Market continues to help communities rebuild

The Pasefika Market in South Auckland continues to help Samoan and Pacific communities and businesses rebuild from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year South Auckland’s Pasifika community had established a “Pasifika Friday Market” project to help the community and businesses rebuild amid the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pasefika Market Project Director with the ASA Foundation, Teleiai Edwin Puni, told the Samoa Observer in an emailed response that the market has certainly created an economy for Pacific people in New Zealand.

“It had also provided a social event, especially our Samoan community to meet and socialise outside of church and family gatherings,” he said.

Teleiai said he feels that the market has the same feeling as the one in Samoa and is part of the "Project Recovery", which is a Pacific-community-led initiative coordinated by south Auckland charity organisation ASA Foundation.

The foundation aims to address the social and economic needs of Pacific communities in south Auckland in the wake of the pandemic.

It was reported in April this year that 90 per cent of the stalls at the Pasefika Market were owned by Samoans. The first market was considered as a success with over 2,000 people attending and an average of $500-$1000 made by each stall holder.

Asked about an increase in vendors, Teleiai stated that the Pasefika Market has grown from 35 stalls to 54 stalls each week.

He added that there are now 16 fashion & handicrafts stalls, 35 food stalls and 3 service providers information booths.

“We are at full capacity with 49 on the waiting list and growing,” he said.

Asked if they plan to expand the market to other parts of New Zealand,he stated that they have a review after six months, but all the indications is that the Pasefika Market is there to stay.

“There is interest from other cities like Wellington and Christchurch for a similar set up and we’re looking at it,” he said.

Teleiai also revealed that the Pasefika Market is one of the popular outlet for the koko Samoa brought over as part of the Project Recovery Samoa initiative.

“The koko Samoa is a collaboration between Samoan businesses in NZ and koko growers in the villages. There’s about 2,000 koko being exported to NZ each month," he said.

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