Pacific Emerging Leadership Award goes to…

posted: 11:38 am - 16th November 2017
SunPix 3

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples congratulates the two winners of this year’s SunPix Pacific Emerging Leadership Award sponsored by the Ministry.

The award recognises Pacific youth leadership, with candidates aged between 16 and 23, and their valuable contribution to the Pacific community.

Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Carmel Sepuloni congratulates Tommy Ikitogia and Josiah Tualamali’i, recipients of this year’s Pacific Emerging Leadership Award.

Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Minister Jenny Salesa co-presented the SunPix Pacific Emerging Leadership Award. Minister Sepuloni acknowledged SunPix for staging such a beautiful award, along with Stephen Stehlin, Ngaire Fuata and John Utanga.

"As Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples it is a great privilege to be here to celebrate Pacific success. Such awards build on the success of first generations of Pacific people who arrived in New Zealand and worked hard for our generations today."

Minister Sepuloni thanked all the nominees and recipients of SunPix 2017 Awards for their contribution to Pacific communities in Aotearoa.

Tommy Ikitogia [AKA Tommy Nee] is a popular Niuean singer/songwriter and the freshest flavor to enter the New Zealand Music scene, grabbing attention for his original music and prestigious songwriting capabilities. Writing songs about love, struggle and everyday scenarios in well-constructed, groovy and catchy ways, RnB, Soul and Pop have definitely gained something unique.

He is influenced by all types of music, from Motown to Pop, Disco to Funk, from the Roots Rock Reggae of the East Coast to the Neo-Soul fee of inner city of Auckland.

Tommy was the recipient of the Phillip Fuemana Most Promising Artist Award at the 2017 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards. He has various special mentions in New Zealand Musician Magazines, including a 5-star review and segment in the fresh talent section, #2 Heetseekers Charts.

Josiah Tualamali’i is a 22-year-old of Samoan and European descent, currently residing in Christchurch. He is in his final semester at the University of Canterbury, studying history and political sciences.

Since 2013, at the age of eighteen, he has been the Chair of Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation [PYLAT] Council.

He was awarded the Air New Zealand Leadership and Inspiration Award, in partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the Ministry’s Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards in November 2016. His prize was a trip to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the World Health Organisation Conference. 

Early in 2017, he initiated the Pacific Youth Parliament and continues to make an active contribution to leadership with young Canterbury Pacific people.

Josiah is a strong role model in his community.

The third annual SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards recognises outstanding Pacific individuals for their services to Pacific community, as demonstrated by their leadership and their inspiration of others.

Both Josiah and Tommy acknowledged their mothers, Jenny Harland and Charene Tualamali'i for their success. Their families were extremely proud and the entire Pacific community will be watching their progress.

The Awards ceremony will be screened in a one-hour Tagata Pasifika special on Saturday 25 November 2017 at 9am on TV One.