STEM success sees growth in Toloa programme

More Pasifika are embracing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities, paving a pathway to educational success, says Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

Now in its sixth year, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Toloa Programme is achieving its goal of helping Pacific Aotearoa to thrive.

“Our aim has always been to see Pacific communities in Aotearoa prosper, and encouraging more people into STEM-related study and jobs is a way to do this,” says Minister Sio.

“We want Pacific peoples fulfilling their potential in the belief everyone in Aotearoa has the opportunity to succeed and be able to provide for their families.”

The STEM fields are the way of the future, and future employment sectors will require STEM skills. In 2015, MPP established the Toloa Programme, which takes a multi-faceted approach of raising awareness and providing workforce development opportunities.

Every year, scholarships and funding are provided to individuals and groups at the Toloa Awards, which are being held in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch throughout March and April.

This year, MPP has awarded 59 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships to Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM and become the future innovators and leaders in this space.

“It is our highest number of scholarships given out for the programme since it began.

“It not only encourages more students to take up STEM subjects, but it lifts the burden of having to find funds for tertiary fees, meaning students can focus entirely on their studies,” Minister Sio says.

This year, there are 34 recipients of the Community Fund and 14 Kenese Fund recipients.

In July last year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and MPP signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to work together, to increase the number of Pacific people in the STEM workforce.

A total of $550,000 has been allocated to MPP from MBIE’s Research, Science, and Innovation: Talent and Science Promotion appropriation to support initiatives for Pacific people to transition into STEM employment.

“This support has been gratefully received and by working together with MBIE, we are moving closer to seeing more and more Pacific faces in jobs such as Engineering and Computer Programming. It is a fascinating time for the growing population of Pacific peoples in New Zealand, as we welcome the future and opportunities in STEM,” says Aupito William Sio.

Note for editors:

Visit MPP for further information.

A list of the 2021 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships, Toloa Community Fund and Toloa Kenese Fund recipients is below.

Toloa Tertiary Scholarship recipients 2021:
Full Name Course of Study Region Ethnicity
Kaline Masitabua Bachelor of Architectural Studies Central Fijian
Linda Fatialofa Doctor of Philosophy Forensic Psychology Central Samoan
Ryan Simpson Masters of Architectural Science Central Samoan
Siana Whatarau Bachelor of Science Marine Biology & Environmental Science Central Cook Islands Maori
Shantay Micaiah Savea Bachelor of Science Central Samoan
Bree Aiono Bachelor of Science Central Samoan
Jovaan Mataroa Master of Architecture (Professional) Central Cook Islands Maori
John Tagi Masters of Architecture Northern Tongan
Heamasi Vaioleti Bachelor of Engineering Northern Tongan
Seila Vaeluaga Bachelor of Science Northern Tuvaluan
Mena Rosyana Vaimasenuu Welford Completion of Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Master of Science Northern Samoan
Avelina Vaisima Bachelor of Engineering Northern Tongan
Josiah Tuitama Master of Architecture (Professional) Northern Samoan
Emily McIntosh Bachelor of Engineering Northern Tongan
Leilani Stowers Bachelor of Engineering Technology Northern Samoan
Alfred Pama Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce Northern Samoan
Malia Senerita Akanete Pateli Postgraduate Diploma Biomedical Science Northern Samoan
Greissen Leslie Bachelor of Engineering Northern Niuean
Talia Mather Bachelor of Science Northern Tokelauan
Anthea Adam Bachelor of Science, Chemistry and Environmental Science Northern Samoan
Filipe Lata Bachelor of Engineering Technology Northern Tongan
Shauna Glassie-Ryan Bachelor of Animal Science Northern Cook Islands Maori
Sereima Dulakuverata Bachelor of Science Northern Fijian
Fa’atonu Fa’afili Bachelor of Engineering Northern Samoan
Anunson Ott Bachelor of Engineering with Honours Northern Samoan
Solomon Fifita Bachelor of Engineering Northern Tongan
Mabel Fa'aloua Leilani Tata Bachelor of Science Northern Samoan
Aisake Tafea Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Northern Tongan
Kelsie-Rose Craig Bachelor of Science Northern Tuvaluan
Logan Fenton Bachelor of Science Northern Tahitian
Miracle Naititi Bachelor of Civil Engineering Northern Samoan
Jasmin Smith Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Health Science Northern Fijian
Niels Arnesen Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Northern Samoan
Gustav Chu-Ling Master of Science Northern Samoan
Marcus Siliko Bachelor of Biomedical Science Northern Samoan
Deborah Salave’a Bachelor of Science Northern Samoan
Epokifoou Vuki Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) Northern Tongan
Michael Vaeono Bachelor of Engineering Northern Samoan
Tuamu Maka Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Northern Samoan
Grant Fale Master of Science Northern Tongan
Gloria Tu’itupou Bachelor of Science Northern Tongan
Alexander Deo Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering Northern Fijian
Margret Mage Bachelor of Science Northern Tongan
Latai Pope Sakalia Bachelor of Environmental Science and Bachelor of Biological Science Northern Tongan
Tyrone Faapoi Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support Northern Samoan
Elizabeth Arrowsmith Bachelor of Science Northern Fijian
Gerald Tuimalealiifano Master of Information Technology Northern Samoan
Jessica Vea Bachelor of Creative Technologies Northern Tongan
Joshua Simmons Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce Northern Fijian
Valerie Lui Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Northern Samoan
Piper Mortimer Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Southern Samoan
Jade Angel Christiansen Master of Science Southern Samoan
Tisiola Sarah Adela Talalima Bachelor of Science Honours Southern Tongan
Christoinette Tausa Bachelor of Science Southern Samoan
Etina Uele Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law Southern Tongan
Ben Williams Master of Science Southern Fijian
Richard Bedford Bachelor of Engineering Southern Solomon Islander
Amelia Kirisome Bachelor of Surveying Southern Samoan
Samsara Guillemot-Mene Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology and Masters of Science in Child and Family Psychology Southern Samoan
Toloa Community Fund recipients 2021:
Group/organisation Region
Digital Discipline (SL1 Consulting Limited) Auckland
Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust Palmerston North
Samoan Scientist Auckland
EFKS Hamilton Youth Group (Congregational Christian Church of Samoan (Hamilton) Trust Board) Hamilton
To'utupu Tonga Trust Auckland
Cross-Polynate Ltd Christchurch
Faith City Trust Board Auckland
Melana Trust Auckland
Amanaki STEM Academy Palmerston North
Congregation Christian Church of Samoa Otahuhu Trust Board (CCCS Otahuhu) The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (Otahuhu) Trust Board) Auckland
Taulanga Malie Reformed Christian Church of Tuvalu Trust in Tauranga Tauranga
Vahefonua Tonga Methodist Mission Charitable Trust (SIAOLA) Auckland
Tausa'afia Trust T/a Aoga Fa'ata'ita'i Samoa PIC Mangere Auckland
Atamu EFKS Porirua Incorporated Porirua/Wellington
Hakatere Multi Cultural Council Ashburton
Multi Consultants and Personnel Ltd T/A Alignz Recruitment Hamilton
Atafu Tokelau Community Group Incorporated - Collab with OMG Tech (Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust) Porirua/Wellington
Congregational Church of Samoa (EFKS Mt Roskill) Trust Board Auckland
Ekalesia Fa'apotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (Ranui) Trust Board Auckland
Epro8 Challenge Porirua
Kiribati Protestant Church of Aotearoa Incorporated Auckland
MakaNet Limited Auckland
Mangere Central School Auckland
Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group Inc Oamaru
Pacific Island Homecare Services Trust Auckland
Pacific Trust Otago Dunedin
Ranui 135 Leadership Team Auckland
Samoan Congregational Church of Jesus in New Zealand (New Lynn Branch) Incorporated Auckland
SDL Consultancy Ltd Wellington
The Lalanga Foundation Auckland
Tongan Methodist Church Auckland
Vaitupu Community Trust Auckland
Wellington Methodist Church Wellington
West Auckland Kiribati Association Incorporated Auckland
Kenese Fund recipients 2021:
Group/organisation Region
Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) operating under the Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington (RTV). Wellington
COMET Auckland Auckland
VAI ‘OE MO’UI TONGAN CHURCH COMMUNITY (The Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Haahi Weteriana O Aotearoa Auckland - Manukau Tongan Parish - Parish (7510) Auckland
Ferguson Intermediate School Auckland
KidsCoin Limited Auckland
Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust (PPCT) & Malamalama Moni Aonga Amata (MMAA) Palmerston North
Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust Auckland
GirlBoss New Zealand Auckland
A& K Thomson Auckland
Brown Pride NZ Ltd Auckland
Satauro PIPC Wiri (Sunday School) - Homework Centre Auckland
St Pauls College Auckland
Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust Auckland
Vaka Interactiv Wellington