Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards Winners
2012 Leadership Award (sponsored by The University of Auckland) - Karina Kaufusi
Karina set out on her leadership path at a young age. When she was about 12 years old she led her intermediate school’s Tongan cultural group through weeks of rehearsals and costume-making before successfully performing at a cultural festival. She thrived on this early leadership experience and soon aspired to become a leader in her school community. At Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS), Karina led various cultural and sporting groups, co-founding the Pacific Student Committee to help raise Pasifika students’academic results. She is currently studying for a Conjoint Degree of Engineering and Commerce at the University of Auckland, where she also holds the leadership roles of Tuakana Mentor and Tuakana Tutor.
2012 Creativity Award (sponsored by Weta) - Masuaga Pati AhSue
Pati is a 23-year-old Samoan-New Zealander who graduated from the Manukau School of Visual Arts (MSVA) in 2011. Creative arts have long been a passion for Pati, with conceptual art being his main focus. Conceptual art is a form of illustration which delivers a visual representation of a design or idea before it is used in films, video games or animations. Because MSVA did not offer conceptual art as a subject, Pati decided to explore the art-form independently. He researched Weta Workshop and other industry professionals as well as delving into the art form himself.
2012 Inspiration Award (sponsored by Cogita Business Systems) – Barney Koneferenisi
Nothing has stood in the way of 18-year-old Samoan Barney Koneferenisi achieving his dreams – not even a major disability. At the age of four months, Samoan New Zealander Barney lost both his legs, his right hand and, four fingers on his left hand to meningitis. Through determination and a strong will to succeed, Barney has overcome this disability to become an integral member of the New Zealand Wheelchair Rugby Team (the ‘Wheelblacks’) and is also currently Deputy Head Boy at Papatoetoe High School.
2012 Innovation Award (sponsored by Air New Zealand Aviation Institute) – Ranamila Joji Chute
Fijian-born Ranamila is a Year 13 student at Birkenhead College in Auckland and has long been fascinated by all things aviation. He is a frequent visitor to the Air New Zealand Aviation Institute and worked at a rally-car company during his summer holidays. Outside of his passion for aviation, 18-year-old Ranamila has displayed a strong community focus through volunteer work with his local church in Northcote and work as a peer-tutor at Birkenhead College. He helped establish the volunteer organisation Storm.co with his church youth group. Ranamila hopes that the Air New Zealand Innovation award will help achieve his dream of landing an Air New Zealand apprenticeship.
2012 Mobiles4Good Award (sponsored by Vodafone NZ Foundation) - Douglas Quensell
Douglas is 23 and currently the only Tongan studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the University of Auckland. He hopes to “give back” to the Pacific community by designing a mobile cellular network that can operate in an environment containing many obstacles, such as the mountainous Tongan island of Vava’u and other Pacific areas. Through the University of Auckland South Pacific Indigenous Students group (SPIES), he has made visits to several schools in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga. He has been accepted into the Royal New Zealand Navy, where he hopes to travel to various Pacific Island nations and improve his understanding of radio communication systems and the electronic communication needs of the Pacific.