to support Pacific peoples to enter trades training in 2012 and 2013 and provides up to 300 fees-free places in trades training throughout New Zealand.
“I’d like to congratulate and thank our Pacific church ministers who are taking a lead role in tonight’s celebration as they have been critical to the success of the initiative,” Ms Parata says.
“They worked closely with tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to mobilise large numbers of Pacific peoples, to get them involved and raise the profile of trades as a viable career option. They are also, of course, helping greatly through their contribution to restoring Christchurch as a vibrant and liveable city.
“Their on-going support and mentoring of students has also been a key ingredient in the success of the initiative.
“I congratulate all 2012 Pacific Trades Scholarship graduates and wish them the best as they embark on a career in the trades,” says Ms Parata.
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There is a dire need to encourage more Maori into health and science fields, says Massey School of Public Health head Associate Professor Cindy Kiro (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Hine).
Dr Kiro says there are high demands for qualified Maori in these fields, which will only increase in future.
“Iwi and Maori communities have signalled these areas as being important, so we know there is future workforce demand among Maori organisations but there is also strong mainstream and international demand.”
Dr Kiro says it is an exciting time to move into the industry, and to study health at Massey. “There is huge scope to work with Maori patients and their whanau in new, innovative ways and make a difference.”
Massey University will host the Maori into Health and Sciences Day event in conjunction with Maori into Tertiary Education (MITE), and other MITE partners at the Albany campus on 27 September. An expo will feature exhibits from health and science fields, and Maori students will speak with experts.
A careers programme has been launched in Auckland that will introduce college students to the companies in their community.
Its backers want to reduce the nearly 26,000 Aucklanders under 24 who are not in work, education or training.
Youth Connections Across Auckland will introduce students to local businesses and teach them about the skills and qualifications they need to get their foot in the door.
It is being rolled out in six of the 10 local board areas.
The project is being funded by the Tindall Foundation, the Auckland Council and the Auckland Airport Community Trust.
Sir Stephen Tindall says a pilot programme was started with Counties Manukau District Health Board three years ago and has been a big success.