Programme content and bios

Wednesday 10th October 2018

Christchurch tour guide: Daisy Lavea-Timo


Daisy Lavea-Timo is a poet, rugby league prop and producer. A black and white Samoan lens converges and in those thousand shades of grey, Daisy explores what it means to be a straddler of worlds: a kiwi-born, fluent-Samoan speaking and traditional tattoo-wielding Matai/Chief.

Crowned as the current New Zealand Slam Poetry Champion, she believes in the power of words and holding the vā/ spaces for people to share their own stories. Daisy’s poetry ciphers around talanoa/dialogues about identity, purpose and leadership.

As an intern at Regenerate Christchurch, she wrote her MBA dissertation, “Youth Speaks, Re-imagining the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor”, looking at the intersection of youth engagement and & Red Zone Futures, the biggest regeneration project in the history of New Zealand. This was a collective effort, standing on the shoulders of many giants within these youth work, business, facilitation, local government and futurist worlds.

Daisy has just started a new role as the Southern regional relationship manager for the Ministry of Youth Development.


Title: PASIFIKA RESOURCE KIT – Implementation and Evaluation phase

Presenters: Pauline Luafutu-Simpson, Ashalyna Noa and Sam Uta’i


Motivated by continuing educational disparities for Pasifika and the paucity of research around Pasifika strategies coming out of the South Island, Pasifika staff at the University of Canterbury, Ara Institute of Canterbury and Lincoln University established a collaborative research project examining Pasifika success.

With the support of Ako Aotearoa, three projects were developed to support this research. Project one, a pilot study, was completed in 2013 to test the idea. Project two resulted in the completion of a published report “Change strategies to enhance Pasifika student success at Canterbury tertiary institutions” in 2015. Project three focused on implementing and evaluating a Pasifika Resource Kit across the three institutions. A Pasifika resource kit was developed amplifying the collective Pasifika student voices from the previous project as the building blocks in the development of this resource kit.

In this presentation, the project group will provide an update on the Pasifika Resource Kit and share key participant learning areas and recommendations. It is also an opportunity to highlight the collaborative nature of the project, by sharing our experiences on how the project and Pasifika Resource Kit has been able to enhance Pasifika success at each institution.


Pauline Luafutu-Simpson
Pauline describes herself as a Samoan Kiwi having been born in Auckland but raised in Canterbury. Pauline’s parents hail from the Southern Coast of Samoa, Falealili and considers herself fortunate to have attended High School in Samoa as a teenager. Pauline has always maintained an interest in Pasifika education and aims to explore this further in her PhD study that she is currently enrolled in at UC. Pauline is Director of Pasifika Development at the University of Canterbury.

Ashalyna Noa
Ashalyna is a New Zealand born Samoan raised in Auckland and Christchurch. She works with the UC Pacific Development Team as the Kaiārahi Pasifika (Academic advisor) and is studying towards a PhD at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

Sam Uta’i
Sam is descendant of Sā Tu’u’ū & Sā Vaeafē. Born in Auckland, Sam finally settled in Otautahi/Christchurch and has been working at Ara Institute of Canterbury for the last 20 years.
An advocate for Pacific peoples, Sam has been active in Pasefika development & education and her work with women.


Thursday 11th October 2018

Title: Change is in your pocket…’funny money’

Presenter: Pale in the fale


Research (and if you ask any Pasifika student or their families) tells us that financial literacy is crucial for Pasifika wellbeing and paramount to achieving academic success.

This interactive workshop will give participants an opportunity to talanoa in a safe space about how we can prioritise our cultural obligations in order to ease the burden in managing our money. Funny money is a bit like laughing in the face of fa’alavelave adversity (cultural obligations).

Together we will unpack who we are, assess why we manage money differently and build a tool box for strategising our way into financial wellbeing.

This workshop will also update our current sponsorships and grants that are available to students.

Participants will have a take home message for communities to seek the literacy required to apply for local body, corporate and philanthropic funding to help support students to achieve in academic study.

Invest the change in your pocket – deposit in your future education!


Pale Sauni – Independent Pasifika Education Consultant, ACE Aotearoa / Ako Aotearoa

Pale is a Samoan born male educator with a social work background and has been working in the Pasfika and Maori education and health sector for over 25 years, designing, managing and advocating for organisations to bring about change.

Pale was the Pasifika Academic Manager for the College of Education, University of Auckland and the lead for Auckland University’s Success for All research.

Pale has delivered over 190 financial wellbeing workshops engaging participants in an understanding of finance through a Pasifika lens.

Pale’s is a contractor for ACE Aotearoa (Adult Education provider) and Foundation North (Philanthropic Funder) to assist and build financial capability.

Pale is a competent facilitator and you will feel relaxed and comfortable to talk about a very personal and sometimes sensitive subject.


Title: Home away from home

Presenter: Jason Auva’a


Student accommodation or Halls of Residences in many tertiary institutions have evolved over the last several decades. They have progressed from simply being a place to sleep, to environments that promote the academic and pastoral needs of students.

There are many benefits of living in a Hall of Residence yet the main challenge for Pasifika students is the cost. This presentation will outline the typical costs of living in a Hall of Residence, how the costs can be managed, and what services and benefits are provided. Feedback from the audience will be encouraged to understand how we can promote living in a Hall of Residence for Pasifika students.


Jason Auva’a – New Zealand Association of Tertiary Education Accommodation Professionals (NZATEAP)– Executive Member

Jason is of Samoan descent whose parents hail from the villages of Ti’avea and Saleilua, Upolu, Samoa.

It was a role as a Residential Advisor during his student days at Massey University Palmerston North that ultimately led to his current career working in accommodation within university halls. Having worked in this field for 20 years after working his way up to Head of Hall both at Massey University and currently a private hall of residence in Wellington, Jason has developed a pastoral care model based on pasifika values to underpin the operations of his teams. It was this work that Jason became the recipient of the prestigious Fred Johnson Memorial Award which is given to an individual in the accommodation industry who has demonstrated success by introducing an innovative or exhibiting outstanding practice. Jason believes his upbringing and a role he held part time as the Pasifika Achievement Facilitator while undertaking his Masters degree in Management helped to shape his outlook in adapting his values as a pasifika leader to help create a living environment that is safe and inclusive of all regardless of background.


Title: Lau e lava – How can Pacific learners strive for success?

Presenter: Kalo Afeaki


Te Pūtahi Atawhai (TPA) is a support service for Māori and Pacific students studying at Victoria University of Wellington. The service continually evolves to support the cohorts that come through, by offering events and workshops tailored to their needs. This year, the unit addressed the current employment needs of Pacific students by offering a “Pasifika Student Leadership and Development” evening. The aim of the evening was to connect students to key organisations who were committed to increasing their Pacific kāinga.

This presentation will highlight that Pacific students feel underprepared when transitioning from university to the workforce. It will discuss how the evening tried to address this issue, but will also argue that further work needs to be carried out by both universities and organisations, to ensure that our fānau ako are prepared for “life after uni”. Two programmes that address this need are administered by TPA, and aim to grow Pacific students as leaders in their own rights. These two programmes will be discussed in this presentation to highlight how our Pacific students are partners in their own learning and development.


I’m of Tongan, Māori and Pālangi descent. I moved to Aotearoa from Tonga to study at Victoria University of Wellington in 2012. I completed my BA in Geography and Pacific Studies in 2014, and currently work as Pasifika Success Coordinator at Te Pūtahi Atawhai, at Victoria University of Wellington.


Title: Ready for Change and Always Changing

Presenters: Riki Welsh, Viane Makalio


One of the great things being in a job where you support Pasifika students is that you have room to be creative in the way we approach the task of improving outcomes. There are a plethora of things that can be done to support Pasifika students such as providing: events for celebration and engagement; long-term programmes for academic success; and even training for academics on how to better engage Pasifika students.

Like other institutions, the University of Canterbury (UC) has trialled close to hundreds (a very relaxed guess) of different initiatives for Pasifika students, all to varying degrees of success. Some of these were not great and quickly discarded, while others were fit for purpose at one time but are no longer useful, and others yet are still very effective and continue to be used after many years. Our presentation will outline the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of the initiatives the UC Pacific Development Team (PDT) have tried for the past eight years and will also give an insight into some of the programmes we are looking at trialling in the future as we continue to learn from best practice both here in Aotearoa and abroad.


Riki Welsh

Riki Welsh is the Team Leader for Pacific Development at the University of Canterbury, having being in the role since 2016. Riki started working with the team whilst he was still a student providing pastoral care support temporarily in 2010, before becoming more permanent is 2011, being in the roles of Projects Coordinator and Pacific Advisor.

Viane Makalio

Viane Makalio is Pacific Engagement Coordinator at the University of Canterbury and has only recently joined the team in 2018 after working for the Catholic Youth Team for many years.


Title: Ako Aotearoa update on Pacific initiatives

Presenter: Kolose Lagavale


An update on Ako Pacific initiatives, an introduction to the Pacific Cultural Centredness Pathway the team have developed for Pathways Awarua, and the chance for an early glimpse at the kono of professional learning and development offerings currently under development.


Friday 12th October 2018

Workshop Title: My Grandmothers Hands

Presenter: Nina Oberg-Humphries


An informal Talanoa around my practice and drivers behind my work (Va/Colonialism/Hybridity), reflection on my time spent as a student feeling like a token and isolated as pacific person.

This is a safe space to share concerns and support one another as educators and Pacific people, during conversation everyone will be making their own EI out of recycled materials. This Ei represents the time spent together, the passing of knowledge from one to another and the endless bond and responsibility we have to the Moana as its people.


Nina Oberg Humphries is a Pacific artist of Cook Island and Pakeha heritage. Born and raised in Otautahi Christchurch, Nina studied fine arts at Massey University Wellington and at Canterbury University’s Ilam Art School. As an undergraduate Nina exhibited locally and nationally.

Last year in 2017 she was part of INFLUX curated by Ane Tonga, (St Pauls St Gallery, Auckland and Pataka Art and Museum, Wellington). As part of 2017 Scape Public art, she created Are Pasifika; an exhibition at Canterbury Museum and program of public workshops. Most recently her work features as part of Wa O Mu;, a group exhibition curated by Maia Abraham and Grace Ryder, at Blue Oyster, Dunedin.