Business provides platform for Pacific voices

Established in July 2018, Bluespur Consulting Ltd exists to cater to the needs of the Pacific people in New Zealand by providing a platform where their voices can be heard. 

Owned by two Samoans, Zeprina Fale and Marie Young, the business engages the emergent voice of the Pacific communities with organisations such as the local and central governments, non-government organisations and the private sector. 

“We do this by creating spaces where people feel comfortable for their voices to be heard,” said Ms. Young. 

“This can look like hosting talanoa sessions with church congregations, conducting street interviews, or doing online engagement for our connected younger generation. 

“Both of us are fluent Samoan speakers, and we also work with a network of community leaders, influencers, interpreters and translators from our various Pacific cultures. People respond differently when you engage with them in their native language. You get to the heart of the truth, and that’s essential for future decision making.” 

The idea of establishing the business emerged in the middle of a coffee group session where the two ladies were sharing about outrageous faith and courage. 

“We saw a societal need and a gap in the market. The Pasifika population in New Zealand is on a fast growth track, and this has a big impact on our communities and also on New Zealand as a whole. It’s really important that our many cultures learn to live well together,” Ms. Young said. 

“Zeprina and I found that we had complementary skills and experiences and we both had outrageous faith in God to say ‘Let’s do this’.”

Ms. Young said their business is rooted deeply in their community, serving in their church family (LifeChurch West Auckland in Avondale) and also in community groups such as Feed the Streets. 

“We see Bluespur Consulting as an extension of our service to God and our people,” she said. 

“We take the consultation to the community, (in the spaces that people are comfortable with) we speak their language, we ensure diverse representation of views and we close the conversation loop.

“In the past, our people have not been engaged effectively, which means that our people’s values and cultural practices would not be represented in the design and development of a growing diverse New Zealand. We aim to change that.” 

Ms. Young said at times it is challenging to get organisations to realise the true and authentic community voice that leads to sustainable community solutions. 

“They (Pacific community) value what we stand for, what we do, and how we do it. It’s more personal because we go to the people where they are - whether that’s churches, sports groups or even the TAB. People know we really want to understand what they really want to say.”

Ms. Young added come the New Year, they plan to level up, diversify their client base and do more work on a regional and global level. 

“On the voluntary front, we’re looking forward to participating in a missions trip to West Papua, where LifeChurch has a sister church. 

“We are also looking forward to deepening our relationship with the communities we serve. This includes working with schools providing pastoral care, supplementing the great work our teachers and community workers are doing.”

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