Koloa Cultural Competency Training

The Centre for Pacific Languages offers a range of bespoke services to organisations seeking to develop or improve their Pacific cultural competency. Under our cultural competency banner, we can work with you to tailor professional workshops and Cultural Competency training for a range of situations, with the goal of building cultural awareness and sensitivity.


What is Cultural Competency?

Cultural competence is the ability to understand, work with, and interact effectively with people from other cultures.

We recognise that developing cultural competency is an on-going journey of learning how to work best with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Entering into the process represents an attitude of open-mindedness based on mutual respect and a desire to learn.

Developing cultural competence means recognising our own worldview. It shows a deep understanding of the value of cultural and social norms among the people we engage with in our daily lives, both professionally and personally.


Cultural Competency Training for Workplace 


We can work with you to tailor professional development workshops and provide cultural competency training for a range of situations, eg:

  • Governance support to develop your Pacific Action Plan/ Strategy
  • Help your sales team understand how to effectively engage Pacific customers
  • Help your HR team to successfully recruit and support Pacific employees
  • Help your staff to understand how to work effectively with Pacific peoples (who often identity with multiple ethnicities)
  • Provide short, taster courses for Pacific languages (eg how to effectively greet, thank and farewell Pacific peoples)
  • Promote cultural awareness and understanding of multiculturalism in New Zealand

Benefits of Koloa Cultural Competency and Awareness Training in Workplace


Cultural competence promotes awareness of and sensitivity towards people in the workplace whose culture may be different from our own. This works to develop a sense of cultural community and helps all individuals work with each other more effectively. Our goal for Cultural Competence & Awareness Training is to help your organisation achieve cultural competency and improve workplace awareness.

  • A culturally competent workplace is more effective and efficient, as employees from different cultures can share their knowledge and skills to solve problems.
  • A culturally competent workplace leads to improved communication and understanding between employees of different cultures, which can help prevent misunderstandings and conflict.
  • A culturally competent workplace helps create a supportive environment for employees from minority cultures, which can improve retention rates.
Our Koloa cultural awareness training

We offer bespoke “Developing Cultural Competency” workshops as we understand that “competency” is a journey to understanding how best to work effectively with people of other cultures and diverse backgrounds, and that no one is every fully “competent”. We are always learning.

Cultural competence means recognising our own worldview and understanding and valuing cultural and social norms reflected in the diversity of the people we engage with through our daily lives. Culture can broadly include, but is not limited to, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religious or faith affiliation and more.

Our workshops provide participants with:

  • An opportunity to gain an understanding of diverse Pacific cultural values
  • An appreciation of the origins of the diverse Pacific people here in Aotearoa
  • Understanding of why Pacific cultural knowledge is important to Pacific communities in the places where we live, work, and play
  • Additionally, we talanoa about the differences and similarities of values, worldviews and experiences between our Pacific people who are born and raised in the Islands (now living and working here in Aotearoa) and NZ born Pacific peoples.

Our Cultural Competency Training workshops are ideally targeted at non-Pacific people and/or workplaces that have Pacific employees, or peoples & organisations that work with Pacific people and their wider communities.

The workshop is offered in a safe environment designed to give participants some practical examples of how to engage Pacific people effectively in the workplace and their communities through the work that they do.

Our bespoke Koloa cultural awareness training

Our bespoke Koloa courses provide an opportunity for deeper learning. We begin with an introduction to key concepts which are essential for successful engagement with Pacific clients and communities, businesses and organisations. Then we customise the programme, which is a facilitated Talanoa to deep-dive into what cultural competency means within your organisation, and how your team is going to respond.

Each dedicated course is short, but packed with relevant information to help develop skills and confidence. Some of the things you’re likely to learn include formal greetings, acknowledgements, blessings and farewells in professional contexts.

Following the course, you’ll have a better understanding of how to create a diverse and inclusive environment, and of your corporate social responsibility. We’ll also cover things like developing and maintaining customer relationships, enhanced staff induction, personal professional development, as well as motivation and engagement.

Book a Workshop to Develop Cultural Competency in Your Organisation

You can learn more about our cultural competency training courses and workshops. Contact Us to have a confidential conversation about your needs.

We will work with our team of cultural experts to propose content specific for your organisation and industry and supply you with a quote. Once confirmed, our team will come to you and deliver the workshop on the agreed date.

Additionally, we can deliver the workshops online.

We also include a pre and post participant survey. We want to see what the difference is to your participants knowledge, as a direct results of completing the workshop. We will then provide a summary report to you for your records.

Past and current clients include

“Noa'ia e mauri

The course completely exceeded my hopes for learning the Rotuman language. Fesaitu Solomone is not only a complete professional, she is an engaging and thoughtful instructor. She’s also a cultural expert which adds a lot of rich context to the language lessons. Thank you so much for the great work you are all doing to keep our Pasifika languages alive.

Fḁi’ȧk se’ea ”

Kathy Weber-Bates
The Rotuma Project, USA

“Our NZQA Pacer Plus team found great value in the Koloa Cultural Competency two-day training workshop facilitated by PEC (now CPL). ”

Utufaasisili Rosemary Mose
Chief Advisor Pasifika
Office of the Deputy Chief Executive Māori & Office of Pasifika

“Our team commented that it was one of the most valuable professional learning and development workshops they had participated in.”

Utufaasisili Rosemary Mose
Chief Advisor Pasifika
Office of the Deputy Chief Executive Māori & Office of Pasifika

“The PEC team provided a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment which enabled our non-Pacific staff to develop a greater understanding of Pasifika perspectives, worldviews, values and lived experiences”.

Utufaasisili Rosemary Mose
Chief Advisor Pasifika
Office of the Deputy Chief Executive Māori & Office of Pasifika

“This learning has helped our team work more effectively with Pacific Peoples in New Zealand and in the Pacific region”.

Utufaasisili Rosemary Mose
Chief Advisor Pasifika
Office of the Deputy Chief Executive Māori & Office of Pasifika

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