Breakout Session Presenters

Day 1 : Thursday 30th March 2023

Dr. Teuila Percival

Consultant Paediatrician at Kidz First

Moana Connect Director

Deputy Chairperson for Southseas Healthcare

Dr Teuila Percival is one of the Directors for Moana Connect. Previously, she was the Head of Pacific Health Section at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. Teuila has extensive research expertise in Pacific health research, in addition to her child health expertise which is often used in New Zealand and in regions in the Pacific and Australasia.


Her portfolio includes being the principal investigator on the Pacific Child Health Indicators project in the Pacific and OPIC 2, the family-based intervention for Pacific children project. Teuila is also involved with research related to rheumatic heart disease in Samoa and respiratory tract infections in children under two in South Auckland. Teuila is the deputy chairperson of the South Seas Healthcare Trust and serves on several government health advisory groups. In the 2010 Queen’s Birthday honours list, Teuila became a companion of the Queen’s Service Order for her services to the Pacific community. She has been an avid advocate for Pacific children’s health for a number of years which has seen her recently appointment as Associate Professor at the University of Auckland.

Ensuring the needs of children in Climate Change and Climate Disasters

Climate Change is perhaps the most important public health threat our word is facing. It is impacting our environment, human health, societal living, infrastructure and economies. The effects of Climate Change include sea level rises, rising global temperatures and changing marine and terrestrial environments impacting food production, fresh water, shelter and disease vectors. Extreme weather events experienced such as cyclones, flooding, king tides and droughts are an increasing phenomenon.

The human health impact of Climate Change and disasters are direct and indirect and include changing disease patterns, food security, access to clean water, housing and excess deaths. The social and mental wellbeing impact is also significant along with loss of traditional lands and connections.

Children are a particular concern when considering the effects of Climate Change and Disasters.

The anatomy and physiology of children makes them more vulnerable to thermal stress, and dehydration. Babies and children are also immunologically immature with increased risk of morbidity and mortality with changing infectious disease patterns with Climate Change.

Along with vulnerable anatomy and physiology, the incomplete socio-cultural and cognitive development of children places them at particular risk in times of Climate Disaster. They have increased physical risk and limited adaptive or planning ability and are reliant on surrounding adults to ensure safety and survival.

It is imperative that in our planning for Climate Change mitigation and Disaster resilience, response and recovery the unique needs of children and adolescents are considered. Plans should include child and adolescent needs analysis, appropriate equipment provision, paediatric training for first responders and disaster response workers. Plans should also consider the critical childhood needs in disasters of safety, separation and educational and developmental support.

Dr. Ellaine Ete-Rasch & Leilani Jackson

Immunisation Advisory Centre

Ellaine has recently completed a PhD in Nursing from the University of Wellington and was a recipient of a Pacific Health Research PhD Scholarship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand. Ellaine’s research on the persistent high rates of ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations of Pacific children was drawn upon her previous study on skin infections of Pacific children to further her research on the health of Pacific children in New Zealand.
Ellaine has an extensive background in child health and primary health care nursing and is currently a Nurse Educator for IMAC on the Covid-19 Pacific Health Corridor project.

Moelagi Leilani Jackson, an experienced registered nurse and programme manager has been with IMAC since 2021. Moelagi has been working to support health programs in the Pacific Island Countries. Moelagi’s passions and interest are in grassroots and coral-up empowerment and development through health in particular nursing.


A collective effort to protect children in Pacific countries from the Covid-19 epidemic through immunisation education and vaccine administration. 


Background: purpose / objectives of the project   
With the urgency to protect global communities dur¬ing the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) outbreak in 2020, it was essential that the workforce in Pacific Island countries was equipped and well positioned to administer and deliver the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty), for both adult and paediatric doses. IMAC was in a privileged position to support the roll¬out of Comirnaty vaccinations through trainings and education in seven Pacific Island countries.   
Approach: the methods, framework or approach used 
With the pandemic closure of international borders, IMAC started some education face to face and then to virtual Zoom education, emails, and online learning platforms as methods and sources of communications between countries. The focused education areas were vaccine administration, cold chain storage and management and policy, adverse events following immunisations (AEFIs) and vaccine safety. Vaccine hesitancy information was also provided to consider in community engagements to help strengthen health and vaccine messages.  
Results: a summary of the results or outcomes  
Approximately 800 nurses have registered for the online Covid-19 courses. Zoom trainings for the delivery of all COVID vaccines.  Paediatric vaccines were undertaken for all seven countries. Challenges were encountered, however staff worked collaboratively with countries find solutions to ensure public safety and that the integrity of the vaccines were not compromised. Vaccine hesitancy was also evident in all Pacific countries.  
Conclusion: the significance of the findings or outcomes 
The uniqueness of the mRNA vaccine technology was key in our teaching as countries are used to handling standard, scheduled vaccines, including other COVID-19 vaccines available through international donors. This uniqueness also posed challenges for all involved, but despite these challenges, education and ongoing support were well received by all countries.   
Countries responses varied regarding the uptake of the vaccines, particularly the paediatric vaccines where some countries have had very low uptake. The workforce in the Pacific also faced the same challenges of Covid fatigue being felt globally. IMAC continues its support through fort¬nightly, and monthly Zoom meetings as required, and more face-to-face education and quality support is planned for the near future. 

Kendra Tike

Te Rito Maioha ECNZ 

Fakaalofa lahi atu kia moutolu oti 
Ko e higoa haaku ko Kendra Tike 
Ko au ko e fifine Niue 
Hau au he maaga fulufuluola ko Namukulu mo Tuapa 
Ko e matua fifine haaku ko MacLean Lafu-Pouesi 
Ko tokoua haakau ko Samisoni Tike, koia ko e tagata Tonga 
Haana tau mamatua mai i Vava’u, Masilamea moEua 
Taha he tamafifine hau maua ko e higoa haaku ko Akanesi Inosandreia Tike 
I am the Pasifika curriculum advisor and a Pasifika lecturer at Te Rito Maioha. I teach on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, currently teaching contexts of ECE and Pasifika leadership. 
Aue Tulou 

Reclaiming one’s identity begins with oneself – supporting Pasifika culture and language within early childhood education. 


Leading Pasifika culture and Pasifika language revitalisation within early childhood education requires teachers who know and understand who they are. This presentation reports on results from a study involving six graduates and teachers in training who were part of the first of its kind Pasifika degree from Aotearoa/New Zealand. The purpose of the study was to gain an understanding of how Pasifika/and other culture teachers learn, practice, relate and generate Pasifika wisdoms within early childhood. In addition, the study focused on learning more about the importance of the teachers understanding their own culture and language when they graduated from their studies and commenced early childhood teaching. The underpinning of the study was Talanoalalanga and Fatulalanga, translated very simply, weaving from the voices and heart of oneself, Tongan concepts that were interweaved and reconceptualised into participants own culture, language, and identity.  
The Talanoa qualitative methodology was used for the study as it provided the opportunity to generate real life, culturally sensitive and specific data that related to the participants. The Talanoa methodology created the space for participants to draw on their truths with boundaries and conversations set by them, at their pace, by their own discretions. Through this approach their beliefs, values, culture, emotions, behaviours, and relationships were able to be explored appropriately.  
Results clearly showed that the teachers own culture and language became central to how they conducted themselves in their respective early childhood centres. It was evident that knowing their own language and culture supported the teachers to connect to their fonua, tupuanga, koloa and strengthened their practice. The research also highlighted the underpinning of teaching children, that they (teachers) had to know themselves in order to know the children and families they are journeying alongside within early childhood education.  

Dr. Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia

The University of Auckland

Moana Connect 

Analosa is a Sāmoan academic in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, at the University of Auckland. A health professional specialising in Pacific youth health, Analosa is committed to the empowerment of Pacific communities, specifically in the area of sexual health and mental wellbeing.


Analosa draws on over 15 years of clinical, community, research and management experience.


In 2020, Analosa was awarded a Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) Pacific Postdoctoral Fellowship. Hosted by the University of Auckland and Moana Research, Analosa’s three-year research project ‘Nesian Narratives – Enhancing Sexuality Education for Pacific communities’ involves the development, pilot and evaluation of a Pacific resource toolkit in relationship and sexuality education for New Zealand primary school teachers.

Nesian Narratives – Designing curriculum resources to enhance Relationship and Sexuality Education for Pasifika children: a study protocol. 


An environment where children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand are happy and healthy, have what they need, are loved, safe and nurtured are three of the six outcomes of the Child and Youth Wellbeing strategy, launched in 2019 (DPMC, 2019). An important area of wellbeing that is often overlooked is sexual health.  While there are unique cultural understandings of sexual health and sexuality, the general understanding is that sexual health covers an extensive range of behaviours and issues such as feelings, relationships, communication, consent and violence.  Positive sexual health can be fostered in many settings, including formal education.  However, studies in Aotearoa NZ reveal the tensions in delivering quality sexuality education. This includes the lack of investment of time and training of current teachers, the inconsistency in the delivery of sexuality education, and monocultural resources that do not reflect the values and worldviews of Pacific communities. 


Research with Pacific communities reveal issues such as cultural roles, values and expectations largely influence Pacific peoples sexual health knowledge and understanding (Anae, et al., 2001; Ikihele, 2012;  Redman-Maclaren & Veukiso-Ulugia, 2019; Taufa, 2015).   This presentation describes the overarching research framework guiding Nesian Narratives – a Pacific-led project that aims to develop a resource toolkit of curriculum lesson plans and related resources, to enhance Aotearoa New Zealand’s Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) for Pacific children aged five to six years.  Underpinned by a Pacific methodological approach, this three phase study involves talanoa with key stakeholders, including Pacific parents, teachers and policy officials (phase 1), followed by a co-design process whereby Pacific teachers and the research team will develop the curriculum resources (phase 2).  The final phase (3) involves testing the resources with Pacific school communities and exploring the scalability of this to older and younger students.   


Hosted by both Moana Connect and the University of Auckland, this innovative project addresses a number of Pacific health aspirations that include building Pacific health knowledge and research capacity and translating study findings into Pacific health gains through community development. 

Latasi Koro

The Hearing House 

Samoan and and Tokelauan Paediatric Audiologist at The Hearing House, Research assistant for Eisdell Moore Research Centre, Secretary for The Fono board, Trustee for the Tāmaki Makaurau Hearing Trust. Master’s thesis: The Hearing Status of Tokelauan Adults in Aotearoa. 


Hearing is the main vessel through which we explore and interact with the world. Not all children however, can hear. Historically, profound permanent hearing loss at birth meant communicating visually (sign language). Now, cochlear implantation technology gives d/Deaf or hard of hearing children the option to also hear.  


The Hearing House [THH] is the service provider to the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme for which there are 320 paediatric clients (<19 years old), of which approximately 14% are Pacific.  



The Fonofale Model of Health guides this closer look at Tamaiti Pasefika of THH to explore the common aetiology of their hearing loss, the services offered by THH, and the opportunities for other Pacific providers to partner in best supporting our d/Deaf or hard of hearing children to thrive in their cochlear implantation journey. 



Of the almost 14% of Pacific children that are current clients of The Hearing House, most identify as either Samoan (~42%), Tongan (>25%), or Cook Islands Maori (>16%). Currently The Hearing House provides audiological support, speech and language therapy, and counselling to all children in the cochlear implant [CI] assessment process. If a child is recommended a CI and their family consents, this support extends to their lifetime.  


The most common cause of profound hearing loss is congenital (>39%), untested or unknown (>32%), followed by genetic (>16%) and acquired (>11%). Given this niche area of health that many Pacific children and their families have to navigate, current supports do not cater fully to who they are as a Pasefika child in a Western health system. 



If we can raise awareness about who The Hearing House is and what we do for our Pacific children, we can partner with other providers to support these families alongside us. By helping Pacific families meet basic needs, our d/Deaf or hard of hearing children can focus on thriving.

Jimaima Kailwadoko

Cure Kids Fiji

Jimaima Kailawadoko has worked with Cure Kids as the Lead RHD programme Fiji since 2020. She completed a medical degree (MBBS) at the University of the South Pacific, in 2007 and Master’s Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Sydney in 2020. Was with Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) between 2008 and 2017 delivering both primary and secondary healthcare services. In 2017, she was with WHO as the National Surveillance Officer for Influenza. Prior to her current role, was with digital health COVID-19 in MHMS. Interested in digital health, linked data, strengthening local research capability, and surveillance systems.

Authors: Kailawadoko Jimaima a, Mani Jyotishnaa,d , Satyanand Tara, b Malo Ilikena, a Tokarua Erini, a Pal Poonam, c Coriakula Jeremaia, a Paka Jessica, a Yalimaiwai Marika, a Langridge Fionad Boladuadua Sainimere, dHowie Stephend .

Author affiliations:
a Rheumatic Heart Disease Prevention and Control Programme, Cure Kids Fiji
b Cure Kids New Zealand
c Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services
d Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, University of Auckland

Covid-19 placed health systems in Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMIC) under increased stress, contributing to a lack of universal access to health services. Vulnerable populations with co-morbid disease, such as Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), risked missing out on both Covid-19 vaccination and vital routine healthcare. There were 4699 registered people living with RHD (PLWRHD) in Fiji at the time of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

Cure Kids Fiji RHD Programme is a collaboration between the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Cure Kids, academic partners, and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). During the height of Covid-19, the programme team and MHMS successfully carried out a six-week vaccination drive for PLWRHD in the Central Division, involving identification of unvaccinated PLWRHD, providing education, counselling and delivery of vaccination and antibiotic prophylaxis.

This practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in increased coverage in the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, enhanced partnerships, increased responsiveness and understanding needs of PLWRHD during the pandemic, and a sense of connection between the team and PLWRHD despite lockdown conditions

Key lesson learnt was it is possible and important for research programmes to empower local leadership to address national health priorities and needs, particularly during crises.

Merini Mauga & Alovale Fa’aiuaso

Sosaiete Aoga Amata Samoa I Aotearoa (SAASIA) and Health Families Waitakere

Tāfesilafa’i: Reclaiming wellbeing through Samoan indigenous practices in Aoga Amata


Tāfesilafa’i is a community of care which has created a space for Aoga Amata (Samoan ECEs) to come together, connect, share and grow confidence in weaving Samoan cultural values, practices and beliefs into educational practice. The project was initiated in 2020 and has operated with the support of the Healthy Families Waitākere since its inception. Tāfesilafa’i has been effective in revitalising culturally centric values and practices for faiaoga (teachers) and aiga (families) that have positive wellbeing outcomes for children whilst also aligning with the Action Plan for Pacific Education (APPE) focus areas for change.


Tāfesilafa’i has provided the following outcomes for Aoga Amata:
– Provides a space for faiaoga to create and share culturally centric educational resources, which is critical in enabling these unique learning environments to thrive
– The culturally centred professional learning and development largely contributed to the positive outcomes
– Established and strengthened relationships to enhance the early learning environment for the benefit of faiaoga and aiga
– Opportunities for child engagement using digital technology.


The strength of Tāfesilafa’i comes from its members. We understand it to be the first collective of its kind in Aotearoa and is carving a new path for language nests to be considered on the same level as western frameworks of early learning.

A recent evaluation highlighted the value of this community-led approach in increasing the wellbeing of faiaoga and aiga. We would love to share our journey at your regional hui.

Antonina Savelio

Power to Protect

Antonina Savelio – Starship Child Health, Power to Protect: Shaken Baby Prevention 

Title: Re-messaging the message: an opportunity for a Pacific Village approach to Shaken Baby Prevention in Aotearoa 



The Power to Protect Integration Programme aims to re-message the Shaken Baby Prevention messaging within our Māori and Pacific communities. Every year, approximately 25 babies are admitted to NZ hospitals with abusive head trauma – almost one every two weeks.[1] By far the highest risk of abusive head trauma is in the first year of life (median age is 5 months), and one common trigger to harm is adult loss of control in response to a crying baby.[2] At present, Power to Protect (P2P) promotes six key prevention messages: 

  1. It is normal for babies to cry, and it is normal for caregivers to get frustrated. 
  2. It’s okay to walk away. Put baby in a safe place, close the door and take a break. Do not pick up the baby until you have calmed down. 
  3. Never, ever shake a baby. 
  4. Never leave baby alone with anyone who you think may lose control. 
  5. Share this information with everyone who is looking after your baby 
  6. If you ever think your baby has been injured, seek medical help at once 

However, feedback from Māori and Pasifika was that after 20 years the prevention messaging was not reaching many of their people. This presentation will provide a current update of progressive steps made by the programme to establish pathways to genuinely engage with communities. 

In June 2022, the Power to Protect Steering Committee agreed the programme will be led by Whānau Māori. Our Māori Committee members graciously accepted the wero challenge and advocated for their Pacific counterparts to work alongside them. The newly formed Pacific Village was directed to produce culturally appropriate outcomes for their own Pacific communities. We now have two distinct and distinguished pieces of work, currently in progress.  

I will share some outcomes from the Pacific Village, and to a limited extent from our Whānau Māori. One significant part of Phase 1.0 Pacific Community Engagement is the ‘Power to Protect Pacific Village Content Build INSIGHTS Report’ by Moana Connect. [3] This research was based on the Kakala Framework and participants were engaged through the Talanoa methodology. The report offered in-depth and meaningful insights from ‘mothers, father, caregivers and grandparents,’[4] and clear recommendations for the way forward in the most culturally and socially appropriate forums. Their multi-generational approach will direct the Pacific Village for communities ‘…to create their own vision of how the Power to Protect messages should be promoted.’[5] Made up of members from Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, and Samoa communities, the Pacific Village are working collectively to offer solutions. It was agreed that these must be meaningful, tangible, and sustainable.  


[1] Excerpts from 

[2] Excerpts from 

[3] Moana Connect. Power to Protect Pacific Village Content Build INSIGHTS: Talana with parents, families and caregivers’, 2022. 

[4] Moana Connect. Power to Protect Pacific Village Content Build INSIGHTS: Talana with parents, families and caregivers’, 2022, p. 11. 

[5] Moana Connect. Power to Protect Pacific Village Content Build INSIGHTS: Talana with parents, families and caregivers’, 2022, p. 30. 

Romero Tagi

Pop Up Play

Romero Tagi is the co-director of Pop Up Play. POP UP PLAY is a social enterprise that empowers people to live healthier and fuller lives through the power of play. Our mission is to support healthier individuals, families, teams, and communities by creating safe and inclusive environments to explore and achieve potential through play. Indigenous values and knowledge guide our service training, development, and delivery. All of our unique solutions and services incorporate PLAY. 

Power of Play 

Dr. Emma Best

The University of Auckland

Dr Emma Best is a specialist infectious diseases paediatrician who works at Starship Children’s Health, The national Immuisaton Advisory Centre and The University of Auckland. She is passionate about vaccination to prevent serious childhood infections and leads a group of Māori, Pacific and public health doctors and researchers investigating lessons from the 2019 measles outbreak in Auckland. 

Understanding Measles; Severity of 2019 measles outbreak in the greater Auckland region 


Authors: Best E J, Howe A, Percival T, King V, Hsiao K, Webb R, Neutze J, Cavadino A, Poynter M, Perelini F, Sinclair O, Reynolds E. 



In 2019, Aotearoa, New Zealand (NZ) experienced a large measles outbreak, centred in Auckland with a reported high hospitalisation rate and several intensive care admissions. As part of a larger study looking at the severity and sequelae of measles infections, we aimed to describe measles severity and complications amongst all 2019 measles cases in children and young people aged up to 30 years in the greater Auckland region.  

Design and methods  

A cross-sectional study is being used to examine all cases of probable or definite measles diagnoses up to age 30 years resident in Auckland between 1st January 2019 – 31st January 2020. Data sources included all laboratory and public health notifications, clinical discharge codes and integrated health datasets. Hospitalisation was defined as admission greater than 6 hours and ethnicity as recorded in discharge or public health notification. 


Preliminary data is presented. Of 1488 notified measles cases in the Auckland region aged up to 30 years, 414 (28%) were hospitalised with median duration of admission of 1.75 days (3.53 IQR). Ten cases required intensive care including 8 children aged less than 2 years. Ethnicity breakdown showed 25% of cases identified as Māori, 51% as Pacific peoples, and 24% non-Māori or Pacific. Age and hospitalisation summary data shown below. (graphical image unable to be inserted) 


Young children and Pacific peoples in Auckland were disproportionately affected by measles including experiencing severe disease. Although measles vaccine protects well from infection, first measles vaccine is given at age 1 year, which alongside gaps in vaccine uptake, leave groups vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to global and national disruption of childhood immunisation programmes, overall lowering immunisation coverage and increasing our risk of measles outbreaks. Determining risk for more severe measles and vulnerable groups can help public health interventions and reduce these inequitable impacts.  Future work in this study will evaluate post-measles related immune deficiency and infectious diseases risk to improve guidance on optimal management. 


Janet Tuitama

Seed 2 Harvest

Janet is from the villages of Matautu-Falelatai, Siumu, Lalomanu-Aleipata, Samoa.
Malo le soifua, I am an Indigenous Wellbeing Practitioner passionate to inspire and empower leaders inter generationally who desire to make a difference and take charge of their lives for greater purpose! My experience is within corporate, community, education, leadership and management, facilitation, executive coaching, pastoral care, community development, NGO, entrepreneur, and wellbeing. I have stepped into spaces that are inspiring/rewarding, uncomfortable/thought-provoking, but the power of my WHY opens the channel to share my indigenous knowledge and experiences to elevate and empower others to do the same. 

TOA Wellbeing: Elevating, and Empowering Pacific children through Pacific Knowledge within the frameworks of the Vā of Wellbeing 


Elevating and Empowering Pacific children to strengthen their cultural identity while working and supporting foundational structures that weave inter-generationally within the Vā of Wellbeing. 
TOA Wellbeing is the overarching provision of well-being programmes offered within the Vā (space) in schools, community groups, sports clubs, churches focusing on Pacific children to: 
• Connect with other Pacific students, share their stories, and listen to experiences of others. 
• Acceptance of who they are, talking about migration of their grandparents and the challenges faced coming to Aotearoa for a better life. 
• Grow confidence in the weaving of cultural values, practices, and beliefs.  
• Significance of supporting the Vā for children to see, feel and understand the importance they can have on their chosen fields, which begins now. 
• Healthy choices, supporting young people to be intentional about WHO they surround themselves with by actively practicing the following questions:  
o Who do I have around me?  
o What benefit do I bring to this relationship, How am I benefited by this relationship? 
o Is what they say to me helpful, uplifting and encouraging?  
o OR is it pulling me down and making me feel uncomfortable? If so, what choices do I need to make?  
TOA Wellbeing was introduced in 2016 within a primary school in South Auckland.  The programme was created for a group of Pacific Year 8 female students to build self-confidence and identity.  Since its inception, TOA Wellbeing has facilitated primary, intermediate, and secondary schools in West/South Auckland schools.  TOA Wellbeing offers a variety of custom-made programmes that is relational, effective, culturally responsive, strengthen values and practices that have positive future focussed outcomes for children while underpinning well-being. 
TOA Wellbeing is strengthened by the commitment of Indigenous Professional facilitators that are passionate to support the growth of Pacific children. 

Lora Waqabitu

Community Engagement and Education Advisor 

Safe Kids  

Lora Waqabitu is the Community Engagement and Education Advisor at Safekids Aotearoa.  She feels privileged that her main role is travelling the motu, building relationships and connecting with community organisations to help keep tamariki safe from serious unintentional injuries in the home, like falls, drowning and poisonings etc. The practical advice she shares from Safekids is based on international research, local knowledge and mātauranga.  
Before joining Safekids Aotearoa, Lora was a Youth Programmes Specialist, where she worked closely with young women in high schools, supporting them to step up into their own voyages.  

She was selected as a delegate of “Young Pacific Leaders 2019” where she represented Fiji and Aotearoa and is currently the President of the West Auckland PACIFICA Branch, which helps serve Pacific women, their families and our communities. 

“Ko ira na luveda era i yau tale ena noda tikotiko.” – Our children are the most precious in our community. 

Bernadette Tovio & Nikki Johnson

CLM Community Sport 

CLM Community Sport is a significant delivery partner for The Auckland Approach to Community Sport for the Counties Manukau Region.  Aktive sets the regional strategy for sport and recreation in Auckland and CLM Community Sport focuses on building capabilities and supporting delivery across the following: Schools & Kura, Sports Clubs and Community Settings. The key focus is to promote better lives and futures for tamariki, rangatahi and whanau using sport and recreation as a vehicle for engagement and participation. 


The value of play, sport and active recreation as the vehicle for community engagement and participation in physical activity. 

Dr. Florina Chan Mow

Te Whatu Ora

Anton Blank

Editor and Founder | Ora Nui

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu

Dr Florina Chan Mow is a Paediatric Doctor currently working at Kidz First Hospital, Counties Manukau DHB. Born and raised in Samoa, she remains passionate about the health and well-being of children and young people especially among our Pacific communities here in New Zealand. 

Anton Blank is of Māori and Swiss heritage. He has an extensive history in social work, communications, Māori development, public health, literature, and fine arts. Anton has held senior roles in the government and not for profit sectors, including Communications Services Manager at the Ministry of Education and Executive Director of the Māori child advocacy organization Mana Ririki. Anton was the Principal Investigator of the 2016 report Unconscious bias and education – a comparative study of Māori and African American students. He is an international expert in unconscious bias and racism, and now works across justice, health, education, literature, and the arts, developing strategies to mitigate unconscious bias and its impact on Māori and other marginalized groups. Anton is the editor and founder of the Māori literary journal Ora Nui.



Adrian Trenholme1,2, Anton Blank, Ngāti Porou-Ngāto Kahugnunu3, Kimi Tangaere, Ngaati Poorou1, Te Hao Appapa-Timu, Ngaati Ranginui, Ngaati Kahungunu, Ngaati Awa me Ngaati Poorou1, Nalei Taufa1, Flo Chan Mow1, Miriam Manga, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa1, Minerva Ikimau1, Shanthi Ameratunga. Cass Byrnes, Ngati Raukawa ki te tonga1, 2 1 Middlemore Hospital Auckland, 2 University of Auckland, 3 Oranui, Auckland 


Kidz First Hospital developed a tiriti-based relationship with Manawhenua i Taamaki Makaurau in 2019. The collaboration identified addressing implicit bias in health care as a priority. This presentation highlights key activities within the initiative in progress, supported by an HRC activation grant awarded in 2020. 


A local governance group was established supported by Manawhenua. With clear evidence of Implicit Bias in health care the group prioritised training for staff at Kidz First. Baseline whaanau and staff interviews were obtained A literature review of Implicit Bias in paediatric health care was performed and a research proposal of discourse was developed.  


Maaori and Pasifika make up 33 out of 194 staff. There are no Maaori nurses or doctors Whaanau demonstrated high health literacy and the majority were positive about Kidz First. 89 staff completed the survey ahead of attending a 90 minute implicit bias workshop. Staff enjoy working with Maaori and Pasifika patients, but are not confident that Kidz First provides a good service to them. 40% admit having racist thoughts about patients, and 40% agree that the health system is racist. The respondents feel that racism is a continuum of conscious and unconscious beliefs and behaviours. Comments included “Pakeha get a more responsive service”. “Maaori patients can be challenging and stroppy”, “Pasifika patients are compliant”. 117 staff out of 194 received a formal Implicit Bias training session and formal feedback will occur when staff can participate in other than essential clinical duties, 


The Kidz First workforce is receptive to the training and intervention and self-awareness of latent and explicit attitudes is high, which augers well for the developing programme of work. The audit, literature review and discourse research will enable the development of health outcome measures and practical system changes to drive and measure our progress. 

Malia ‘Alisi Vea

Victoria University of Wellington 

Malia ‘Alisi Vea is currently a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington (supervised by Associate Professor Mele Taumoepeau). Her prior interest in cross-cultural psychology led her to study intergroup relations between immigrant groups in New Zealand. ‘Alisi was later trained to in clinical psychology which led her to research ways to combat mental illness stigma. ‘Alisi has worked with families including parents and children from diverse cultural backgrounds in Australia and Tonga. Her prior determination to understand diverse cultural perspectives, together with her clinical knowledge, further motivated her to investigate parental socialization from an interdependent and indigenous cultural perspective.

We recognize your potential to succeed, while teaching you respect and obedience to value connection”: Tongan parental socialization of values that linked to the development of autonomy and relatedness.  


Author/Presenter & Institution:  
Malia ‘Alisi Vea, PhD student, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. 
How much do we know about the parental socialization of children in Oceania? In what ways do Pacific cultural values directly impact Pacific children’s identity formation, development, and wellbeing? Are Pacific children socialized with values that are linked to the development of autonomy and relatedness? This study casts light on these questions and further informs us about what does and does not work for Pacific children in diverse cultural milieus. 
One-hundred and forty parents of 4- to -8-year-olds from Tonga were interviewed about their goals for their child. Two open-ended questions were asked about parents’ long-term goals for their child, and what parents are currently teaching their child. A deductive thematic analysis was conducted to determine if Tongan parents’ goals reflect the socialization of values linked to the development of autonomy (self-maximization; intrinsic motivation; personal choice; self-esteem) and relatedness (connection to family; orientation to larger group; respect and obedience). 
Findings suggest that Tongan parents socialize the values that are linked to the development of autonomy and relatedness, although parents value some categories more than others. Tongan parents value self-maximization above and beyond other autonomy-related values. Moreover, Tongan parents teach their children respect and obedience and hope their children will grow up and value connection to family above other relatedness values. There are changes observed in how Tongan parents prioritize the values that are linked to the development of autonomy and relatedness depending on time, situations, and contexts. 
The current study further supports the Dynamic Coexistence theory which proposed that cultural value systems and parents’ developmental goals of autonomy and relatedness coexist and change as a function of situation, time, and contexts. Practitioners can draw from the findings to support Tongan parents and children, while researchers could advance knowledge through studying parental socialization in other cultural contexts. 

Ngatepaeru Marsters & Elani Mafi

Pasifika Midwives

Ngatepaeru’s of Cook Island Maori descent – mother of three and Ninō to 6 mokopuna, and has been a midwife nearly 25 years. She’s practised in south Auckland as a LMC midwife and for nearly a decade has worked AUT as a Pasifika midwifery Liaison. She’s co-chair of Pasifika Midwives Aotearoa and a Board member of the NZ College of Midwives. Is national co-ordinator of Tapu Ora – a Pasifika midwifery workforce initiative – a collaboration between Manatu Hauora/MOH and midwifery schools of Aotearoa.

Elani is a proud Tongan and mother of 4. She has worked as a LMC midwife in south Auckland since graduating 5 years ago and absolutely loves it. She works in a practice of Pasifika midwives and has mentored new team members joining their team. Elani’s midwifery practise is based in Otahuhu – a Tongan heartland.

She has begun her postgraduate journey in Public Health at AUT.

Midwifery: waters of protection.

Day 2 : Friday 31st March 2023

Fonofili Parkinson

Child and Maternity Manager | Southseas Healthcare 

Fetalai Faifua

Well Child and SUDI Project Coordinator| Southseas Healthcare 

Fonofili has been in Well Child Nursing for more than 24 years, and as team Leader to the manager role. She coordinates Well Child Services and also delivers them. Her role involves educating and supporting parents by providing health information to help improves their knowledge and skills so they can respond to their children’s needs at different stages of development. It also involves providing reassurance for parents that their children are developing normally through growth and developmental assessment, and providing care and support to help parents identify their children’s needs while caring for them.

Fetalai Faifua is the Well Child and SUDI’s Project Coordinator. Before this, she was the Well Child Service’s Coordinator for 6 years. Fetalai Faifua has 21 years of experience working in administrative roles since migrating to New Zealand from Samoa where she was a School Teacher. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration, Certificate in Medical Administration, and a Certificate in Teachers Training from Samoa. 

Pasefika mo Pasefika: Engaging with Pacific parents to promote Health and Wellbeing of their child’. 
This presentation focuses on cultural implementations, utilized to deliver a therapeutic and trusting relationships with our vulnerable mothers and families in South Auckland. The cultural concepts of Talanoa, faaaloalo (respect) and alofa (love and care), is automatically incorporated into our delivery of care because of who we are as Pasefika health professionals. 
Having a team with Pacific identity, build stronger partnership with our families enabling them to describe their experiences freely and to make their own decisions for their child, with the support of our nurses. 
The achievement of growth and development with some of our babies is enough to celebrate success, especially for our mothers who live in the most deprived areas and struggling financially. They prove resilience to the challenges they face themselves for a better future and wellbeing of their child. 
As Well Child nurses we have witnessed Pacific parents suffer in silence as they struggle with housing, providing food for their family, transport, clothing, risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) and medical check-ups. All of these have a big impact on a child’s health and wellbeing and their future progress. 
We are blessed that Southseas provide other services that support the needs of our parents, or their problems will be left unknown, and a child left deprived of essential needs. 

Vesi Leilua-Toilolo & Sonya Vavaloa


Lolohea Tukia & Hannah Aldersley

Pacific Health Services Hutt Valley

Vesi is the Anofale Project Lead at NET, with vast experience as an Early Child Education teacherShe is the NET Anofale Educator, and is trained as the NET Pacific Breatsfeeding Peer CounsellorVesi is currently studying long distance towards her Diploma in Child Birth Education at Ara in Christchurch. 

Sonya is an Early Intervention Worker with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Social PolicyShe works primarily in the home visit program checking Pacific mothers have the resources they need for their children, and encourages Pacific women to attend the Anofale sessions. 

Lolohea is a registered nurse with a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Specialty Well ChildShe combines her healthcare training with practical, gentle support and encouragement in working with parents who have children aged 0 to 5 yearsAs a Well Child nurse, Lolohea undertakes core checks to ensure that your child is meeting their growth and developmental milestonesAs one of our Safe Sleep educators, Lolohea provides relevant information around the importance of child safety, including minimising the risk of Sudden Unknown Death of an Infant (SUDI).

Hannah Aldersley is a Registered Nutritionist based at Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley passionate about supporting families in the Hutt Valley community to be healthy and thriving. She has a focus on preventative health and works closely with her Well Child Nurse colleagues and other health providers such as NET to provide nutrition support for local babies in the first 1,000 days of life. She also provides education to families on starting solids, simple and affordable meals, breastfeeding nutrition, and pregnancy nutrition through the NET Anofale Fa’atupu Ola programme 

A survey conducted by NET and PHSHV to investigate barriers for Pacific women in the Hutt Valley accessing antenatal support was conducted in late 2017. This coupled with available data from the hospital and PHO data sets highlighted the lack of access of women to LMCs or Antenatal support until they were in the third trimester and this contributed to an increased c-sections, pre-mature births, low birth weight and others. 
The results from the survey coupled with the wider data provided the impetus for a culturally responsive approach that required collective efforts from the two main Pacific providers in the Hutt Valley. 
The Anofale Fa’atupu Ola Pasifika pilot project was established under the Pacific Innovation Funds to address issues identified by the women surveyed and co-designed with the women to contribute towards: 
1. Increase access of Pacific women to early antenatal support 
2. Improve child birth outcomes 
3. Improve wellbeing of pregnant Pacific women 
4. To grow the Pacific workforce within the Maternity space. 
The significance of this piece of work laid the foundation for a sustainable collective approach which focused on continuity of care and carer especially around Perinatal support and services. This involved a multidisciplinary team approach which included LMCs, Lactation consultants, Child birth educators, Well Child nurses, Child Psychiatrist, Nutritionists, Pacific Breastfeeding peer counsellors, Community Support workers, Family Start/Home Visiting workers. Lessons learned, future opportunities and challenges/successes ensures we strive to deliver innovative and improved services for Pasifika pepe and their aiga/magafaoa/kaiga/famili. 

Erini Tokarua

Community Organisation Manager

Cure Kids Fiji

“It is not enough to be compassionate, 
You must act.” 
-Dalai Lama 
Erini is a champion for People Living with Rheumatic Heart Disease (PLWRHD) in Fiji. Her passion and drive to advocate and empower PLWRHD was sparked when her eldest son Walter, was diagnosed with RHD 10 years ago. 
She became the first to volunteer for the Fiji RHD programme in running support group sessions for families of PLWRHD and awareness sessions in local communities. Having lived experience, a good understanding of the disease and driven by passion, she is currently spearheading the establishment of a civil society organization run by people living with RHD

Plugging the Gap: Using Patient-led intiatives to address the burden of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Fiji. 


Authors: Ilikena Malo, Maria Mow, Jimaima Kailawadoko – (Cure kids Fiji) Sainimere Boladuadua, Fiona Langridge – (University of Auckland), ERINI TOKARUA – CURE KIDS FIJI. 
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) confers a significant burden of disease in Fiji, especially in young children. The high burden of disease is associated with limited understanding amongst families and communities resulting in a missed opportunity to seek early intervention. There is a need to involve patients and their families in addressing this knowledge gap. The aim of this initiative is to support each other, improve community knowledge and bridge the gap between our community and health providers. 
The Fiji RHD programme used an organic approach to identify a local champion –  a mother of a child living with RHD, to lead, develop and implement patient-focused activities targeting families of newly diagnosed youths and those non-compliant to treatment. These involved schools, villages, settlements, workplaces, and faith-based organizations resulting in the co-design of initiatives to identify, educate and empower people living with RHD (PLWRHD) to be advocates of change. 
This initiative has strengthened patient and family involvement, which has led to improved health literacy and health seeking behaviour in the community. Lessons learnt from advocacy efforts using patient voices in engaging policy makers to address RHD, led to calls for partnerships between different stakeholders allying with PLWRHD. With this in mind, the establishment of an independent patient-led civil society organisation has been initiated. Heart Heroes Fiji has become a strong advocacy partner and formed partnerships with relevant stakeholders. 
The burden of acute rheumatic fever and RHD  in Fiji is unacceptably high and in part due to health services that are not reaching the most-at-risk populations. Actions to address the burden must include collaborative partnerships with families and communities of children living with the disease. Their involvement in advocacy and awareness efforts will be an important driving factor towards an RHD-free Fiji and the enrichment of young lives affected by the disease. 

Tony Laulu


Digital Discipline

Father of Lemalie and Sakalia. 

After years of having a phone addiction, Tony knew he had to seek help in order to break the cycle of phone addiction. 


However there were no support groups or programmes at this time, that were specifically designed around phone or social media addiction. Through his own determination for change, he overcame his addiction by creating practical daily solutions, through research and applying what he learnt over the years on his own. 


Thus Digital Discipline was born, a service dedicated to helping people of all ages become more aware of the dangers of social media and the over usage of any form of digital device. 


Digital Discipline has presented in numerous schools, community groups, church groups, Universities, health providers, a guest on multiple radio stations, numerous groups and individuals endorsing his work and has over has reached 

and inspired thousands of people online through Digital Discipline. 

The impact screen time and social media may have on your child in the future.

Dr. Jeanne Pau'uvale Teisina

Director | Kakala Malie Educational Services  

Manager | Akoteu Kato Kakala ECE Centre 

Lecturer | AUT University 

Malo e lelei pea malo ‘a ‘etau toe ma’u ‘a e ‘ahoni, ko Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina hoku hingoa.  

Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina was born in the island of Vava’u, a northern group of islands that make up the Tongan Kingdom. She was raised initially by her grandparents Kato and Fatai Lolohea, and came to New Zealand with her parents Meleane and Sifa Pau’uvale and siblings Sulieti, Lorraine, Sifa leka in 1995. She is married to Mosese Teisina of Ha’ano with 3 daughters Seinisia’O Toloke, Meleane Lilio, and Akosita Lepanoni Teisina. Her involvement in Tongan ECE as a manager have drawn her attentions to the cultural problems inherent in the regulatory context and curriculum frameworks of New Zealand Early Childhood.  

Jeanne’s doctoral study at AUT University looked at the the concept of ‘self’ through the lens of Tongan philosophic thought drawing on the Tongan world.  

Jeanne is actively involved within her Kainga Ako community from ECE right through to tertiary education as a lecturer at AUT University teaching the Pacific Curriculum and the Ako papers for primary school and ECE teachers in Aotearoa.

In Tongan cultural context, the complexities of our worldviews and ontologies are built on a collective orientation made up of tauhi or reciprocal relationships with our people, connected to the fonua (land), genealogies and the entire cosmos. It is hard to talanoa well-being for Pacific peoples especially when we are already overrepresented in health educational research and statistics. This well-being question in itself is conceptually rooted in Western thought and has to be rethought to be meaningful in Tongan (Pacific) life. The Tongan ideas of wellbeing opposes the ideologies that rest on the individual as a separate being detached with no connections to the aspirations and goals of nofo ‘a kāinga. The tensions embedded in our Tongan sense of identity are inconsistent with conventional Western values and goals. In order to unpack the Tongan ideas of holistic well-being in a clearer view, it is essential that we use the AU conceptual thinking within the praxis of Akoteu Katokakala. 

Leulua’iali’i Satuala Tanuvasa

Author, Publisher and St Therese Parish Pastoral Council Member 

Leulua’iali’i Satuala Tofaeono Tanuvasa is an author and publisher of Samoan educational books. He recently launched Wonderfully Made a suicide prevention youth program in Māngere. Leulua’iali’i has won numerous public speaking awards and titles. In 2020 he was awarded the Top Cultural Language Advocate Award. In 2022 he was awarded Champion of the Samoan Language in Parliament. As a writer he publishes the largest collection of Samoan educational resources. Leuluaialii believes in the Samoan proverb – “e fofo le alamea le alamea – a crown of thorns heals itself.” The solutions to language revitalisation lie within our community and government agencies to promote change. He is currently a member of the Parish Pastoral Council for St Therese Mangere. Leulua’iali’i also enjoys Italian food and performing viral tiktok dances. 

Spirituality impacts the lives of young Pacific children. This presentation aims to create robust conversations on spirituality. The speaker will also discuss the significance of spirituality as a key element for a child’s wellbeing. He encourages listeners to take a deeper approach when dealing with spirituality for Pacific children. 

Dr. Shabnam Jalili-Moghaddam

Auckland University of Technology 

Shabnam is qualified both as a Researcher and Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). She is a New Zealand (NZ) Registered Nutritionist and has international experience as a nutritionist in community and academic settings, working with different research teams including birth cohort and clinical trial studies. Currently she is working as a Research Officer-Project Manager at two departments: Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study and the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (NISAN). She has been working with PIF team since 2014 when she was doing her PhD titled What Children Are Eating And Risk Of Type Two Diabetes Mellitus. She is eager to make a substantive contribution to research and activities to improve and enhance the health and wellbeing of people in NZ. She is an active member of groups in the space of Nutrition, Child and Youth, and Public Health with the focus on improving the healthy eating and prevention of chronic diseases to positively impact health across the lifecycle.

Title: Risk of type two diabetes and eating patterns among Pacific youth at age 14 years phase; Pacific Islands Families Study. 

Authors/Presenters & Institution/Organisation/Group:  

Shabnam Jalili-Moghaddam 1, *, Gael Mearns 2, Elaine Rush 3 and El-Shadan Tautolo1 

1 Centre for Pacific Health and Development Research, School of Public Health and Interprofessional, 

Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1142, New Zealand;, 

2 School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology 1142, Auckland, New Zealand; 

3 Faculty of Health and Environmental Studies, Auckland University of Technology, 

Auckland 1142, New Zealand; 


* Correspondence: 

Type two diabetes mellitus (T2DM) presents most often in adulthood, it is starting to present in childhood. Patterns of eating and body size are the two closely connected modifiable risk factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships of eating patterns with risk of T2DM, using measures of glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and anthropometry. 

At the age of 14y 931 youth from the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) study completed dietary habit questionnaires. Anthropometry and HbA1c were measured. At 15y a sub-sample of 94 girls and 96 boys completed an online validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Eating patterns were differentiated by cluster analysis, associations by correlation and differences by chi-square tests. 

At age 14y four eating patterns were identified: ‘occasional’, ‘seafood’, ‘basic and staples’, and ‘meat and bread’. There were more girls than boys within the ‘seafood’ and ‘basic and staples’ patterns and less girls than boys in the ‘occasional’ and ‘meat and bread’ patterns (χ2 8.9, p = 0.03). Boys (57%) were more likely to be present in the ‘meat and bread’ pattern compared to the girls (43%) (χ2 4.3, p = 0.04). At age 15y boys drank more sugary drinks and ate less snacks and sweets than girls. HbA1c was positively and significantly related to weight, waist, BMI and waist to height ratio. No association of HbA1c with the frequency of consumption of any foods including sugary drinks or eating patterns was found. 

Relatively poor nutrient and high-energy food items are frequently consumed by youth in the PIF study. This less healthy eating pattern may reflect the food environment including cost of healthier foods such as fruit and access. Multisectoral action including the food industry and commercial outlets

Evo Leota-Tupou

Director, Business and Product Development 

Pacific Kids Learning 

Evo is the founder of Pacific Kids Learning.  

In an era where Pacific languages are endangered and cultural knowledge gaps are widening, we exist to revitalise and strengthen cultural knowledge and identity in young people. 

Saoatulagi-ole-Tagaloa Penina Ifopo

Founder and Director 

Fale Lalaga Aotearoa 

O a’u o  Saoatulagioletagaloa Penina Tu’unai Ifopo.  Ole afafine o Tu’unai Nua mai ile afioaga o Solosolo ma Samalaulu Kilisitina Tapusalaia IFOPO So’o o Musumusu ma Salimu i Fagaloa, Vaa o Fonoti.   

I am the product of the village that raised and prayed with me. I come from a line of tufuga ole aganuu ma le gagana, tautai ole sami, fanua ma le vao, master weavers, orators, story tellers, visionaries, educators, composers, and innovators.  My values are embedded in everything I do: Atua (God), Aiga (Family) and Alofa Fetausia’i (to share Love).   

Born and cocooned in Laloaoa Musumusu, I am spiritually, culturally, physically and socially connected to my surroundings and the universe. I am blessed, gifted and honoured to bring the vision of my ancestors and elders to Aotearoa New Zealand and to share it with the world. 

Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I heading? 

Dantzel Tiakia

Moana Connect

Dantzel Tiakia is the Project Co-ordinator for the Moana Research Vaka at Moana Connect. 

She is Māori and Niuean, with her whakapapa tying back to Ngāti Wai and Lakepa in Niue. 

Her upbringing, studies and work experience have lead her to interests in Pasifika health, community health and mental health.  She has a passion to serve her Pasifika communities, specifically in terms of health and well-being. 

Dr. Jean Mitaera

Chief Advisor Pacific

Whitireia WelTec

Associate Professor Tracie Mafileo

Massey University School of Social Work

Jean is Maori Cook Islands with 30 plus years in social work education and research. A stalwart of PACIFICA Inc, raised in PIPC Newtown and Trustee for Centre for Pacific Languages and Taeaomanino Trust. She is the Chief Advisor Pacific, Whitireia WelTec (with portfolios in Pacific health and research, Social Practice and Pacific success).

Malo e lelei, I am passionate about stories and community-engaged research. With an early career as a social worker, most of my work has been in University teaching, administration and research. My research seeks to promote Pacific-Indigenous voices to inform policy and practice. I have a research professor role with Avondale University (Australia) and am an associate professor in the Massey University School of Social Work. 

Background: Pacific children and families can be underserved in New Zealand social services. A cultural humility framework was developed to grow the capability of the New Zealand children’s workforce to work with Pacific children and their families. Commissioned by Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, Partnering for Outcomes, as an action of the Children’s Action Plan, this study aimed to articulate the cultural skills, knowledge, values and attitudes required of all staff working with Pacific children and families (including social workers, youth and family workers, support and administration staff, managers and governors).  


Approach: The study was guided by the Kakala research framework, and included talanoa with a sample of the children’s workforce (n=37, including key informants, practitioners, managers, and governors) throughout the country, both Pacific and non-Pacific.  The study also engaged Pacific young people and their families (n=28) who had experience as service-users from four different locations across the country.   


Results: Informed by the voices of Pacific young people and their families and the children’s workforce, the cultural humility framework has two domains – organisational and practitioner. Attributes of organisations embedding cultural humility are: 1) Cultures, spirituality and faiths of Pacific communities are embraced and celebrated; (2) Pacific community connections are established and meaningful; (3) Pacific workforce is strategically developed; and (3) Learning and accountability are embedded. Attributes of practitioners and frontline workers demonstrating cultural humility are: (1) Reflection and learning are cornerstones for growth; (2) Vā-centred (cultural relational space) relationships are a foundation for practice; (3) Preferred language and culture of Pacific families shapes the approach; (4) Systems are made responsive to Pacific aspirations; and (5) Pacific practice models are applied. Principles of equity, relationships and learning underpin the cultural humility framework.  


Conclusions: Ongoing learning and competency development of the children’s workforce to engage and serve Pacific children and families is needed for Pacific child wellbeing outcomes. The cultural humility framework developed in this study, was informed by lived experience of Pacific young people and families and by the practice and leadership experience of the Pacific and non-Pacific children’s workforce. Both organisations and practitioners need to have a relationship-centred approach. 

Dr. Therese Lautua

The University of Auckland

Therese is a theologian and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Auckland. The experiences of having mixed cultural heritage from Samoa (Tulaele, Lalomanu, Poutasi, Amaile, Samusu) and Aotearoa (NZ European) as well as her Catholic faith have inspired Therese’s research pursuits in the areas of Practical & Contextual Theology, Pacific identity, and mental wellbeing. This interdisciplinary approach is grounded in her passion for creating meaningful research that has practical outcomes for Pacific peoples and local church communities. 

This paper will explore key themes in current literature on children’s spirituality and how the lived experiences of Pacific families might breathe life into this research area from a theological perspective. Current Western, socio-cultural, and often quantitative research into children’s spirituality does not consider cultural identity and geographical context as factors which might impact spiritual growth. Children’s spirituality in the Pacific diasporic context of Aotearoa flows into many areas of life – families with children who have disabilities, how the environment is perceived, interactions with the digital world all within a pandemic era. British young children’s education specialist, Tony Eaude, argues that allowing children’s voices to be heard through their narratives, stories and pictures can challenge adults to address difficult questions on the meaning of life, identity and purpose. It can therefore force adults to deal with their own past mental trauma, or perpetuate habits of being over-protective and close off communication in everyday family life. This paper will raw together and delve into the intersections of Pacific definitions of spirituality in a family setting, local church examples of spiritual and pastoral care of children, and how children’s spiritual growth should not be thought of as a linear set of activities. 

Dr. Rae Si’ilata

The University of Auckland

Dr. Rae Siʻilata (Ngāti Raukawa/Tūhourangi/Fiji) is Director of Vaʻatele Education Consulting and a senior lecturer at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Dr. Meg Jacobs (American of Irish/German/Swiss descent) is a lead researcher with Vaʻatele Education Consulting and lecturer at Auckland University of Technology. Professor Janet Gaffney (American of European descent) is a university researcher and teacher educator at Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland. Martha Aseta (Samoan) is a researcher with Vaʻatele Education Consulting and a primary school trained teacher. Kyla Hansell (Ngāpuhi/German/Samoan) is the Vaʻatele Education Consulting project coordinator and a PLD workshop facilitator. 

Va’atele Education Consulting 


The Pasifika Early Literacy Project (PELP) is a Ministry of Education funded professional learning and development (PLD) and research initiative that was established in 2014. PELP supports teachers to make space for the linguistic and cultural resources of Pacific children and their families. In this presentation, we will share research exemplars that highlight how dual-language books in five Pacific languages (gagana Samoa/Samoan, gagana Tokelau/Tokelauan, lea faka-Tonga/Tongan, te reo Māori Kūki ʻAirani/Cook Islands Māori, and vagahau Niue/Niuean) and English were used as catalysts to connect to families’ embodied cultural literacies.

Pacific relational practices were privileged in PELP methodological and pedagogical approaches. Research methods included talanoa at family fono facilitated in Pacific language groups, and with teachers and children during centre and school visits and teacher PLD. Teu le va was enacted throughout each aspect of the project to emphasise a collective, power-sharing approach. Data collection also included a quantitative data stream to show evidence of impact regarding children’s reading progress over time. 
PELP professional learning and development provided space for teachers to understand Pacific children’s expressive modalities across visual and oral texts as valued early literacies. Pacific-medium teachers were positioned as knowledge holders, sharing culturally grounded pedagogical expertise in PLD workshops. PELP fono provided a space for Pacific families to reflect on their intergenerational stories and aspirations for their children in their home languages. A series of exemplars will be shared to highlight child, family, and teacher contributions that shaped power-sharing outcomes. 
System support for children, families, and teachers is necessary to affirm Pacific children’s worldviews and identities in early childhood education and schooling. This research highlights how teachers can validate Pacific children’s ways of knowing and being alongside families, so they can be successful as who they are in multiple worlds.

Amio Ikihele

Moana Connect

Amio is the General Manager – Community & Innovations.  Before working for Moana Research, she was the Innovations Lead for TAHA Maternal and Child Health Service and was instrumental in developing a smartphone application and website to support pregnancy and parenting for Pacific (Tapuaki), Maori and teen mothers.  Amio currently leads DIGIFALE ( which is an intergenerational digital literacy programme that provides the necessary access, connectivity, and skills required to improve digital health equity. 

Amio is also a registered nurse who has completed her Master of Health Science gaining first class honours, exploring the perceptions of sexual health and sources of sexual health information among NZ-born Niuean adolescent females living in Auckland. She has extensive teaching experience coming from Manukau Institute of Technology teaching in the undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing Pacific and Pacific community health work programmes. Her research expertise in sexual health and digital innovations has seen Amio serve on various advisory groups which include the NZ Telelehealth Leadership Forum, SparkHealth, Health Navigator NZ Trust, The Village Collective, Pacific Nurses Section (NZNO), and Tau Nosi Niue (Niue Nurses Association NZ). 

Amio is currently a PhD candidate with the University of Auckland. The topic of her research – Digital health equity through a Pacific lens: Niue women and cardiovascular disease as a case study. 

Pearl Ng Shiu & Mary Aue

STEM South Auckland Kids

South Auckland STEM – Coconut Wireless Initiative