Ministry for Pacific Peoples — Unsung heroes honoured at SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards Unsung heroes honoured at SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards Skip to content

Unsung heroes honoured at SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards

Unsung heroes honoured at SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards

  • 17 Oct 2022
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(Picture caption: The Ministry for Pacific Peoples Pacific Community Leadership Award recipients, David Latu and Hana Halalele, flanked by Acting Secretary for Pacific Peoples Tuaopepe Abba Fidow, left, and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, far right.)    

Oamaru’s Hana Melania Halalele and Hamilton’s David Latu were among 13 stars honoured at the 2022 SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards, staged at Trusts Arena in West Auckland. 

The duo was presented with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Pacific Community Leadership Award, by Pacific Peoples Minister Hon Aupito William Sio on Friday night.   

This category recognises Pacific people – often unsung heroes - who lead community organisations in any field, which strengthen Pacific communities. 

Hailing from Oamaru, Hana established Oamaru Pacific Island Network alongside long time mentor Frances Oakes as a forum to support inter-agency collaboration for initiatives to support Pacific in Waitaki. 

Over the past two years she has helped to transform a voluntary grassroots community organisation to developing a social service arm that delivers a range of social services for Pacific and the wider community in Waitaki. 

The organisation has led a team to deliver its own COVID-19 Outreach Vaccination team. 

Hana has also just been re-elected as Councillor for Waitaki District Council. 

Fellow recipient David Latu was awarded the Community Leadership Award for his work during the pandemic. 

He oversaw the Best MIQ facility in Aotearoa - JetPark in Hamilton. 

David was always looking for new ways to show his Pacific talents for sharing, caring and leading the way for helping people cope with managed isolation as returning New Zealanders and critical workers. 

He did  this with a big heart, and with huge empathy and understanding, and he was always working with others to deliver celebratory food for special days in isolation including Easter and Christmas. 

David even arranged a brass band to play Christmas carols for returnees on the back of a truck outside his facility this past Christmas. 

Over 400 people attended the 7th SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards celebrating Pacific achievers and contributors in Aotearoa, across seven categories. 

SunPix General Manager Taualeo’o Stephen Stehlin says the team are grateful for the support of the sponsors and the community, without whom we could not celebrate these wonderful people. 

Recipients of the 2022 SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards:  

  • ProCare Top Pacific Nurse: Imelda Rokoua
  • Ministry of Education Pacific Education Award: Le’ausālilō Dr Sadat Muaiava and Emeritus Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pacific Enterprise Award: ‘Anau Mesui Henry and Laura Keil-Hall
  • Pasifika Futures Pacific Health & Wellbeing Award: Dr Soana Muimuiheata and Tofilau Talalelei Taufale
  • LeVa Pacific Emerging Leadership Award: Vaiola Tauti and ‘Alakihihifo Vailala
  • Te Pātaka Whaioranga Pharmac Pacific Service Excellence Award: Moana Connect and Mana Moana
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples Pacific Community Leadership Award: Hana Melania Halalele and David Latu 

Visit the SunPix Awards website for more information.