National President, Bernadette Pereira
Bernadette is a well-respected and loved community protagonist and leader with a lifelong passion for supporting Pacifica, giving voice to community and driving the development of women in the Pacific region. She was the inaugural President of the PACIFICA Manukau Branch (only four years old) and has done a fantastic job leading this young Branch.
Bernadette comes from a long maternal line of strong Samoan women from Lufilufi, Malie, Iva in Savaii and Fagamalo. Bernadette started her career in women’s development and race relations in the Pacific, including leading women’s delegations to the United Nations.
In Auckland, Bernadette has championed community led initiatives South-Side, held governance roles on a number of community, government and health boards, and is still a long-standing board member of South Seas Pacific Healthcare, Otara. Bernadette’s work in advisory and management roles, over the years, in both local Government and Corrections, have kept her experience relevant in service delivery, policy development and community.
Bernadette is married to Antoine Xulue, Kanak from New Caledonia, and a proud mother to Joseph. Bernadette says leading PACIFICA is like holding all her passions in the palm of her hand – women’s development, PACIFICA, community and leading from the heart.
“Being elected is humbling and with God’s blessing I will serve Pacific women steadfastly. My vision for PACIFICA aligns with the samoan proverb ‘So’oso’o tau’au mo le lumana’i’ translated for this work means to meet the needs and aspirations of our PACIFICA women, their families and community – step by step – by and for each other.”
Northern Vice President, Anna Senio
Anna was born and raised in Kingsland, Auckland to Samoan migrant parents from Pata Falelatai, Upolu and Iva, Savaii.
Anna is a former New Zealand Silver Fern and Samoa Netball Representative. She is married to Kevin and they have four daughters. After being a stay at home mum which included being in France for seven years, Anna decided to reconnect with her local community.
Anna is a founding member of the newest PACIFICA Branch – West Auckland launched in March 2016. Anna is Branch secretary. She is currently working in customer service, property management and looking to launch her own small business.
Anna is excited about her new role as Northern Vice President and looks forward to working alongside branches from Northland to Bay of Plenty and offering her full support.
Central Vice President, Dr Aliitasi Sua-Tavila
Dr Aliitasi Su’a-Tavila is proud to be Samoan and is a person who demonstrates leadership in everything she puts her hands to. She is a founding member and current President of the PACIFICA Whitireia Branch in Porirua.
One of her primary roles as Vice President Central is to support and oversee the functioning of six PACIFICA branches from the Hawkes Bay to the Wellington region. Aliitasi is passionate about gardening, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
South Island Vice President, Alex Tino
Although born and raised in South Auckland, Alexandria (Alex) now calls Christchurch home and has lived there for nine years. Alex is part Samoan and one of her mother’s family village is Togafuafua located in Apia.
Alex became a registered member of PACIFICA this year and is the Christchurch branch’s assistant secretary. Alex has been married for 13 years to a wonderful Samoan man and has three beautiful children aged 11, 8 and 2.
Alex is currently working doing her PhD in biomedical science and is passionate about her culture, family, her research and P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. Her desire is to see more Pacific peoples, especially women, studying subjects like science and Pacific health research.
National Secretary, Ellie Lavea
Ellie Lavea is a proud member of the PACIFICA Manukau Branch and prior to that was amember of the Auckland Central Branch. Her reasons for accepting the secretary role stems from her passion to help her Pacific community. She backs her experience for this role with a strong customer service and administration background at all levels from 26 years working in the banking sector and coupled with a range of skills in particular, excellent relationship management skills.
Ellie is Samoan and her parents are from the villages of Safotu and Sapapali’i on the beautiful island of Savai’i, Samoa. Born and raised in Auckland Ellie is the youngest of three and she has two beautiful 4 legged twins Elemoni and Timoni (felines) running around the house.
National Communications Officer, Marie Schmidt
Marie is a proud Westie raised in Henderson, West Auckland where most of her family still live. Marie now lives in Cannons Creek, Porirua (Ptown). Despite having lived in Wellington for 19 years, she remains a strong BLUES rugby supporter.
Marie has worked for the Ministry of Social Development for 29 years and is currently the‘Lead Advisor Pacific’ at Head Office. She works with an extensive network of Pacific providers and Pacific communities from around the country.
When she is not working, Marie voluntarily delivers the Le Va FLO Talanoa suicide prevention workshops for Pacific communities in Wellington, spends as much nana time with her mokos and takes Mia the family dog to off-leash dog parks around Wellington. One item on her bucket-list is to study for her Masters of Theology. God is good!
National Treasurer, Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki
Anahila is a Tongan New Zealander, hailing from Hofoa, Niua and Kolovai of Tonga. Anahila is married with four children and six grandchildren.
Anahila is a Senior Executive at the Ministry of Social Development in Wellington and brings over 20 years as a public servant working in Statutory Social Work Leadership and management.
Anahila positively connects in community engagement and development as a Justice of the Peace, Trustee of New Horizon for Women’s Trust, Vice-President NZ Tongan Rugby Football Association. Anahila also hosts the Radio Tonga of Aotearoa Saturday morning breakfast show, broadcasting from 1593AM in Auckland.
Anahila, an alumni of Leadership New Zealand, holds a Bachelor of Social Work and she is in her final year of study towards Masters of Educational Leadership at AUT University.
National Assistant Treasurer, Ashalyna Noa
Ashalyna is a New Zealand born Samoan, raised in Auckland and Christchurch. Her family come from the villages of Safotu, Savalalo (Apia) and Lepa.
Ashalyna is a member of the Christchurch Branch and has a passion to work with Pacific families and communities. She is also a proud trustee and foundation member of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) Council who support Pasifika youth to participate in democracy and access leadership opportunities.
Ashalyna is currently working with the UC Pacific Development Team and studying towards her PhD at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.
National Youth Representative, Maungaosavai’i Feagaiga-Fagasa
Maugaosavai’i was born and raised in Invercargill and now lives in Auckland. She is Samoan/Maori and loves to embrace her culture in every way possible. Maugaosavai’i has a strong passion for serving in the community, hence the reason for her studies in becoming a Police Officer.
Maugaosavai’i is part of the PACIFICA Manukau branch and is a founding member of theManukau youth group ‘Ignite’. She is extremely humbled and enthusiastic about her new role as the National Youth Representative and intends on making a cultural connection for all young people.
Maugaosavai’i aims to explore new and relevant ways to keep the youth involved and connected as well as maintaining a high standard of excellence for her 5 sisters and young son. Maugaosavai’i is eager to see and be part of what this challenge has to offer.