Our Pacific community shares in New Year’s Honours

Prominent Pacific health champion Faumuina Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Sopoaga has been a champion for Pacific Health at Otago University, said Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

“She’s overseen changes in health education which saw Pacific students in Health Sciences succeed in greater numbers.

“Professor Sopoaga was also instrumental as the Director of the Va’a o Tautai Centre for Pacific Health, she led the mobilisation of Samoa Doctors Worldwide to support relief efforts for Samoa’s 2019/2020 measles epidemic. And more recently she’s been representing New Zealand to support Samoa’s vaccination rollout.”

Prominent South Auckland local body leader Mr Alf Filipaina has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. A former policeman, Alf Filipaina was the first Pacific councillor elected to the Auckland Super City Council.

“Alf has also been at the forefront of the current COVID-19 response and is a champion for Rugby League in South Auckland, I think he’s just been a tireless champion for everyone in South Auckland,” said Aupito William Sio.

For promoting leadership in her community, Samoan Ms Sina Moana Wendt has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Ms Wendt developed the Mana Moana Experience for Pacific leaders.

“Sina has also been instrumental in the expansion of the Pacific Music Awards to the point where there are now 18 categories for Pacific music.

“I am very proud of the calibre and tireless advocacy of our Pacific honours recipients. I congratulate all the Pacific People who have shared in these New Year’s Honours and their families for their support and sacrifice over the years. It’s a great achievement for our Pacific communities across Aotearoa,” said Aupito William Sio.

The recipients are:


  • Faumuina Professor Fa'afetai Sopoaga, for services to Pacific health and tertiary education


  • Tuita'alili Vaitava'e Su'a Aloese-Moe, JP, for services to the Pacific community
  • Ms Sina Moana Wendt, for services to governance


  • Mr Alfred Meredith Filipaina, for services to the New Zealand Police and the community
  • Dr Rose Namoori-Sinclair, for services to the Kiribati community
  • Namulau’ulu Taotua Leaoa Joshua James Potoa'e Robertson, for services to the Pacific community
  • Mr Allan Stowers, for services to the Samoan community
  • Mrs Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai, for services to cultures and the arts
  • Mrs Teremoana Yala, for services to the Cook Islands community


  • Mrs Nonu 'Unga Alatini, for services to the Tongan community and education
  • Mrs Vaisamoa Manoa, for services to the Tuvalu community
  • Mrs Taulapu Oliver, JP, for services to the Pacific community
  • Ms Glorious Marie Oxenham, for services to the Melanesian community
  • Mrs Ingi Kulesa Sale Tusini-Rex, for services to the Niue community


  • Mr Tito Daurewa, for services to the Pacific community and Pacific rugby
  • Mrs Falanisesi Fusitu'a Hafoka, for services to the Tongan community