Useful Outsiders


Trust local: lessons from Tonga

Ep. 1

We kick off with an episode that really captures what we want the series to interrogate: how can aid agencies, governments, businesses and the public, be most useful - and how do we get better at trusting locals to lead?

In this episode we look at the recent volcano eruption and tsunami that hit the Kingdom of Tonga – speakers discuss the response, how recovery efforts are going, and draw on lessons learned for the role of NZ in the Pacific.

Josie Pagani, Executive Director of the Council for International Development, in conversation with:

Finau Leveni is the Head of International Programmes at Caritas. She was formally a diplomat in Tonga, and has also worked for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. She's an expert in international and humanitarian law, and has been working on the Tongan response. Finau is one of the leading voices in our sector on development and localisation.


Melino Maka has been leading the response of Tongan families and churches to the disaster, and has worked closely with CID on a number of projects. He has sat on many boards, including New Zealand Pacific Business Council, Red Cross, and the Tongan Advisory Council. Melino is a passionate advocate for Tongan-Kiwis, and his home country. He's a well-known leader in the Tongan community in Aotearoa.


Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu is the Vice-Chair of the global Amnesty International Board, and co-founder of Navigator New Zealand, a consulting business specialising in governance and strategy. He is former diplomat and trade negotiator, and was a New Zealand observer in the recent Solomon elections. He has also worked with CID on a number of projects.

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The series is produced by CID's Communications, Events and Office Manager, Sarah King. Please get in touch if you have any questions, feedback, or ideas for future episodes and speakers.

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