Dr Laumua Tunufa'i came to New Zealand from the small Samoan village of Afega in 1994.
Originally studying a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Philosophy, Laumua worked as a theologian for many years until 2001. He then came to AUT and began his "academic dream."
Laumua graduated from a Master of Arts (Social Sciences) in 2005 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, in 2013.
Laumua’s PhD thesis looks at the over-representation of Samoans in violent crime and the attitudes of his participants toward the New Zealand criminal justice system.
One of the key questions he asked is, ‘Are Samoans more criminogenic compared to other ethnicities in New Zealand?’
Laumua has a lot of experience working with youth around the Pacific, as a youth worker in Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and American Samoa. His passion for Samoan youth in New Zealand and seeing them succeed both academically and occupationally, is why Laumua conducted his research.
Laumua says he is very proud of completing his PhD for his family. He is happy that he has the opportunity to complete more research at AUT as a lecturer in Social Science and Public Policy.
Being from Samoa is very important to Laumua, especially in his role as a lecturer. He says he has a specific perspective which helps him to understand his students, and therefore able to support them successfully through their studies.