Thirteen top Pacific Students win STEM Scholarships

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Aupito William Sio has awarded thirteen top Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarships to students of Pacific descent from all across New Zealand.

“I’m excited that this year we are able to support more Pacific students studying STEM subjects in disciplines and career-pathways Pacific people are under-represented in,” says Mr Sio.

The Government’s Fees-free policy introduced for first-year students has meant the Ministry for Pacific Peoples could increase the scope of scholarship support to Pacific students pursuing STEM majors in 2018.

“I want to see more Pacific people pursuing STEM majors so that we grow our workforce to become well equipped for the changing working environment with the intellectual and practical skills to power a sustainable economy that benefits all our families, our community and New Zealand.

“It’s vital that our students succeed, as Pacific success is important to this Government and critical to Pacific people’s contribution towards growing a sustainable economy that is fair to all New Zealanders.

“That’s why the Ministry has put in place agreements with participating universities to provide pastoral care with academic and cultural support essential for student success.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa programme provides Pacific students with STEM scholarships for their tertiary studies and Minister Sio will present their awards at the Toloa Scholarships ceremony in Auckland this evening.

“I congratulate all the winners and their families. As recipients of the Toloa scholarships you each become role models for all our Pacific youth and we are extremely proud of your achievements,” says Mr Sio.

 The Ministry for Pacific Peoples recipients for the 2018 Toloa Scholarships are:

  • Anna Clark - of Fijian descent, from North Canterbury is starting her two-year Master of Science degree specialising in genetics at the University of Otago.
     
  • Bruce Graham – of Samoan and Tokelauan descent, from Wellington is in his second year of study towards his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at Canterbury University.
     
  • Campbell Talaepa – of Samoan descent, from Auckland is studying towards a conjoint Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland.
     
  • Finau Tungapeau - of Tongan descent, from Dunedin is completing a two-year Master of Dietetics at the University of Otago.
     
  • Hayes Okesene – of Samoan descent, from Auckland is studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at the University of Auckland specialising in chemicals and materials engineering.
     
  • Jacinta Faitotoa - of Samoan descent, from Auckland will be studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) with a focus on mechanical or civil work at the University of Auckland.
     
  • Jade Christiansen - of Samoan descent, from Marton is studying towards a Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago.
     
  • Jasmine Havea – of Tongan descent, from Palmerston North is completing a conjoint degree in Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at the Victoria University.
     
  • Karizma Tuilaepa – of Samoan descent, from Auckland is studying her Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Massey University.
     
  • Linda Fatialofa - of Samoan descent, from Wellington is completing her Master of Science in Forensic Psychology at Victoria University.
     
  • Lukan Paitai - of Cook Islands and Samoan descent, from Auckland is studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Auckland.
     
  • Siaosi Koloamatangi - of Tongan descent, from Auckland. After completing his Bachelor of Science (Hons), Siaosi will start his PHD in Genetics at Massey University.
     
  • William Asiataof Samoan descent, from Auckland is completing his Master of Information Technology over three semesters at the University of Auckland.