Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Tongan student leaders continue a strong, united movement

Young Tongan tertiary student leaders gathered in Wellington for its third annual Leadership Weekend. The New Zealand Tongan Tertiary Students’ Association (NZTTSA) executive members invited representatives of Tongan student associations from all around New Zealand.

University of Otago DBA student and NZTTSA President Mary Jane Kivalu, says that the initiative was set to achieve specific objectives. “This year we wanted more participants, we wanted to be able to provide a productive programme for them as well as encourage our leaders to bond and network”. Kivalu states that this year was the first time that it was held outside of Dunedin and that the challenge was accepted on the basis that it will help to develop and grow the initiative.

NZTTSA Vice President Kesaia Moala’eua says it’s hard to be heard among vast numbers. “Initiatives like the leadership weekend helps Tongan students to realise that our voices are powerful and that we must learn to speak up more often” says the University of Auckland student.

Participants spent the weekend getting to know each other and discussing ways that the national Tongan student body can move forward. They also heard from guest speakers from the New Zealand Public Service and also the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations. Both Kivalu and Moala’eua agree that there are no programmes offered like this for Tongan or pacific leaders at their relative institutions. “There is no other place for us to strengthen our voice as Tongan leaders of the future” says Moala’eua.

The leaders also took a stand to help Tonga in its time of need by leading a project to collect stationery and other materials to send back home to the kingdom. “We wanted to have a targeted approach in terms of where we can help and so we decided that it was most appropriate to help with resources for school” says Kivalu. “Even though the residents need other things urgently, this is one less cost for them after having to rebuild their homes and their life.

NZTTSA has more projects set for the rest of the year including their annual student conference Ama-Taki-Loa. This year the conference will be hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington Tongan Students Association in Wellington. For more information about the association, please email

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Smelling the Merchandise - The Death of Stalin

Having satirised British democracy with such devastating effect, Armando Iannucci has now turned his lens on the dangers inherent in Soviet authoritarianism. Every gag is girdled with fear and the bleak humour is so pitch black it could only have been pumped from deep underground. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Creole Stylings of Cécile McLorin Salvant

"You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two," commented Wynton Marsalis, who has repeatedly hired her to front his jazz orchestra and mounted a 25 foot high portrait of her on the exterior of Lincoln Center. “She radiates authority. She has poise, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. The latest incarnation of this six-strong male singing group includes Kiwi Christopher Bruerton, and it was a delight to hear him sing the solo on the achingly beautiful My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland