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Pushing hard for Pasifika achievement in STEM


Hon Aupito William Sio
Minister for Pacific Peoples

11 March 2019 MEDIA STATEMENT
Pushing hard for Pasifika achievement in STEM

The Minister for Pacific Peoples is pushing hard for greater Pasifika participation in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a further boost this year of a new crop of national Toloa awardees being announced.

“These fields are where Pacific people have been under-represented for a long time and our communities are working hard to change all this with support from this Government,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

This year’s awards include 16 Community Fund Awards and 8 Tertiary Scholarships selected from 103 applications nationally.

“It’s been a tough call as the quality was very high. The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship winners are some exceptional individuals studying at an advanced level in some pretty head cracking fields. I’m proud that we can support these talented young people. They are the next generation of Pacific innovators, creators and navigators.

“I’m also delighted by the range and quality of the Toloa Community Fund Awards. These initiatives are imaginative and far-sighted. They show that our communities are really getting behind STEM careers for our young people.

“The point of difference in my Ministry’s approach to generating greater Pacific participation in STEM fields is our whole of life approach. This includes the Toloa Kenese programme which engages with young students, their parents and families.



The Toloa Awards comprise two categories:
• Tertiary Scholarship Awards that support individuals studying at an advanced level in STEM subjects;
• Community Fund Awards that support STEM programmes in local communities.

“Building awareness and confidence amongst our Pacific youth is vital. I’m excited by the number of community programmes that are focusing on just that. I think it’s one of our strengths. We have the ability to work together co-operatively for the good of our community and Aotearoa, and that plays a big part in lifting Pacific participation in STEM-related careers.

The Toloa Awards ceremonies will be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“This is the first year we have held regional awards ceremonies and it underlines both the success of the Toloa programme and the growing importance of Pacific communities playing a productive role in regional New Zealand,” says Aupito William Sio.

Toloa Community Fund Awards

Northern Region

Auckland Tokelau Society Incorporated
STEM Fono
Coconut Wireless
Coding club
Fale Pasifika
STEM project workshop
Faith City Trust Board
STEM workshop
GirlBoss New Zealand
STEM focused workshop
New Zealand Tongan Tertiary Students Association
STEM Talanoa – students and parents
South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence
Engineering Expo
Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust
STEM Expo & Workshop
Vahefonua Tonga Methodist Mission Trust
Tongan Song and Animation technology development
Central Region

Amanaki STEM Academy
STEM workshops
Atafu Tokelau Porirua Community Group
Tokelau STEM Makespace Project – App/coding development
Niue Kaufakalataha Wellington Region Incorporated
STEM Workshops
Wellington Region Pasefika Services Incorporated
STEM Projects
Fusion 3 Limited
STEM Resource Kits
Southern Region
Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust
Aqua Bots Journey Across the Pacific workshops
Tino e Tasi Preschool
Digital Story Books
Total: 16

Toloa Tertiary Scholarships
Northern Region
Daniel Fruean (AUT)
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer & Information Service
Sunny Tavite (AUT)
Mater of Analytics (Mathematics
Fuli Fuli (UOA)
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer & Information Science
Fiapaipai Auapaau (AUT)
Master of Science
Central Region
Baby Carl Leiataua (VIC)
Master of Architecture
Anna Siohane-Royle (Massey)
Bachelor of Veterinary Science

Tala Tuala (Massey)
Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Southern Region
Charles Ching (UC)
Bachelor of Science
Total: 8

Toloa Awards Ceremonies
Auckland, Monday 11 March
Wellington, Monday 18 March
Christchurch, Monday 25 March

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