Pacific Fono 2023

Kia orana, Noa’ia, Talofa lava, Mauri, Mālō e lelei, Tālofa, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Mālō ni and warm Pacific greetings

Welcome to the Pacific Fono 2023 Information page.

What you need to know?

The theme for the Ohu Ahumahi Pacific Staff Fono is ‘E so’o le fau ma le fau’ – this Samoan proverb relates to the strength of the fau (hibiscus tree bark) when tied together and speaks to what can be achieved when we work in unity and collaboratively.

In November 2022 – representatives of the Pacific Staff Network led by Fa’atonu Sili Pasifika/ Chief Pacific Advisor proposed a two-day Fono for Pacific Staff for February 2023.

The proposed high-level tangible outcomes for the two days are to bring the 40+ staff together in Wellington to work on the following:

  • Development of draft strategic framework for Pacific Peoples, aligned with National strategies, for e.g., Ministry of Pacific Peoples, Lalaga Fou, Pacific Employment Action Plan, Tertiary Education Strategy
  • Stakeholder mapping for Pacific Peoples Engagement across Ohu Ahumahi and identification of gaps (includes industry, community connections)
  • Development of Pacific staff repository to capture skills, expertise and networks of Pacific staff, both internal and external
  • Building of cultural capability and connections kānohi ki te kānohi
  • Strengthen the work programme of the Pacific staff network with clear pillars of focus for the next 12-18 months (aligned to the Pacific strategic framework and focus)

We have two days to pull together the draft for these outcomes and will report back to the Pacific Fono, Te Kāhui Ahumahi, Chief Executives of WDC, Councils and to staff.


Pacific Fono (Governing Board)


The Pacific Fono comprises Workforce Development Council members of Pacific heritage. The Pacific Fono is a collective voice who provides strategic leadership across Ohu Mahi.

Their purpose is to ensure that the WDC ecosystem is delivering on its obligations to help Pacific learners and their families. The combined skills lived experience and journey of each of these members is phenomenal with each of them having an inspiring story of resilience to share.

The members of The Pacific Fono are:

  • Pu’e Jerome Mika (Hanga-Aro-Rau) – Co-Chair
  • Tofilau Talalelei Taufale (Toitū te Waiora) – Co-Chair
  • Hinerangi Edwards (Ringa Hora)
  • Paul Retimanu (Ringa Hora)
  • Hinurewa Te Hau (Ringa Hora)
  • Chantelle Bailey (Waihanga Ara Rau)
  • Iani Nemani (Muka Tangata)
Total Pacific Staff 40+
Workforce Development Councils represented Ringa Hora


Waihanga Ara Rau

Home – Waihanga Ara Rau



Home – Hanga-Aro-Rau (


Toitū te Waiora

Home – Toitū te Waiora (


Toi Mai

Home – Hanga-Aro-Rau (


Muka Tangata

Home – Muka Tangata


Hāpaitia Pacific Staff
  • Magele Maria Uluilelata – Chief Advisor Pacific/ Fa’atonu Sili Pasifika
  • Eric Teokotai – Chief People Officer/ People and Culture Lead
  • Christina Hopovihi (Auckland Office Manager)
  • Josiah Pasikale (Contractor)


Ringa Hora Pacific Staff
  • Mel Harrington (GM, Partnership and Engagement)
  • Vavataga Mocevakaca (Team Administrator)
  • Zeena Khan (Pacific Transformation Lead)
  • Talia Brown (Senior Marketing Advisor)
  • Moses Alatini (Strategic Advisor Pacific)
  • Waimarama Ryan (Senior Advisor Partnership and Engagement)
  • Elkan Seaga (Industry Relationship Manager)
  • Ronal Reddy (Qualifications Development Facilitator)
  • Irene Crawford-Kaleopa (Senior Communications and Marketing Advisor)
  • Cyprus Malcolm (Executive Assistant)
  • Sione Lautaimi Niupalau (Kāiarahi – Māori)


Waihanga Ara Rau Pacific Staff
  • Hana Seumanu (Pacific Relationship Manager)
  • Kuini Saili (Relationship Manager)
  • Solomon Daniel (Qualification System Product Analyst)
  • Hanipale Galo (Senior Strategy Advisor)


Toi Mai Pacific Staff
  • Leo’o TJ Salatielu Taotua (Pacific Transformation Lead)
  • Teara Leaupepe Timoteo (Communications & Marketing Lead)
  • Mua’ausā Faga Asi (Executive Assistant)
  • Maria Aka (Relationship Manager)
  • Sasha Gibbs (Relationship Manager)
  • Arati Sudhakar (Governance Advisor)
  • Tina Tiumalu (Corporate Services Manager)


Toitū te Waiora Pacific Staff
  • Mana Leasi (Research and Insights Analyst)
  • Su’a Le Mamea Tavaga Afele Seuala (Pacific Relationship Manager)
  • Grace Malaga-Anitelea (Quality Assurance Specialist)
  • Maikali Kilioni (Vocational Pathways Advisor – Pacific)
  • Mino Ah Honi (Qualifications and Assurance Administrator)


Hanga-Aro-Rau Pacific Staff
  • Syd Reweti (Qualifications System Developer)
  • Maria Fuata (GM Corporate Services)
  • Mele Siakumi Kautoke (Research Analyst)
  • Yanah Partsch (Industry Manager)
  • Fipe Salabogi (Corporate Services Officer)


Muka Tangata Pacific Staff
  • Chevourne Taukiri (Engagement and Partnerships Manager)
  • Palemata (Mata) Lameko (Qualifications and Standards Analyst)
  • Chelsea Te Awhe-Raston (Mātanga Tohu Aro Whānui – Qualifications and Standards Advisor Māori)

The Speakers