Manurewa Netball Centre’s courts are packed every weekend but come Friday, the cries of players competing make way for the sounds of business Pasefika style.
The town’s Pasefika Friday Markets are part of the Project Recovery Initiative led by the ASA Foundation to support communities in the wake of COVID-19.
Food, barbecue, clothing and Pacific goods stalls stand alongside health and information services, and stalls being run by start-up enterprises, church and community groups.
An area is set aside for service providers for information desks, staffed mainly by Pacific people able to converse in several languages.
Manurewa Local Board deputy chair Melissa Atama is delighted the Browns Road courts are being more widely used.
“The sign outside says Manurewa Netball and Community Events Centre, so it’s brilliant to see more life around the venue, particularly in a way that’s led by our Pasefika community.
“As a board, we want our facilities used more. As the markets show, spaces can have more than one use. That means we don’t have to plan for multiple venues, just ones that can be many things for many people.”
She says the ASA Foundation does a wonderful job in the community.
“While it helps connect vulnerable families, community groups and churches to government agencies and providers, it’s much more than that. They did an unbelievable amount during the lockdowns and are a powerful unifying voice in our community.
“The markets are a hand-up rather than hand-out. And they also bring a little Pasefika flavour to our area, and that’s a great thing because it reflects who we are as a community.”
Stalls can be booked by calling 021 618 042. Community stalls are $30, business stalls $50 and information booths $100.