The important lessons my parents taught me, were to serve my family and community, respect our elders and stay true to my values and culture. I have had a successful and rewarding career in real estate for 32 years.
My father is from Falealili and Gatavai and my mother is from the villages of
Safune & Iva in Savai'i.
My mother was a foundation member of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. From the early age of 15, I was blessed to be around our dynamic and inspirational women who had the foresight to establish this wonderful organisation.
Serving our women and our communities is my priority and helping our women have a collective voice to create pathways and build a stronger future for our young Pacific women.
It is our duty to continue the legacies our mothers worked so hard to build for us.
JULIE LEPAPA SEGI
VICE PRESIDENT NORTHERN
I am a Proud Samoan and South Auckland sister from Otara. A PACIFICA member from the early 2000s as a University student at Otago and I joined the Dunedin Central branch till I came back to Auckland, had a gap and then joined the Manukau branch from 2013.
I then branched out with a few members to start up a new branch PACIFICA Counties. I have served in Roles as Treasurer, vice Treasurer and President along the way.
I have a passion for the community, and am involved in Community Engagement, Adult Education in Digital Literacy & Mental Health.
I volunteer where I can and during the day I work as a Community Liaison in a School.
That aside, for self-care I enjoy Karaoke, fellowship with others and staycations.
VICE PRESIDENT CENTRAL
Mele Wendt, MNZM has 25 years of governance experience and 17 years of leadership/management experience. Her roles have included being a high school teacher, the founding pacific islands liaison officer and manager of domestic student recruitment at Victoria University, and then the executive director of Fulbright NZ for ten years.
Mele currently does a mix of governance and consultancy work. She is the chair of Wellington Community Trust and a board member of Te Kura (the Correspondence School), the Real Estate Authority, Tawhiri: Festivals and Experiences, and the Tokelau International Trust Fund. She provides consultancies in governance training, Pacific peoples’ development, organisational capacity building, scholarships management, and mentoring.
In 2019, Mele was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to governance, the Pacific community and women. In 2022, she won the Not-For-Profit Governance Leader Award at the Women in Governance Awards. Mele is a White Ribbon Ambassador and a member of various professional and community groups.
Mele is Samoan (Malie, Vaiala, Lefaga) and palagi (NZ, Britain), and has lived in Wellington for over 35 years. She is married to Eteuati Ete and they have four grown-up children and four grandchildren.
VICE PRESIDENT SOUTH ISLAND
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.
Dora is of Samoan descent. Her parents both hail from Samoa specifically Savaii.
Dora's father is from the village of Faagamalo and her mother from the village of Safune.
Dora was born and raised in New Zealand with her 5 siblings. She has been working in the health sector for 16 years in non-clinical Services, from Specialties to ADHB and in the past six years has been working with Te Whatu Ora Counties.
Dora's membership with PACIFICA began at the Manukau Branch six years ago and she was the co-founder of the Counties Branch which started in 2019.
"It is an honour to be selected for the National Executive Secretary role and I look forward to meeting if not exceeding your expectations for the role. Fa'afetai Lava."
Marie Schmidt's ethnicity is Samoan and Tongan. She is a proud member of the PACIFICA West Auckland Branch. She has held former positions of Secretary for the Whitireia Branch in Porirua; and for the National Executive - National Communications Officer (2017), Assistant National Treasurer (2020) and National Treasurer (2021-2023).
Marie is on the working group of the Auckland Government Women’s Network (AGWN) and has been a komiti member for the Porirua Pasifika Community Patrol since 2018. Marie worked for the Ministry of Social Development for 34 years and in February 2023 accepted an offer to work for the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Development (HUD) as a Principal Advisor Governance.
Her outside interests are staring at her idle motorbike and E-bike (lol), swimming and supporting her favourite rugby team, THE BLUES.
Marie's daughter Tyla and three mokos are Samoan/Māori/Scottish and they live in Porirua.
ASSISTANT NATIONAL TREASURER
I'm a proud New Zealand-born Samoan and call both Apia and Auckland home. As a founding member of PACIFICA Manukau, I thrive in the sisterhood that PACIFICA offers.
I work for Tautiaki Moana Coastguard New Zealand, helping Coastguard better reflect the communities it serves, especially Māori and Pasifika whānau. I am an experienced community capacity and capability builder with a strong focus on collaboration and equity. I have specialist knowledge in co-design, facilitation, injury prevention, community engagement, and working on complex strategic initiatives.
My elder daughter, Leina, is a doctor and my younger daughter, Sophia, is in her final year of university. My Masters of Philosophy thesis is entitled 'Tātou o tagata folau. Pacific development through learning traditional voyaging on the waka hourua, Haunui'.
I am honoured to serve a second term on the PACIFICA National Executive where I plan to grow our relationship with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and explore water safety initiatives in response to members' call-out at our National Conference 2023.
ESETA JULIANA SITIVI
YOUNG PACIFICA REPRESENTATIVE
Eseta Juliana Sitivi is a proud Samoan and Tongan youth member born and raised within West Auckland. Her father was born in the village of Vini Fou of Apia, Western Samoa and her mother was born in the village Pangai of Ha'apai, the Kingdom of Tonga.
She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws with the hopes of working within the Rangatahi and Pasifika Youth Courts in the future.
Outside of her studies she is currently working as a Youth Facilitator within Secondary Schools of Auckland helping youth to build mental perseverance. She also volunteers as a Youth Core Leader within her local church.
Eseta has a strong passion for the next generation which motivated her to be the National Young PACIFICA Representative.
Fabiefara Filo Masoe
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
Fabie is the daughter of Auva’a and the late Fara Masoe.
She is from the villages of Asau, Safune, Salelologa, Sa’anapu and Alafua (Samoa), has four beautiful sisters and is an aunty to eight handsome nephews.
Fabie is currently based in Wellington and she is the President for the PACIFICA Wellington Central Branch, and has been a PACIFICA member since 2015.
Fabie is the Acting Manager for the Pasifika Student Success team at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, and is also the Director for an amazing charity for at-risk children (ages 7-11) under Kids Camps New Zealand (Wellington).