Ministry for Pacific Peoples — PMPYA recipient shares Pacific values with the corporate world  PMPYA recipient shares Pacific values with the corporate world  Skip to content

PMPYA recipient shares Pacific values with the corporate world 

PMPYA recipient shares Pacific values with the corporate world 

  • 30 Jan 2023
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As 24-year-old Vaofusi Salvis Laurenson (pictured with “supermum” Miriam Laurenson) goes about everyday life, he unapologetically ensures Pacific perspectives and values are front of mind.

Samoan-born Salvis is one of nine recipients at the 2022 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards, collecting the Commercial and Corporate category at the ceremony in Wellington last December.

Sponsored by Deloitte, the category award recognises a young Pacific person who has shown significant academic achievement or business activity in the fields of commerce, accounting, marketing and/or international business. 

Now in his final year of studying a conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and  Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Auckland, Salvis says his journey has paved the way for his younger siblings, aiga and peers.  

“Things like winning this award make the grand sacrifice my parents had to make in moving over from Samoa with our family of 11 all the more worthwhile,” he shares. 

“My siblings are just as motivated as me and it is an awesome feeling.”

Although kept busy completing two degrees, Salvis is also a Transformation Intern at PriceWaterHouseCoopers and works as the head business Tuakana tutor at his university campus, the fulltime studies and work keeping him  grounded and rooted in what really matters.

What really matters to Salvis is the dream of becoming a chief advisor at Government or a Pacific partner at one of the Big Four, he says.

“ I hope my consulting skills will continue to develop as I intend to bring the unique but much-needed Pacific perspective to the table and relevant in government decisions.”

Upholding Pacific and specifically Samoan values in all aspects of life is important to Salvis, who says Gagana Samoa and his culture are part of who he is. 

“This award has helped me gain official recognition for championing my Pacific culture.

“I have a vision of sharing Pacific values with the rest of the world…as well as being meaningful to our people, Pacific ideology and values present solid solutions to modern issues.” 

Salvis says the PMPYA he received will provide him with access to financial and professional resources, which will support him on his career journey. 

“Working and studying full time - as well as keeping up with the demands of family, local and church responsibilities - is very hectic. 

“This award will pave the way for my professional development and provide financial support at the same time: both crucial elements easily lost in the midst of a chaotic schedule.” 

Visit the MPP website for more information on PMPYA.