Commercial Executive, Moana Pasifika
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Coaching & Bachelor of Business in Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales
He hopes to inspire other Pacific people, says Romero Tagi who studied business and sport at AUT, and now works as a commercial executive for Moana Pasifika.
“When I graduated from university, I was the only Pacific person to graduate in my class. I realised then that my journey had only just begun and that me graduating was a just the start of the dream my grandparents had when they arrived as immigrants from Samoa in the 1960s. Now that I’ve started my career, I feel that it’s my turn to pass down the knowledge from my education and career to inspire and motivate young Pacific people.
“I love working for the first Pacific super rugby franchise, which is owned by Pacific people for Pacific people. I have a passion for working with the community, using sport as a medium to encourage positive relationships and character development.”
In addition to his busy role at Moana Pasifika, he is also the CEO of POP UP PLAY, a social enterprise he co-founded with his wife to empower communities by providing facilitated access to interactive games and activities.
Experiences and support
Romero – whose university studies were supported by an AUT-Ponsonby Rugby Scholarship for talented young rugby players – still has fond memories of his time at AUT.
“I decided to study both business and sport to give myself more options for my career. A highlight for me was the workplace experience in the final year, which gave me the skills and confidence to start my career. I managed to work my way up through volunteering and part-time work, and secured a full-time role with Harbour Sport while completing my workplace experience.”
He is grateful for the support he received throughout his studies.
“I have to give credit to Associate Professor Simon Walters, Dr Tony Oldham, Dr Sally Rae, Dr Richard Keith Wright, Gaye Bryham and Dr Michael Naylor who were key figures throughout my uni life. They have a wealth of knowledge that I was lucky enough to learn from, and they were always big advocates for me during my workplace experience and the start of my career.
“A special mention also goes to my wife Nova who really carried me during one semester where I did five courses and who was always there for me throughout my uni life.”
Advice for other students
Having graduated from AUT in 2019, Romero has some great advice for other students.
“Whatever you do, you need to have purpose and know why you’re doing it. Whether that be for your family or your own career aspirations, find your why.”
It’s okay to not always know exactly what your future pathway is, he adds.
“You don't necessarily need to know where you’re going; just know that what you’re doing today is aligned with your why. Soon enough you’ll end up where you need to be.”