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National Executive 2021-2023

At the annual National Conference and AGM held in Christchurch April 16-18 2021,  the members elected a new National Executive Committee to lead the organisation for the next 2 years.

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Rev Alofa Lale

Rev Alofa Lale is a first generation NZ born Samoan, who was born in Wellington and grew up in Cannons Creek, Porirua. She is the eldest daughter of Letoa Levine and Galumalemana Vaotupuo Samoa Ta’ase.

 

Alofa is a trained Primary school teacher who also taught at secondary level and has over 15 years’ teaching experience. In 1999-2002 she was the Pacific Liaison Officer at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW).  In 2003 Alofa and her husband moved with their young family of three children to Dunedin to train for Presbyterian Church ministry at the School of Ministry, Knox College. In 2007 Alofa was ordained minister of Otago Peninsula Presbyterian Parish and ministered there until 2015 when the parish was dissolved.  From July 2016 to the present day Alofa is the current Mission Coordinator at Mercy Hospital, Dunedin.  She originally joined Porirua PACIFICA with her mother in the 1970s and rejoined PACIFICA in 2017 and since then, has been Dunedin Central Branch's President.

 

Rev Alofa believes, “There is a beauty and richness in our Pacific women that is unique. I want to affirm this uniqueness and encourage our women to be comfortable in their own selves. Let’s value our uniqueness to forge new pathways into the future whilst never forgetting where we come from. We are women of the moana. We are PACIFICA.

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Maureen Tukaroa-Betham

Kia orana tatou katoatoa i te aroa maata o te Atua. I am a proud Maori Kuki Airani Vaine Toa, who has been an active  P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. Inc. member for over 12 years through the Wellington Central Branch (WCB). I have previously held WCB executive positions of Assistant Secretary and President.

 

I have been married to my college sweetheart for 35 years and we have been together for 38 years. We currently live and have both been raised in Porirua. Toku tane, tamariki, kopu tangata, peu, e reo noku - are all very important parts of my life.  I am the eldest daughter (1 of 6 tamariki; 1 of 2 tamaine). My late parents were Elizabeth (Peta) Akanoa  Tukaroa of Puaikura, Rarotonga/Tumutevarovaro & Taura Atua o te maka Tukaroa of Areora, Atiu/Enuamanu.

I work at the Ministry for Pacific People’s as the Director Regional Partnerships Central and have been in this role for close to six years. The CVP role will be complimentary to my own, and will enable me to continue to build on the relationships I have already forged in this region. My vision for this Central Vice-President (CVP) role is to strengthen and grow the Central region branches/members for our Pacifica Vaine - Vouvou, Mama, mature and young alike!

‘Te maata i taau ka oronga ko te maata rai ia i taau ka rauka.’ - The more you give the more you receive.  Kia orana e kia manuia 

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Saunima'a Josephine Sasa

Saunima’a Josephine Sasa hails from Wellington.  Her father is from Apia and mother from Papa Sataua, Savai’i – Samoa.  She’s a proud mum of 2 amazing young people – Malachi and Lana.  Saunima’a has worked in the health sector for a number of years as a NZ Registered Nurse and Pacific Advisor to the MoH National Screening Unit. 

 

During the initial Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown, she was a Nurse responder at the CBAC stations across Auckland and also helped out at the new South Auckland Covid vaccination clinics.  She is currently an Academic Nurse Lecturer at the Manukau Institute of Technology and enjoys teaching and training the future Pāsefika nursing workforce.  

 

Saunima’a became a member of Pacifica Manukau branch in 2016 and held positions of branch President from  2017 - 2018, 2019 to April 2021 and  Vice President 2018 -2019. She is proud to have served in these positions alongside a strong executive team to empower and enable Pasefika women to achieve their dreams and aspirations. 

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Melissa Lama

Melissa was born in Auckland and raised in Christchurch since the age of 3 and calls Otepoti Dunedin home for the past 4.5 years. Melissa is of Tongan descent and a proud mother of two boys ages 10 and 8. 

Melissa is currently studying towards a Doctorate Business and Administration focusing on Foreign policy.

 

Melissa joined at a time when she felt she had no voice and was not being heard and it was the ladies from PACIFICA who helped her to come into her own.

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Savieta Lea

Currently living in West Auckland, Savi as she is liked to be known, has alot of experience in working with young people from all over Auckland but particularly from Central Auckland where Vaiola (Tama'ita'i o le Vaiola) PACIFICA branch in Onehunga is located.   You may know Vaiola as Vinnies (St Vincents).

Savi is of Tongan descent and is a great role model for young Pasifika women not only as the PACIFICA national youth representative and also in the roles she plays in her job and with her personal connections.

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Marie Schmidt

Marie Schmidt is Samoan, Tongan and a proud member of the PACIFICA West Auckland Branch.  She has held former positions of Secretary for the Whitireia Branch in Porirua, National Communications Officer (2017) and Assistant National Treasurer (2020) for the National Executive. 

 

Marie is a working group and komiti member on the Auckland Government Women’s Network (AGWN) and has been co-opted on the committee for the Porirua Pasifika Community Patrol. She has worked for the Ministry of Social Development for 34 years and is currently a Principal Advisor in the Maori Partnerships and Community team in the Ministry. 

 

Marie's daughter Tyla and three grandchildren are Samoan/Māori and they live in Porirua.

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Natia Tucker

I'm a proud New Zealand-born Samoan and call both Papauta, Apia and Papatoetoe, Auckland home. A founding member of PACIFICA Manukau, I've been branch secretary for the past three years and thrive in the sisterhood that PACIFICA offers.

 

I work in capacity building for Pacific organisations and help mainstream organisations better serve their Pacific clients. I am an experienced community capacity and capability builder with a strong focus on collaboration and equity. I actively seek to understand community aspirations and work collaboratively to empower their achievement. I have specialist knowledge in injury prevention, community engagement, working on complex strategic initiatives, and facilitation. 

 

My elder daughter, Leina, is in her final year of medical school, my younger daughter, Sophia, is in her first year of university, and I have just graduated with a Masters of Philosophy with my thesis 'Tātou o tagata folau. Pacific development through learning traditional voyaging on the waka hourua, Haunui'.

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Former National Communications Officer and National Secretary

We thank our former National Communications Officer, Marie Laufiso and National Secretary, Leitu Tufuga for their contribution towards the work of the National Executive in 2021 and 2022.

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