14 Oct 2010

Ministry hopes for better links with NZ's Pacific churches

2:35 pm on 14 October 2010

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in New Zealand says it wants to build up a more strategic relationship with church leaders of Pacific congregations in New Zealand.

Its chief executive, Colin Tukuitonga, says the church is an important part of many Pacific people's lives.

But he says often in the past, when issues came up, the ministry scrambled to engage with the churches.

Mr Tukuitonga says it's hoped the time is right now for some sort of church leaders' group to be formed.

"We are just really wanting to improve that relationship so that whenever any issue comes up, immigration, health, education, we have a way of readily communicating with the church leadership."

Colin Tukuitonga says the ministry has met church leaders in Auckland this month, with another meeting due in Wellington in November.