13 Mar 2019

Pacific peoples fight to find themselves in NZ's Far North

2:16 pm on 13 March 2019

The New Zealand charitable trust Fale Pasifika says Pacific people in New Zealand's far north need spaces where they can practice their culture.

Ligimamilli Pakieto Johnstone from the Fale Pasifika charitiable trust.

Ligimamilli Pakieto Johnstone from the Fale Pasifika charitiable trust. Photo: Supplied

The Whangarei-based trust was one of 16 winners of this year's Toloa Awards from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples, which encourage participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers.

Fale Pasifika's Ligimamilli Pakieto Johnstone who is Niuean-Maori, said there were pockets of Pacific communities, including people from Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tonga and Fiji, who were trying to establish themselves north of Auckland.

"Bring our culture...a place where they can practise their siva, their weaving," she said.

"Everything remotely Pasifika we want them to be able to practise. To just live in the culture and just breathe in the culture."

Group winners:

Auckland Tokelau Society Incorporated - STEM Fono

Coconut Wireless - Coding club

Fale Pasifika - STEM project workshop

Faith City Trust Board - STEM workshop

GirlBoss New Zealand - STEM focused workshop

New Zealand Tongan Tertiary Students Association - STEM Talanoa - students and parents

South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence - Engineering Expo

Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust - STEM Expo & Workshop

Vahefonua Tonga Methodist Mission Trust - Tongan Song and Animation technology development

Tertiary scholarships:

Daniel Fruean (AUT) - Doctor of Philosophy in Computer & Information Service

Sunny Tavite (AUT) - Mater of Analytics (Mathematics

Fuli Fuli (UOA) - Doctor of Philosophy in Computer & Information Science

Fiapaipai Auapaau (AUT) - Master of Science

Recipients in the central region will be rewarded when the awards are held in Wellington on March 18 while the South Island winners will be recognised in Christchurch on March 25.