Our team is headed by Suzanne Menzies-Culling
Suzanne has been working as an adult educator since the early 1980s. through some groups such as the Dunedin Anti-Racism Coalition, Otepoti Black Women’s Group and Corso. During the 1980s she job-shared with her husband as Otago/Southland Regional Coordinator for Corso Inc. and was Corso’s National Coordinator from 1993 till 2000.
She was a founding member of Te Whanau a Matariki, a Dunedin based groups that was active in the Nuclear Free and independent Pacific Movement in the 1980s and 90s. From 1988 - 1997 she has been involved with the International Black Women’s Cross-Cultural Studies Institute which is headquartered in New York City.
She is also a founding member of Freedom Roadworks, a family based community group consisting of Maori, Samoan, Tokelau/Tongan, Cook Island and Pakeha families, based in Dunedin who work together on issues of justice, support for tino rangatiratanga, peace and freedom for all peoples.
Over the past 30 years Suzanne has spoken at national and international conferences and workshops on issues of justice and peace in New Zealand, issues facing the colonies of the Pacific, and of the challenges surrounding Pakeha people in their support for indigenous rights and independence. She has also worked as a Resource person for women’s meetings in the Pacific.
Suzanne is Pakeha of Irish, Scots, English and Antiguan ancestry and lives in Dunedin. As well as being a facililitator and coordinator for Tauiwi Solutions, she currently works in the Dunedin office of Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.
Anna Parker has a background in community and youth development, a broad range of experience from the international level to grassroots community building: including Human Rights work with the UN and capacity building with indigenous women in Bougainville. “My heart really belongs in Aotearoa and I have a passion for Treaty work as I understand Te Tiriti o Waitangi to be a vehicle for building peaceful relationships” Anna was a founding member and coordinator of a national youth Treaty network and has experience with Treaty education in both the tertiary and community sectors. Anna Coordinated the Peace Foundations Youth Programme for 5 years, has lectured Peace Studies at Canterbury University and most recently coordinated Dunedin’s Youth Expo.
Anna is 6th generation Pakeha of Scottish, Cornish, English, Jewish heritage and her family continues to explore their Maori whakappa on her father’s side. Anna lives in Dunedin with her partner and baby daughter and continues to do contract work in community development.
Marie Laufiso is the first of six children of Agnes (Samoan/Tongan) and Mikaele (Samoan). She grew up with PACIFICA, alongside younger sisters, cousins (also Chinese), and good friends. As the Dunedin Young PACIFICA Branch (1982-1989), Marie’s generation learnt more about politics from “the Mothers and Aunties”. Marie specialises in community development particularly “Treaty education” and is involved with a number of Trusts, advisory groups, and community organisations. Two Great-nephews make up the aiga’s N.Z.-born third generation while the second numbers 12 nieces and nephews. Of these 14, half are Tangata Whenua and 5 have Chinese ancestry. With Uso/”Sistahs” Rosalie and Manea, Marie returned to PACIFICA in 2008 at the request of Aunty Maria Kydd and Mum Eti (Dunedin Branch).