News Release

Pacific Leaders Discuss Ways to Help Individuals, Families and Communities in New Zealand and the Region

Elder Ian S. Ardern, Pacific Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder K. Brett Nattress, First Counsellor in the Pacific Area Presidency, met with Hon Aupito William Sio on Tuesday 30 March in Auckland.

Hon Aupito William Sio is the Minister for Pacific Peoples and Minister for Courts. He is also the Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister of Education (Pacific Peoples), Associate Minister of Justice, and Associate Minister of Health (Pacific Peoples).

The discussion covered a range of topics including some of the challenges being faced by households and communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand and neighbouring nations and territories in the South Pacific, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Area Presidency and Hon Aupito William Sio 31 March 2021.
Area Presidency and Hon Aupito William Sio 31 March 2021.
Left to right: Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita; Elder Ian S. Ardern; Hon Aupito William Sio; Elder K. Brett Nattress. 31 March 2021. Auckland, New Zealand.© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

As the leaders discussed the needs of many people struggling with poverty, health challenges, job losses and other difficulties due to the pandemic, Elder Ardern and Elder Nattress shared information with the Minister about the Church’s humanitarian efforts locally and globally, and its self-reliance courses which are available, free of charge, in many parts of New Zealand and the South Pacific.

After the meeting, Elder Ardern said, “It is wonderful to be able to meet with government leaders such as the Honourable Aupito Sio and to learn from them and to share with them the efforts being made by members of the Church to be supportive citizens. Comparatively, the Church is small but our trust in the Lord and the faith of the members is significant, and with that trust and faith we seek to lift others both spiritually and temporally.”

Speaking of the Honourable Aupito Sio, Elder Nattress said, “We are grateful for his and many other government officials’ efforts to serve communities, families and individuals. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to partner with other churches and charities to lift the poor, the unwell, and the vulnerable. The Saviour set the perfect example of bringing hope and peace to all mankind. As followers of Christ, we too can make a difference as we serve and help one another.”

After his visit Hon Aupito Sio commented about the meeting on his Facebook page.

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