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.
Under level 2 of COVID-19, the Pasifika Student Success team are continuing to engage with Pasifika students using various online platforms, such as Zoom, email, phone, Facebook and Instagram. While Aaron Nonoa is the primary contact for Faculty Managers and Associate Deans, School Managers and Course Coordinators liaise directly with the relevant PSS team member.
The Pasifika Student Success team will be based at Pasifika Haos from Wednesday 20th May. The Haos will remain closed to Pasifika students unless they have a pre-booked appointment with one of our staff in the space. A roster of staff presence within the Haos will be made available to Pasifika students via email.
Academic mentoring and Pastoral/Holistic Programmes
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.
If you're in need of pastoral care and advice about any aspect of university life, talanoa with us. We work within Pasifika cultural frameworks and look at every situation in the context of you as a whole.
Under level 2 of COVID-19:
- All Mentoring and Pastoral/Holistic support are online via Zoom, email, Facebook and Instagram. Please note new applications for Mentoring are unavailable.
- PSS are continuing to ensure that Pasifika students have access to devices with applicable software and internet at home so they can fully participate in online learning.
- The team are also contacting Pasifika students to ensure they are continuing to access the university updates and regularly checking Blackboard for relevant information about their study.
Ofisa Taeao is our primary contact for the Outreach programme. Due to the reopening of secondary schools throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand, visits to schools are being rescheduled along with suitable platforms to allow for online sessions to happen.
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.
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.
Manager Pasifika, Pacifica Student Support · Managing the Pasifika Student Success team
Academic Office · Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika
Senior Transition and Engagement Adviser
Jenny is of Samoan and Tongan descent. She hails from the villages of Salelologa, Satupa'itea and Vailoa Palauli in Savai'i, Samoa. Her Tongan roots originate from Nuku'alofa on Tonga Tapu. Jenny was born and raised in the beautiful city of opportunity Porirua. She is passionate about building communities and growing niu generations to become strong and confident leaders for our Pacific communities and the world.
Jenny manages the 200-300 Academic Mentoring and (interim) Pastoral/Holistic programmes for Pasifika students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and the New Zealand School of Music. Jenny also provides pastoral support for Pasifika postgraduate students across all faculties.
Senior Pasifika Transition Advisor
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.
Fabie manages the 100-level Academic Mentoring and (interim) Pastoral/Holistic programmes for Pasifika students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and the New Zealand School of Music.
Pasifika Mentoring Coordinator · Pasifika Student Success Team
Academic Office · Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika)
Pasifika Outreach Adviser
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 Outreach Advisor, Pasifika Student Success Team
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Humanities, Education and School of Music
Jenny Taotua and Fabie Filo are delighted to look after our Pasifika Students in the Faculties of Humanities, Education and the New Zealand School of Music.
- All 100 level students will be looked after by Fabie Filo
- All 200-300 level students will be looked after by Jenny Taotua
Their contact details are above.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Business and Governance
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.
Kalo manages the pastoral/holistic support for all Pasifika students at the Wellington School of Business and Governance
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.
Purcell manages the 100-level mentoring and pastoral/holistic support for all for Pasifika students at the Faculty of Law
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Science, Engineering and Health
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.
Teneya manages the 100-level mentoring and pastoral/holistic support for all for Pasifika students at the Wellington Faculties of Science, Engineering and Health.
Pasifika Engagement Adviser, Architecture and Design Innovation
Lionel is the Pasifika Engagement Advisor for the Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation (FADI). 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 FADI, creating future Pasifika Designers, Architects and Creatives all in their respected disciplines offered by Victoria University of Wellington.
Lionel manages the 100-level mentoring and pastoral/holistic support for all for Pasifika students at the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation.
Pasifika Engagement Advisor · Pasifika Student Success Team
Academic Office · Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika)
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!
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More student support
The University offers a range of student support services to help you succeed academically and make your experience a positive one.