Success in Pacific Education Grant recipients 2016


CORE Education is pleased to offer our Pasifika Education Grant for 2016 to the following recipients.


Paloma SamuPaloma Samu

Talofa lava and Fakaalofa lahi atu. My name is Paloma Samu, and I am a New Zealand born Samoan-Niuean from Wellington. I am a qualified and registered teacher with a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Teaching (ECE), and have been teaching for 15 years in both the primary and early childhood sectors.

My passion in teaching has mostly been within early childhood where I have spent the last 12 years working in kindergartens and an early childcare centre where I was a Head Teacher for four years.

I have been a Visiting Teacher for Bright Futures Home-based Childcare and Learning since 2010, in Napier, Hastings, and Flaxmere. This is a role that I am thoroughly enjoying and finding myself not only in a teaching position, but also a learning one, where I work day to day supporting and mentoring our Educarers to ensure a safe, happy, challenging, and rewarding learning journey for our children and families.

Marieta EnticottMarieta Enticott

Talofa lava and kia ora koutou. My name is Marieta Enticott, and I was born and educated in Samoa before moving to New Zealand in 1974. In 1980 I became very involved with Playcentre for 10 years with my three children, and that was when my passion in teaching early childhood was ignited.

I have a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and I am a fully registered teacher. I have been teaching for 25 years (15 of those years in a position of responsibility — supervisor/team leader in early childhood education and care centres, and coordinator of a parenting programme with a high focus on early childhood education.)

Currently I am a Visiting Teacher for Bright Futures Home Based Care and Learning Service in Waipukurau, which is under the umbrella of Napier Family Centre.

The focus of our research project is on transition to school for Pasifika children in our home-based care and learning service in Flaxmere, Hastings. Our aim is to work collaboratively in partnership with educarers, children, parents/guardian, and families/aiga to explore and to establish a process for transitioning to school that will be a positive and a happy experience for all concern. The process will be guided by the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, our Early Childhood curriculum.

We will also be working with our service provider, Napier Family Centre, as well as relevant local agencies and services to ensure the process and outcomes are community driven.

The funds from this grant will be used for consultation fono/talanoa (meetings), resources such as readings/books, equipment, travel and Visiting Teachers relief time. 


Amataina aoga mo tamaiti Samoa — Starting school for Samoan children in homebased care and learning (Download, PDF, 634.8KB)


Mamaitaloa SagapoluteleMamaitaloa Sagapolutele

My name is Mamaitaloa Sagapolutele. I am a teacher in the Samoan Bilingual unit at Rowley Avenue School. I have taught at this school for more than 10 years, and during this time I have seen the impact technology has had on the children that have come through my class.

Due to my class being a Samoan bilingual class, it is important for me to think outside of the box to be able to engage the students in a way that will achieve success. From what I have researched, children benefit from learning in a modern learning environment, which means having lots of resources to help them be an independent learner.

This grant is going towards professional development for me so that I can learn how to use our modern learning environment to its full potential. I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn many skills that can further my knowledge as technology is going to be an important factor in our children's learning. I am hoping that I can find a way to use e-learning as a tool for teaching and learning in our Samoan bilingual class. I am wanting to be able to merge both the Samoan world and the technological world together for our Samoan children to better their learning for now and the future.

O le avanoa tāua lenei o le a mafai ai ona tele le fesoasoani e fa’amatala ‘oto’otoina ai le aogā o le malamalama fa’atekonolosi i le a’oa’oina o le Gagana Samoa. O le a iai fo’i le avanoa e fesoasoani ai i isi faiaoga pasefika mo le fa’alauteleina o le a’oa’oina o le Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa. Faafetai tele CORE education mo lenei avanoa fa’a’auro.

Anthony FaitauaNiulesā Anthony Faitaua

Talofa lava. My name is Niulesā Anthony Faitaua, and my role as Principal at Rowley Avenue School is to create a safe, happy, and inclusive environment with an overall focus of raising student achievement, especially amongst Māori and Pasifika learners. We are a Google Apps for Education school, and part of our e­learning strategic plan is to empower our Samoan students in the Samoan Bilingual class using Chromebooks to support their learning.

One of my own professional inquiries is to find out how technology can help raise Pasifika student achievement, and engage Pasifika parents, families, and communities. Using technology to support learning in the classroom is important, but the essential value behind this idea is the opportunity to allow our Samoan students to enhance both English and Samoan language through creative and innovative ways. We want to grow student agency and leadership opportunities for our Samoan students to share their learning with their peers, parents, families, and community.

There has been little research around my inquiry, and this grant will enable my colleague Mamaitaloa Sagapolutele and me to find out some answers— or more questions — around the inquiry. This grant will offer Mamaitaloa the opportunity to be released from classroom teaching to work closely with me on unpacking new findings, new data, experience, and knowledge, so we can continue to develop our inquiry to share with other teachers in similar situations, especially our Samoan parents, families, and community.

Peter SetefanoToleafoa Avauli Peter Setefano

I am Toleafoa Avauli Peter Setefano, a New Zealand-born Samoan/Tongan teacher. My villages are Vailuutai/Salani, in Samoa, and Ma'ufanga, in Tonga. I worked many years for the Inland Revenue Department before gaining a Bachelor of Education in 2004. My approach to teaching is based on the tautua model of service. O le ala ile Pule o le tautua 'Service is the pathway to leadership'.

I am committed to using the oral traditions of Samoa as a foundation for accelerating the oral language skills of the Pacific students at Holy Family School by making authentic connections between traditional story telling and current pedagogy. I believe that the best teacher to stand in front of Pacific students is the best teacher. My personal journey as a New Zealand-born Samoan orator and high chief helps me become more in-sync with my own identity and culture. I have a deep empathy for the experiences that a lot of the New Zealand-born Pacific Island students are facing today. I want to use this information to advantage, and strive for better outcomes for my students.

I am married and have three children under the age of thirteen. I am grounded in my Catholic faith and a true local of Cannons Creek.

Faafetai tele lava mo le avanoa faaauro.

Twitter - @PeterSetefano

Chris TheobaldChris Theobald

I am Chris Theobald. I’m a first-time principal at Holy Family School in Cannons Creek, Porirua. Having completed my Masters of Education in 2012 with a focus on Pasifika Education, I now apply this knowledge in a strongly Pasifika setting. Holy Family School has 82% of its students drawn from Pasifika communities (in addition to 8% Māori and 6% Burmese refugee students).

I believe in the true power of education in breaking down barriers and broadening horizons for young Pasifika students. While education must be future focused, there is also a need for a real and deep connection to the identity and culture of each student. A bespoke made education is being designed and created by the staff at Holy Family in order to meet this need.

With my wife working as an emergency nurse and three young children, it tends to lead to a crazy, but fun, home!

Twitter - @the0bald

Gina LefaoseuGina Lefaoseu

I am Gina Lefaoseu. I am a New Zealand-born teacher of Cook Island and Italian heritage. Having had various roles within the school over a number of years has enabled me to gain a wide perspective on the needs of a diverse population base of students to enable accelerated learning. I like to think critically about the delineation between adapting the curriculum to meet student needs and ensuring students are ready for their next learning step.

Having a husband of Samoan descent and three teenage daughters ensures that I am in touch with the needs of the growing diversity of cultural heritages and the implications for teachers of this change in student population.

Twitter - @GinaLefaoseu


Ana Maile TuiAna Maile Tui

Malo e lelei. My name is Ana Maile Tui. I am a year 7 and 8 teacher, based in Auckland, New Zealand.

I am Tongan, having migrated to New Zealand in 1988. I have a family of four: two girls and two boys.

I attended my primary and secondary schooling in Tonga. I went through to training college in Tonga. In 1997 I went back to Auckland College of Education to re-train and gained a BEd (Teaching). In 2005, I got DipTESSOL through Auckland University. I am currently doing MindLab.

I am passionate about supporting Pasifika whanau and communities as I have had through tough experiences in my learning journey here in New Zealand. I believe that, with support at school and home, most of our learners will achieve.


Senia EastmureSenia Samuelu Eastmure

Talofa lava. My name is Senia Samuelu Eastmure. I am Samoan born in New Zealand. My Mum is from Taga, Savaii, and my Dad is of Kiwi decent. I am a Visual Arts and English Teacher at Palmerston North Boys' High School. Alongside my teaching subjects, I am the Lead Pasifika Support Teacher at our school.

What inspires me the most in my teaching practice is seeing our Pasifika students achieve academic and cultural success as Pasifika, that is, as Tongan, Samoan, Niuean, Cook Island etc.

My inquiry this year looks at strategies of leadership coaching and mentoring that empowers our Pasifika students to become leaders in social, cultural, and academic contexts. I have many aspirations for them to become leaders in whatever they work towards, especially when they take ownership of their schooling. Part of the process is also engaging their families and community to be apart of their learning journeys.

As a result, I look forward to bridging the gap between our school and the Pasifika Community. It will unite and encourage our Pasifika communities to feel welcome to our schools.