Esitone Pauga (in uniform) is the highest ranking Pacific Island officer in Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Photo/ Radio 531PI.
A newly-appointed manager in Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is pushing for more Pacific recruitment.
Esitone Pauga is the Operations Capability Manager in FENZ and is currently the highest ranking Pacific Island officer in the organisation.
He says his new position allows him to be a Pacific Island role model and push to attract more Pacific people to the job.
"It's always good to go as high as you can and get into those ranks where key decisions are made," he says. "Only about 3 per cent of the fire force are Pacific."
Pauga says Pacific firefighters contribute more than just physical strength to the job.
"They bring that family focus and they make people gel together as a group," he says. "They're very supportive and encouraging and have that natural leadership."
He says Pacific firefighters are community-driven and it shines through their work.
Pauga is from the villages of Afega and Laulii in Samoa.
He's currently in Wellington working to establish the Afi Pasefika programme that he launched in 2009, which applies a Pacific lense and values to the work being done around fire safety.