Upcoming Community Support Expo seeks to empower Pasifika Communities

In an attempt to empower Pasifika to access more services available to them the Pacific Lawyers Association has organised a FREE Community Support Expo on May 19 at the Otara Recreational Centre. The expo will provide a number of services and resources from different organisations free of charge.



“We're covering areas from law, health, education, employment and careers,” says criminal defence lawyer and reporter for Tagata Pasifika on TV 1 Reina Vaai (pictured sitting).


A member of the Pacific Lawyers Association and key organiser of the Community Support Expo, Reina wants Pasifika people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities to attend.


“Our Pasifika communities are generally more modest and humble, what we've realized is that not many of them are putting their hands up to ask for help from service providers that have existed for years.”


Reina says she and her colleagues see this every day in their jobs, and that the purpose of the expo is to bring together all the different organisations that are committed to helping these communities.


“We want to encourage people to learn, engage and feel empowered in their ability to access these resources and opportunities.”


The service providers and organisations that have given their time to join the Community Support Expo include Community Law Centres, First Union, Auckland Action Against Poverty, Dress for Success, Ōtara Health, Kidz First, tertiary institutions and more.


“We've also invited stallholders to provide a koha which will go towards a scholarship for a PILOT (Pacific Leaders of Tomorrow) student aiming to attend university.


Although the event is structured much like a one-stop shop, the hope is that this expo leads to conversations that will lead to long lasting and positive solutions for Pasifika people and communities.


“I definitely hope that this movement continues to grow.


“We're also really looking forward to meeting families and hearing their stories. We want to see what other issues need to be addressed and what we can do to help.”


Pacific lawyers who speak a range of different Pacific languages will be on hand to provide free legal advice for non English-speaking Pasifika.


Watch Samoan lawyer Benjamin Ropati-Tuimaseve being interviewed by Tago from Radio 531 PI's Samoan language show about the expo below.




The Pacific Lawyers Association Community Support Expo is on Saturday 19 May at the Ōtara Recreational Centre from 10am – 2pm.

There will be a free sausage sizzle and activities for children.

For more information and updates go to their event page on facebook.