Aute Pasifika Sports Academy has been operating as a voluntary organisation for more than 2 decades, but only decided to register as a New Zealand Charitable Trust in 2020.  In the period since, they have been working with Hui E! to secure funding and grow their impact in the Auckland region.  “We first learned about Hui E! through a mutual collaborator within the Trust.  Since then, Hui E! has been helping us with documentation and providing volunteers to help with fundraising,” says Aute Pasifika Sports Academy’s Tavai Meni.  “Of course, not every grant application is successful, but it’s all part of putting the bait in the sea and seeing if you can get any fish off of it.”

The work goes far beyond sport, Tavai says, with a focus on holistic community support for Pasifika families and the wider community.  “We have training programmes to help the younger generations prepare for tomorrow, and projects to help provide discipline and make them more ready for the world.  We also provide a lot of public services for the community through community events.  We have church ministers, community leaders and people from all walks of life here.   We love playing sport together, but we also look after our members, their families and the whole community.”

The main support that Hui E! has been able to provide, Tavai says, is in experienced fundraising assistance.  “The problem that we have is that we don’t have the capability within our team to write those funding documents ourselves, and Hui E! was able to connect us with providers who could help.  They also offered us the opportunity to be a part of their wider services through participation in things like industry surveys.”

The Academy’s aspiration is to keep offering events and activities to support Auckland’s Pasifika community, Tavai says, with ongoing efforts to expand the services which keep their members and their whānau connected, healthy and moving.  They also hope to build up their digital presence in the months ahead by establishing some online channels to offer their community additional support.  “It’s just one more way to work together,” Tavai says.  “We love working with other groups in the community to extend our services and our mission to more people in Aotearoa.”

The hard mahi continues, Tavai says, with ongoing fundraising efforts continuing to support their growing programme and community impact.  With Hui E!’s continued support, he says that the vision for Aute Pasifika Sports Academy’s future is big.  “We have events every week, but we also have plans for the club for tomorrow and the future; we are not raising money so we can sit down and relax.  We are people who love working and building the community.  Every week, every dollar that gets contributed allows us to grow for the benefit of the wider community.”