Keynote Speakers

Riki Welsh

Riki is Niuean Samoan, born and raised in Christchurch. He studied Political Science at the University of Canterbury, before beginning work there for the Pacific Development Team.

In 2010 he participated in a pacific youth parliamentary simulation held in Christchurch. After this simulation some of the participants decided to continue meeting to progress some of the ideas that were formed, and Riki was elected the first chairperson of what has become the PYLAT Council.

PYLAT is now a registered New Zealand charity whose purpose is to encourage Pasifika youth to participate in all worlds, especially democracy. The group is unique in that the trust board is made up of Pasifika young people who take care of everything such as GST returns, auditing accounts and applying for grants. Some of PYLAT’s achievements include running the first NZ wide Pasifika Youth Parliamentary simulation, making submissions to parliament on important issues such as the End of Life choice bill, hosting the Governor General to present awards to local Pasifika heroes, hosting the Christchurch Dragons Den and distributing funds for the Christchurch City Council, and much more.

Daniel Faitaua 

Daniel Faitaua is a New Zealand television news reporter of Samoan descent, currently working for One News as the newsreader on Breakfast and One News at Midday.

Faitaua is a true Cantabrian being born and bred in Christchurch, where he attended Catholic Cathedral College, later graduating from the University of Canterbury before studying at Ara at the New Zealand Broadcasting School, from which he graduated in 2009. He worked as a reporter on TVNZ’s Close Up for three years, and also served as a backup host on political talk show Back Benches before moving to the network’s main news programme.

Faitaua was involved in a support campaign for people suffering stress after the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, Address The Stress.

He is married and together with Kylie they have 3 boys.

Sela Faletolu-Fasi

Image result for sela faletolu

Sela Faletolu-Fasi is currently a Youth Worker for Oranga Tamariki. She is a true champion for young people and believes that every young person is born with a unique purpose. She co-founded No Limits while she was the Pasifika Liaison Officer at Ara Institute of Canterbury alongside her husband Silivelio Fasi. The programme uses performing arts as a vehicle for Pasifika youth voices to be heard, valued and understood. This platform allows them to connect with others and give back to the community by using the stage to powerfully address the issues that affect their ability to engage and achieve at school and in life.

Sela and her husband Silivelio are also the creators and directors of Tulou Productions, a Pasifika theatre company they started in 2017. She believes theatre is a great vehicle to therapeutically develop young people positively, and has the ability to engage people in a way that crosses socioeconomic status, generations, and culture.

Sela is a Justice of the Peace and a mother to six wildly creative and expressive children Favor (15), Victory (13), Princeton (12), Mercedes (8), Auteletoa (4), and Lapana (1). She is an advocate for mental health and wellbeing, and has learnt through her career, family, and personal journey that being ‘Ready For Change’ required being ‘Ready To Change’. As Pasifika living and working in a mainstream environment that process can be uncomfortable and both spiritually and mentally challenging. What are we willing to change, and what are the steadfast things that we can hold onto in an ever changing society?