18 Sep 2014

New Zealand university honours Samoan graduate

8:09 pm on 18 September 2014

A New Zealand university is giving one of its first Pacific graduates a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane is receiving it from Waikato University in recognition of his contributions to education in both Samoa and New Zealand.

Le Mamea graduated from Waikato with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and a Master of Arts with first class honours in English Literature.

He spearheaded the effort to provide language education for recent migrants through what is now known as the Pasifika Education Trust and led many arts councils over the years.

Le Mamea, who is currently President of the Samoa RSA and a member of the Samoa Senior Citizen Society, was taken aback by the award.

"That was 50 odd years ago and I felt, when I was told about this, I felt quite humbled and I said to myself all these years and all of a sudden I'm required to come to New Zealand for this award. I felt very honoured."

Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane.