The Gladiators of Change programme aims to turn tough fathers - and now mothers - into encouraging and understanding parents.Click through for the whole article.
Initiated by the Anglican Trust for Women and Children in Otahuhu, the event has been running for three years but tonight will be the first time a session aimed at mothers will be part of it.
Mr Tuitasi - who has been managing the Ministry of Social Development's Pacific Youth Development Strategy for the past two years - says the Gladiators event is about changing the view among Pacific parents that being tough is the way to raise children.
"A lot of Pacific kids are just scared of their parents. That's not good.
"There's been cases of parents saying: 'You will pass [exams] or else' and when they fail, the kid looks at it, is scared and hangs himself in the garage.
"Gladiators is about building relationships with your kids so they feel safe to approach you with their issues," Mr Tuitasi said.
The event - held at Otahuhu College - will address traditional cultural views and expectations on children as young Pacific Islanders growing up in New Zealand.
Around 500 men turned out to last year's event - which was originally aimed at changing tough attitudes of Pacific fathers.
But the programme has been expanded to include Pacific mothers and tonight Unitec's Linda Aumua will take to the stage.
The Anglican Trust for Women and Children does some great work in the community around family issues, and I hope this event is a great success for them.