Pasifika Student Success
We offer supportive environments and services for every stage of your journey, whether you’re a new student or in your final year.
The Pasifika Student Success team can help you navigate your transition into tertiary study. We foster Pasifika learning and teaching communities in an environment that is welcoming, safe, and focused on academic excellence, personal growth and wellbeing.
Study space and support
We have culturally safe places where Pasifika students can study and seek advice—check out our Pasifika study spaces on campus.
We also run study sessions for specific courses and group revision workshops during Study Week at the end of each trimester.
Our academic mentoring programme connects students at any level of study who want academic advice and guidance to student mentors who have achieved good grades. Get in touch with one of our staff to find out how it works.
Advice and holistic success
If you're in need of advice about any aspect of university life, talk us. We work within Pasifika cultural frameworks and look at every situation in the context of you as a whole. Drop in for a talanoa.
Meet the team
Manager, Pasifika Student Success
Aaron is of Samoan and Niuean descent and a graduate of both The University of Waikato and Victoria University of Wellington. His role is to manage and lead the operations of the Pasifika Student Success team. University is an incredible time of growth and challenge for the students that the team will support. Aaron’s main challenge to students is to put in hard work over the next 3 to 5 years as this will have a major influence on the rest of their lives.
Senior Transition and Engagement Adviser
Jenny hails from the beautiful city of opportunity Porirua. She is passionate about serving and journeying with intelligent, aspiring and motivated young Pasifika leaders at Victoria University of Wellington who have a great destiny and purposeful lives ahead of them. She manages the 200/300 Academic Mentoring programme in Humanities, Education, Music and Commerce.
Pasifika Mentoring Coordinator
Fabie is the daughter of Auva’a and Fara Masoe from the villages of Asau, Safune, Salelologa, Sa’anapu and Alafua, Samoa and completed her Bachelor of Arts (Samoan Studies, Pacific Studies and Cultural Anthropology) at Victoria University of Wellington. She is a strong advocate for Pasifika success and is committed to increasing and improving Pasifika engagement, retention and completion. Fabies manages the 100-level Academic Mentoring programme.
Pasifika Outreach Adviser
Johnson Ofisa Taeao is a proud Samoan, born and raised in Lower Hutt, Wellington. His parents are from the villages of Falevao, Saleaula, Falealupo, Falelatai and Saipipi. Ofisa has a Bachelor of Music and a GDip Teaching (Secondary) as well as a wealth of experience in the senior secondary school sector and up to date knowledge of NCEA and university preparedness. Ofisa leads our Pasifika Outreach programme to build relationships predominantly with schools in the greater Wellington region that have high Pasifika student populations and have engaged positively with the Outreach programme in the past. He will also build strong relationships with academic and professional staff across the university.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Humanities and Education
Sera was born in Fiji and migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand at the age of six. She is from Lau and Gau.
University is like learning a new language. Sera’s role is to guide Pasifika students, as they learn the University language.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Commerce and Health
Kalo is of Tongan, Māori, and Pālangi descent, with her Tongan roots coming from Tofoa, Tongatapu, and Ha’ato’u, Ha’apai, her Māori roots coming from Ngāti Kahungunu te Wairoa, and her Pālangi roots coming from Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. Kalo grew up in Tonga and moved to Aotearoa in 2012 to study at Victoria University of Wellington. Her work at the University has been underpinned by her own tertiary journey, as she understands the challenges associated with university study. Kalo lives her life through the proverb ‘oua lau e kafo, lau e lava—do not dwell on your trials, strive instead for success. Pasifika students face their own trials, but Kalo’s challenge is to never give up, and to always strive for success.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Law
Purcell is a Pasifika Engagement Adviser who provides holistic support to Pasifika law students attending Victoria University of Wellington. Originally from Hastings, Purcell moved to Wellington in 2013 for study. He has a conjoint LLB and BCom from Victoria University of Wellington and his main aim is to support all Pasifika law students to ensure that they stay and achieve.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Science and Engineering
Teneya is Samoan from the villages of Fasiso’otai and Leulumoega. She has a BSc (Marine Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity) and a Master of Science in Society. In her role as the student engagement adviser, she wants to increase the Pasifika students doing Science and desires to inspire our Pasifika community to strive for success.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Architecture and Design
Lionel is the Pasifika Engagement Advisor for the Faculties of Architecture and Design (FAD). He is a Samoan, with his family coming from Faleu, Manono and Salelologa, Savaii. He has a Masters in Design Innovation (MADE) majoring in Industrial Design. In his role as the student engagement adviser, he wants to increase the Pasifika students success at FAD, creating future Pasifika Designers, Architects and Creatives all in their respected disciplines offered by Victoria University of Wellington.
Māori and Pacific Island (MPI) tutorials
Our Māori and Pacific Island tutors provide tutorials for selected courses that work through the content of the course while providing an interactive and safe, family-oriented learning environment which is beneficial for Māori and Pacific Island students. Many of the tutors are Māori or Pasifika themselves, and all have previously succeeded in the courses that they tutor. Many of the MPI Tutorials can be attended instead of or alongside mainstream tutorials, to give you a great start. MPI Tutorial signups happen in your specific course in week 1–2 of each trimester, so get in quick!
More support staff
More student support
The University offers a range of student support services to help you succeed academically and make your experience a positive one.