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NZ Tongan’s service recognized in Queens Birthday Honours

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 09/06/2020

A Tongan Kiwi – Lita Foliaki was among those recognized last week in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Foliaki was recognized as an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the Pacific community.

Foliaki has made a major contribution to the development and empowerment of Pacific communities both regionally and nationally.

She has been Pacific Planning and Funding Manager at the Waitemata District Health Board since 2004.

She developed the Enua Ola Programme, a healthy diet and activity initiative promoted through Pacific Churches and community groups and has also contributed to the areas of diabetes, cancer, mental health, immunization, disabilities and bowel screening.

She has contributed to strategies for Pacific Families with the Ministry of Social Development including cultural competency, family violence, social work practices and child safety.

She was National Funding Manager for Pacific Health under the Health Funding Agency from 1997 to 2001.

She was Chair of the Expert Panel which developed the Pacific Health Research Guidelines for the Health Research Council from 2001 to 2004.

She has been an adviser for the Ministry of Health Pacific Provider Development Scheme, which funds initiatives to grow the Pacific health workforce.

She helped establish Vaka Tautua, the first accredited Pacific Disability Provider in 2000.

Foliaki founded Heilala in 1989, a Tongan women’s group in Auckland, focusing on grassroots education and welfare programmes, and has been Secretary of Pacifica Women’s national group”.

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