Our Work Is About
Leading and advocating that Pasifika languages, knowledge and cultural skills are specialist forms of educational knowledge.
Advocating for educational programmes that reflect Pasifika language, knowledge and cultural skills that contribute to Pasifika leadership and confident Pasifika communities.
Developing strategies in consultation with Pacific-ethnic stakeholders to achieve the best design and delivery of educational programmes.
Providing quality information, tools and resources that are relevant to Pasifika.
Delivering educational programmes that are responsive to the changing needs of Pasifika communities, that maximise individual achievement and are reflective of Pasifika cultural values.
Pasifika Education Centre History
In 1974, the idea for setting up an educational institute to cater for the needs of an increasing Pacific Island population was first mooted at a conference called by the Minister of Education Honourable Phil Amos at Lopdell House.
Around this time 78,000 Pacific Islanders resided in New Zealand. An Auckland star special report on Pacific Island issues in the country and in the Pacific Islands at the time described a Pacific community struggling to cope with the reality of living in New Zealand.
“Many came with the notion that Auckland’s streets were paved with gold. For almost all of them it was their first trip from their home island, for most they were coming to their first job. Western Samoa figures showed that 73% of those that come here have never worked before, other than at home or on the family plantation. They have touching, simple confidence… they think they know all about New Zealand.”
“The Government began to show qualified awareness those policies to deal with the situation needed to be devised.”
It’s over forty years since the idea of the Pacific Islanders Education Resource Centre was conceived.
1974: The idea was mooted for an educational institute to cater for the increasing Pacific Island population. At that time, 78,000 Pacific Islanders lived in New Zealand.
1978: The Pacific Islanders Education Resource Centre (PIERC) opened in Herne Bay.
Early 1980’s: Due to growing needs in South Auckland a branch was opened in Mangere.
1993: PIERC renamed to PIERC Education and relocated to Atkinson Ave in Otahuhu.
2004: PIERC becomes Pasifika Education Centre (PEC) and moves to the Pacific Business Trust Centre, Great South Road, Otahuhu.
2010: PEC relocates to Lambie Drive in Manukau.
2016: PEC relocates to Manukau Institute of Technology and begins a partnership to deliver language and culture as a joint venture
2018: In September, PEC celebrated its 40th Anniversary.
Pasifika Education Centre Board
Ron is a company director managing a portfolio of Pasifika ECEs. He comes from an extensive background in business advisory and consultancy in the community and corporate sectors. He has specific expertise in setting strategic direction, introducing effective management systems and a focus on delivering quality services. Ron is an experienced trustee and company director, having been a trustee on numerous boards including the Auckland Kindergarten Association.
Pafitimai Salā Dr Fa'asaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota, Trustee
Pafitimai is a Pasifika Early Childhood Education (ECE) Lecturer, Researcher, Consultant and Leader with more than 30 years of experience in the sector. She is the current President for SAASIA Inc (Samoan National ECE Association in New Zealand). A published academic on Samoan cultural knowledge 's contribution in legitimising the Pasifika world view. She is an Education Consultant with Tatai Angitu at Massey University, as well as working on several national and international projects.
Iani is a Community Development and Engagement Manager at Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities. He comes with extensive experience in the labour market, social work, community economic development and relationship management. He has more than 20 years of experience across central government, local government, non government and private sectors in housing, tertiary training, employment and local government. Tertiary qualifications in social work, social policy, economic development and theology add to his skills and knowledge.
Professor Tania Ka'ai,
Tania has more than 30 years experience in Tertiary education. 20 of these as a Professor. She holds dual positions in Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development at AUT. Tania's passion for education, particularly for minorities is reflected in her academic work. An Indigenous Scholar, Tania uses her cultural values nurtured by her elders and mentors as the epistemological framework that informs her scholarly writing, teaching and supervision of Māori and Pasifika researchers. Tania is a strong advocate for indigenising the university space for Māori and Pasifika.
Aiolupotea Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono, Ex-Officio Trustee
Aiolupotea is the current Deputy Chief Executive - Regional Partnerships with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. She brings more than 20 years of successful community engagement through education in the Tertiary education sector. Aiolupo's current role takes her across Aotearoa engaging with Pacific communities and supporting the development of new initiatives and enterprise that will see the future leaders contributing to the success of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Co-Founder of WE Accounting Ltd with his wife Wyndi, Eli is a Chartered Accountant in NZ and a Certified Practicing Accountant in Australia and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Eli brings 15 years of experience as an Accountant in the commercial sector, cutting his teeth with industrial, retail and government sector clients. Before starting his company, Eli was an Auditor for the Inland Revenue Department and for RSM Prince.
Dr Salainaoloa Wilson,
Salainaoloa currently lectures at the School of Language and Culture at the Auckland University of Technology. The preservation and proliferation of the Samoan Language in the Samoan community and its diaspora has been at the heart of her academic journey and scholarly writings. She is a member of the Vakatele Pacific Research Network and the Pacific Regional Language Network. Current areas of research include Sociolinguistics: Language Maintenance and Shift and Samoan Language Sustainability.
Dr Jean Mitaera,
Jean is currently the Chief Advisor Pacific Strategy for Weltec and Whitireia Polytechnics. She is respected and experienced researcher, educator, trainer, facilitator and a registered Social Worker. She has lectured at Victoria University Wellington and has been Social Work Programme Lead at the School of Social & Community Work at Whitireia Polytechnic. She is a past National President of the Pasifika Women's Organisation. Jean has written and co-authored numerous publications. A much sort after speaker.
Pasifika Education Centre Team
Tuiloma Gayle Lafaiali'i,
Tuiloma has more than 20 years of experience in the Tertiary education sector, including 7 years at NZQA. She has worked in many Private Training Establishments in Senior Leadership positions. Passionate in improving the lives of Pasifika communities through language, culture and identity. Her strengths are in Education, Innovation and Social Justice. As a Senior Executive she sees organisational structures and culture as enablers for learners to engage and succeed at the at all levels. She has excellent project management, risk management, quality assurance and research skills and field tested knowledge and experience.
Crystal is the backbone of our operation. She is the face you see when you pop in; and more than likely the voice you hear when you call. She will also be the person who responds to your emails and questions when you send us an email.
Papali'i Ida-Tifitifi Fuimaono,
Ida takes over as our Programme Lead. A trained teacher with experience in central government and event planning and management. She brings her knowledge, experience and can do attitude to PEC.