Championing more Pacific in STEM

posted: 9:00 pm - 28th February 2020
86267762 3091695574194033 6657809434674200576 n

(Picture caption: Toloa Award recipients have been congratulated at a ceremony in Porirua. Another ceremony will be staged tonight in Auckland, for Northern recipients.)  

Greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers is at the heart of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Toloa Awards. 

Eight Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarship recipients have been announced, with Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio championing these advocates and high achievers in various areas of STEM. 

“The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples to embrace with confidence the learning and career pathways in STEM that can lead to more fulfilling and more prosperous lives,” Minister Sio says. 

“Our approach for Pacific peoples is a whole-of-community approach, with greater participation by Pacific in the Toloa Programme, helping to address the long-term challenges of only two per cent of the Pacific workforce involved in STEM careers.” 

The Toloa Awards recognises both individual talent and community achievement, while celebrating the advancements made by New Zealand’s Pacific peoples in this vital sector. 

Recipients of the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships represent some of the best Pacific talent, studying some of the world’s most advanced sciences and technologies. 

“They are our new intake of Pacific innovators, creators, designers and explorers,” Minister Sio says. 

“New technologies are transforming the way we live and do business, and I’m keen to encourage more Pacific graduates towards playing a bigger role in the Pacific region so they can play their part in tackling the global challenges of climate change; a real and ominous threat to our Pacific home countries and communities.” 

The Ministry aims to grow our awareness and demystify STEM subjects, as well as increase interest and participation through the Toloa Programme, so diverse communities will embrace STEM subjects with confidence. 

This is why the Toloa Community Fund is so integral and important, the Minister adds. 

Eight Community Fund recipients provide vital courses to our Pacific youth and their communities, to deliver innovative and culturally inclusive ways that are safe, fun and inspires our communities to realise their fullest potential in the digital space. 

Meanwhile, established STEM providers continue to generate sparks of interests with Pacific young children by making learning fun and innovative through the Kenese Programme. 

“I want all our young people to make the most of their individual talents and with the support of their families and our Community Fund recipients, Pacific youth will have the best chance to prosper, grow and navigate the STEM world,” Minister Sio says. 

Toloa Award recipients have been recognised at a ceremony in Porirua last week, and Auckland tonight (March 2). 

During the next few weeks, MPP will be profiling the Toloa Awards recipients. 

Toloa Community Fund Recipients 2020 

Northern Region: 

Fale Pasifika Te Tai Tokerau 

Good Seed Trust

Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust 

South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence (SPPEEx) 

Faith City Trust Board 

Central Region: 

Atafu Tokelau Community Group Incorporated 

Pasifika Vision Forum Charitable Trust 

Amanaki STEM Academy  

Toloa Tertiary Scholarship Recipients 2020 

Northern Region: 

Leilani Stowers (AUT)

Bachelor of Engineering 

Filomena Vaimasenuu (UOA)

Bachelor of Science, Biological & Marine Sciences 

Luke Fitzpatrick (UOA)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) 

Zanetta Toomata (UOA)

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) 

Aisea Fanamau (UOA)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering 

Joshua Simmons (UOA)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) 

Valerie Lui (UOA)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Engineering 

Pepe Rahui-Toru Mosby (UOA)

Conjoint Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering & Law 

Jalesi Nakarawa (UOA)

Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering 

Anunson Ott (UOW)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) 

Southern Region: 

Piper Mortimer (UOC)

Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) 

Kiriana Andrew (UOC)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) 

Mia Uluiletata (UOC)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) 

Toloa Kenese Providers 

Northern Region - Kids Coin 

Central Region - Capital E 

Southern Region - Turanga Va Pasifika Group and Partners