Council staff from Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, and Christchurch City Council have been supporting Honiara City Council colleagues with their long-term planning and asset building as part of the Pacific Technical Assistance programme (PacificTA).

The PacificTA, funded by MFaT and managed by Taituarā, works collaboratively with local authorities in the Pacific to support capability building.

The work in Honiara included running a workshop with elected officials to develop a long-term plan for the Council.

The team is also working on utilisation and landscaping of the muti-purpose sports complex in Honiara. Honiara has a large youth population and the multi-purpose complex provides training and counselling for youth, as well as futsal, netball and a gym. The multi-purpose complex was upgraded with New Zealand Aid Programme funding in 2022. The team will work with Honiara City Council to establish asset management for the complex but also more broadly in the council business.

Pacific TA programme manager Frances Sullivan said that New Zealand council staff have gained a lot from their involvement in the programme.

“The work brings new thinking, and increased skills, confidence and knowledge. They are really energised by the opportunity.”

For Pacific partners, the programme provides unparalleled learning opportunities and access to tools and knowledge.

“For many of the Pacific organisations we work with, there is no training budget, says Frances.

“The PacificTA is a chance to share knowledge from Aotearoa New Zealand, and our Pacific partners can apply this knowledge to their communities.”

Taituarā has recently taken over the management of the Pacific Technical Assistance programme (PacificTA), an MFaT-funded programme, that provides for the exchange of expertise and knowledge between councils in New Zealand and Pacific partners.

We work with our colleagues at Pacific Island councils to support the running of public services including environmental management, infrastructure and asset management, town planning, and public health and safety programmes such as dog control and disaster management.

The PacificTA programme is an opportunity for New Zealand local government experts to work collaboratively with Pacific Island managers, and an example of what can be achieved when practitioners work together towards a common community goal.