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Source: New Zealand Government

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships.

“The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples to embrace with confidence the learning and career pathways in STEM that can lead to more fulfilling and more prosperous lives,” says Aupito William Sio.

“Our approach for Pacific peoples is a whole-of-community approach, with greater participation by Pacific in the Toloa Programme, helping to address the long-term challenges of only 2% of the Pacific workforce involved in STEM careers.

“The Toloa Awards recognises both individual talent and community achievement, and celebrates the advancements made by Pacific peoples of Aotearoa in this vital sector.

“The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship winners represent some of the best Pacific talent, studying some of the world’s most advanced sciences and technologies and they are our new intake of Pacific innovators, creators, designers and explorers.

“New technologies are transforming the way we live and do business, and I’m keen to encourage more Pacific graduates towards playing a bigger role in the Pacific region so that they can play their part in tackling the global challenges of climate change; a real and ominous threat to our Pacific home countries and communities.

“Through the Toloa Awards, we want to grow our awareness and demystify STEM subjects, increasing interest and participation, so our diverse communities will embrace STEM subjects with confidence and is why the Toloa Community Fund is so integral and important.

The 8 Community Fund recipients provide vital courses to our Pacific youth and their communities, to deliver innovative and culturally inclusive ways that are safe, fun and inspires our communities to realise their fullest potential in the digital space.

“I’m pleased that our established STEM providers continue to generate sparks of interests with our young children by making learning fun and innovative through our Kenese Programme.

“I want all our young people to make the most of their individual talents and with the support of their families and our Community Fund recipients, Pacific youth will have the best chance to prosper, grow and navigate the STEM world,” says Aupito William Sio.

The Toloa Awards ceremonies will be held in Porirua tonight and in Auckland on the 2 March, acknowledging the individuals and community programmes.

Further Information:

The Toloa Programme has three categories:

  • Tertiary Scholarships that support individuals studying at an advanced level in STEM subjects;
  • Community Fund that support STEM programmes in local communities;
  • Kenese Programme which engages with year seven to year nine students including parents and families.

Toloa Community Fund Recipients

Northern Region:

Fale Pasifika Te Tai Tokerau

Good Seed Trust

Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust 

South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence (SPPEEx) 

Faith City Trust Board

Central Region:

Atafu Tokelau Community Group Incorporated

Pasifika Vision Forum Charitable Trust

Amanaki STEM Academy

Toloa Tertiary Scholarship Recipients

Northern Region:

Leilani Stowers (AUT)

Bachelor of Engineering

Filomena Vaimasenuu (UOA)

Bachelor of Science, Biological & Marine Sciences

Luke Fitzpatrick (UOA)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Zanetta Toomata (UOA)

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours)

Aisea Fanamau (UOA)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering

Joshua Simmons (UOA)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Valerie Lui (UOA)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Engineering

Pepe Rahui-Toru Mosby (UOA)

Conjoint Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering & Law

Jalesi Nakarawa (UOA)

Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Anunson Ott (UOW)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)


Southern Region:

Piper Mortimer (UOC)

Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours)

Kiriana Andrew (UOC)

Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)

Mia Uluiletata (UOC)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)


Toloa Kenese Providers

Northern Region – Kids Coin

Central Region – Capital E

Southern Region – Turanga Va Pasifika Group and Partners

 Further information here: