Apollo Taito

Apollo Taito

Doctor of Health Science

As a multi-cultural society, New Zealand benefits from different cultural perspectives when it comes to governance and leadership. It is this idea that has informed Apollo Taito’s doctoral research in the field of healthcare.

“I’m researching how Pacific mental health leaders manage their specific form of leadership within a District Health Board setting.

“The subject is something that resonates with me as I’m familiar with the ongoing challenges and rewards of balancing one’s own Pacific values within a mainstream non-Pacific environment. Pacific values can certainly be integrated into existing systems, and I aim to describe and understand what these leaders’ experiences are.”

Challenging terrain
Apollo is a recipient of the Postgraduate Fees Scholarship (Health and Environmental Sciences), and this has helped fund his studies while working part-time as a soldier in the New Zealand Army. He says the support he receives from his wife, AUT and his supervisors has been integral to his success.

“Initially, I was nervous about the commitment to doctoral study. My supervisor Dr Roz Sorenson and the head of department, Professor Liz Smythe, reminded me to start only when I truly felt ready. It’s a well thought-out programme, and very supportive.

“I could never have started doctoral study if my wife wasn’t okay and on board. My advice to others is to ensure everything is sound at home and work. You also need to be flexible and breathe.”

A different approach
Apollo’s connection with his research topic and his supervisors runs deep. He says that a passion for your subject will help keep you motivated.

“My supervisor and her team are fantastic. They keep the programme interesting and appealing. You certainly don’t get many programme heads at other universities who email you supportive messages and inspirational poetry during your doctoral studies. I love it and appreciate it.”