Pacific youth set to join movers and shakers

Eight exceptional Pacific young achievers have joined a unique alumni of movers and shakers after receiving their 2021 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA), said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

“The eight recipients from around the country have been selected for awards across eight categories, from over 100 high calibre applicants. They are among the top echelon of Pacific young achievers in Aotearoa.

Since the launch of the PMPYA in 2010, the awards have played a vital role in recognising and celebrating the outstanding achievement and excellence of Pacific young people, aged 17 to 24.

“These young Pacific people of Aotearoa are being recognised in several fields, including being advocates for their language and culture, for leadership and entrepreneurship, for their efforts in the arts, education and the community,” Aupito William Sio said.

There are eight PMPYA recipients in 2021 across eight categories, supported by 10 sponsors.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

  • Language, Culture & Identity (Ministry for Pacific Peoples) - Winner: Veilomani Tafa
  • Leadership & Inspiration (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade & Air New Zealand) – Winner: Moana Kaori Yasumitsu Tsujido
  • Commercial & Corporate (Deloitte) - Winner: Ezekiel Fiso
  • Teach NZ (Ministry of Education) - Winner: Joyce Turu Ieremia
  • Business & Entrepreneurship (Pacific Business Trust) - Winner: Sarah Colcord 
  • Arts & Creativity (Creative New Zealand & Massey University) - Winner: Lealofitaute Vaai 
  • Community Star (Auckland City Council) - Winner: Janah Iulia Autagavaia 
  • International Scholar (Pacific Cooperation Foundation) - Winner: Luna-Rossa Lomitusi-Ape

Traditionally, the PMPYA awards night is the event which brings sponsors, recipients, and their families together for an official ceremony in Wellington, however, like last year, COVID-19 has again proved challenging in delivering an in-person event.

“All of the 2021 recipients have created a positive impact on their chosen field in recent years, and they are an integral part of the Pacific community,” said Aupito William Sio.