Pacific at AUT

This is your central hub for all things Pacific at AUT. Here you will hear stories of our staff and students at AUT, discover our engagement with communities, and learn more of the research that impacts the lives of our Pacific people.

"Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us. We are the sea. We are the ocean." - Epeli Hau'ofa

News from AUT’s Pacific community

A screenshot of the video, showing islanders fishing and selling seafood in a market.

Cook Islands Language Week 2022

Science
Episode four of AUT’s 2022 Pacific Language Week Video series – AUT Focus on Sustainability – is now live.

Meet our staff: Sandra Thaggard

Health sciences
A senior lecturer in nursing, Dr Sandra Thaggard is interested in the management of diabetes, violence & abuse, and mental health issues in Pacific people.

Meet our staff: Tafili Utumapu-McBride

Education
What she loves most about her work is developing a rapport with students, says Dr Tafili Utumapu-McBride who is a senior lecturer in education.
Left to right: Linda Tran, Alex Plum, Professor Gail Pacheco.

Covid's impact on Pacific workers

Business
COVID-19 exacerbated existing disparities between NZ European and Pacific workers - particularly for Pacific women under 30 in Auckland.

Pacific staff at AUT

AUT is a vibrant, diverse and supportive organisation for work and study. You can find Pacific staff in positions of responsibility right across all professions, disciplines, schools, faculties and departments at AUT. In this section, some of our Pacific staff share their inspiring stories.

Our staff

Meet some of our Pacific students

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Mele Sikimeti Manitisa

She wants to apply her understanding of data analytics to help people, says Mele Sikimeti Manitisa who came to AUT as an international student from Tonga.
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Eteroa Tusipepa Lafaele

Technology is for people, says Eteroa Tusipepa Lafaele whose passion for educating communities about tech earned her a Young IT Professional of the Year Award.
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Jordan Salesa

It’s a privilege to be working with athletes at the top of their careers, says Jordan Salesa who has worked with some of the best athletes in the world.
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Loata Tiapapa

She has always wanted to do research tailored to addressing the needs of Pacific people, says Loata Tiapapa who is currently studying a Doctor of Education.
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Annajane Leslie Schutz

A career in engineering has always been her dream, says Annajane Leslie Schutz who came to AUT from Kiribati to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours).
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Celine Turangi

For her Master of Engineering research, Celine Turangi explored how to maintain the sharpness of osteotomes; an important tool for orthopaedic surgeons.
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Malia Latu

The importance of education was instilled in her from a very young age, says Malia Latu who came to AUT to complete a Master of Communication Studies.
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Caroline Sipili

She loves making a difference to people in need, says Caroline Sipili who now works for the South Seas Healthcare Trust’s AWHI Healthy Homes Initiative.
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Virylson Nomae

Virylson Nomae is determined to be a role model to his younger cousins and brother, and came to AUT on a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship to do just that.
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Caprice Thomas

She decided to study business to keep her future career options open, says Caprice Thomas who is completing a Diploma in Business and plans to study finance.
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Selu-Kian Faletoese

Bachelor of Communication Studies student Selu-Kian Faletoese is planning to use her understanding of film and storytelling to make a positive impact.
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Va’a Magalogo

Movies and TV shows have always amazed him, says Va’a Magalogo who is completing a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Screen Production & Radio and Audio Media.
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Stasia Wharepouri

She loved making a documentary as part of her Māori media degree, says Stasia Wharepouri who studied AUT’s Bachelor of Māori Development in Māori Media.
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Graceland Mary Ioane

She discovered her passion for helping people when she was in high school, says Graceland Mary Ioane who came to AUT to study a health management degree.
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Tara Tui

For Tara Tui, it was a personal tragedy that made her realise that she was destined for a career in nursing and inspired her to enrol in a nursing degree.

Contact details

You can get in touch by emailing pacific@aut.ac.nz.

You can also follow us on our social media channels.

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Office of Pacific Advancement

We’re committed to the advancement of the Pacific communities in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands through education, research, professional training, academic opportunities and partnerships.

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Student support

AUT offers a wide range of support through the Student Hub, and students can also be a part of the Oceanian Leadership Network. Pacific students can study or relax in the fono rooms on campus, and the Māori and Pasifika Postgraduate Student Wananga Series is a chance for postgraduate students to get together.

We also offer a number of scholarships for secondary school students, including the AUT Find Your Greatness Scholarships for Pacific students.

Visit from Samoa’s Prime Minister

AUT was honoured to host the Honourable Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa on her first official visit to Aotearoa New Zealand since becoming Prime Minister of Samoa. Fiamē joined AUT's Assistant Vice-Chancellor Pacific Advancement and South Campus, Walter Fraser, to share her insight into Samoa, leadership, the Pacific and the world.

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UniPrep programme

UniPrep is a four-week programme designed to make it easy for high school students to transition into university life. You’ll meet other high school students, as well as a wide support team of navigators who are current university students.

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