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He Taunga Waka Facilitators

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Last updated 09 August 2016 13:12 by NZTecAdmin


He Taunga Waka Facilitators

Lina Samu


Tuiloma Lina Samu (Faleula, Sapunaoa, Salelesi, Sa'asatele in Upolu, Samoa and Pu'apu'a ma Iva, Savai'i, Samoa) is a Samoan woman born in Aotearoa based in Auckland. Her greatest achievement is being mother to 23 year old daughter Jessica (Sika).

She holds the tulafale-ali’i matai/ orator speaking chief title of "Tuiloma" from her mother's village Sapunaoa, Falealili, Samoa.  She is proficient in the Samoan, Te Reo Māori, Tongan, French and English languages.

She is in the final months of completing her PhD degree through Massey University’s Whāriki/ SHORE Research Centre, the School of Public Health. Her thesis is entitled: Digital Navigators - how young Pasifika adults are navigating the new millennium on Facebook.

Her involvement in the adult literacy sector began as a volunteer tutor for He Waka Mātauranga in 2007, an organisation specialising in Māori and Pasifika peoples’ literacy needs based in South Auckland.  She has been the Kaiwhakahaere-Chairperson on their Kōmiti Matua Governance Board for five years.

Lina also undertakes contract work as a Nationwide Trainer for Literacy Aotearoa teaching the Certificate of Adult Literacy Tutoring (CALT), the NCALNE (Educator) and the NCALNE (Vocational) qualifications.

Recently she was appointed to the PHARMAC Consumer Advisory Committee for three years due to her community work and expertise in Mangere, South Auckland, the mental health and addictions sector and Pasifika health. As a reward for finishing her PhD, she will travel to all the tennis major tournament Grand Slams in Paris, London, New York and Melbourne.

Lina was on the Working Group that developed the He Taunga Waka workshops.

Benita Tahuri


Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe

Benita’s current role is National Specialist in the Knowledge and Learning Department for HR (Human Resources) at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. She is one of two national advisors responsible for all training and development needs of all staff around the country.

Previous to this role she was the Academic advisor for the Tainui Rohe and also the Kaiako Matua – Campus Manager of the Tainui rohe campus in Glenview, Hamilton.

Benita was one of the Regional Advisors for the National roll out of Literacy and Numeracy training for Kaiako teaching in Vocational programmes from Levels 1 – 3 for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. She was a part of a small team of advisors who are responsible for the training, development and design including delivery of a Level 5 National Certificate in Literacy and Numeracy across all campuses.

Her qualifications are:

  • National Certificate in Adult Literacy Education (NCALE)
  • Christopher Howard International qualifications in;
  • Masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Master Practitioner in Neurological Repatterning
  • Master in Hypnosis
  • Master Results Coach
  • Higher Cert. In Teaching English as a Second Language (Auck College of Education)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching(Secondary)
  • Master’s in Education (Māori Education) – Victoria University Wellington
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching Māori. Victoria University Wellington

Benita was on the Working Group that developed the He Taunga Waka workshops.

Makuini Hohapata


Ngāti Pukeko; Ngāti Awa; Te Whanau a Apanui; Tūhourangi

Makuini was part of the University of Waikato, National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults professional development team from 2011 – 2013.  During this time she collaborated in the development of the ‘Engaging Māori Learners’ workshop curriculum and facilitated workshops nationwide. These workshops were the first of its kind in the country.  The workshops were delivered across the nation and within each sub sector of the tertiary environment.  

Makuini has ten years’ experience working in the tertiary sector which has allowed her to develop extensive experience and knowledge in:

  • Research
  • Literacy /numeracy –knowledge and experience in using the various tools and resources
  • Theoretical and practical understanding of how to apply kaupapa Māori and Pasifika frameworks
  • Working as an educator with Māori learners and Pasifika learners
  • Experienced as a trainer/professional development of others from all ethnic backgrounds.

 She has a Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori, NCALE Vocational, and a National Certificate in Computing Lv4.

Her degree programme research led her to look at the whakapapa of her whānau, iwi and hapū in its takiwā. It also provided the opportunity to be a member of the team that collaborated in action research as a literacy and numeracy facilitator for the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults.  She is currently the Administrator for the Kia Eke Panuku project and supports the team to provide Professional Development Training work throughout the Central North Island with secondary school Principals and Senior Leadership Teams. Kia Eke Panuku is a project that develops strategic leadership and is underpinned by a moral imperative to improve Māori student outcomes. The programme seeks to develop a culturally responsive pedagogy across all levels of the school.

Makuini was on the working group that developed the He Taunga Waka workshops.


Bruce George

Bruce George

Cook Island Māori

Bruce trained and worked as a NZQA moderator for Adult literacy unit standards and has over 30 years’ experience working in the literacy sector. His experiences range from tutoring on TOP’s courses to conducting workplace literacy needs analyses and programme setup at Whare Ako in Kawerau, The Warehouse in Taupō and Rotorua, and NZ Post in Rotorua.

He has delivered a literacy programme at Paremoremo Prison and has worked at the following tertiary institutions:

  • Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (Learning support facilitator)
  • Massey University Albany (Māori learning Advisor)
  • Auckland University of Technology (Lecturer for Māori Literacy on the Master of Adult literacy and Numeracy programme).

Bruce is currently a National Trainer and Curriculum Manager for Literacy Aotearoa and is a member of the Working Group for (TROQ) Adult literacy qualifications and the Reference Group for the Pasifika Success as Pasifika (ACE Aotearoa).

His qualifications include a Certificate in Workplace Basic Skills Training (Lancaster University) a Bachelor of Māori Studies and a Master of Indigenous Studies (Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi). Bruce also enjoys working with community groups like local Kōhanga reo, Pasifika Parent groups, Rotorua Cook Islands Committee and Pacific contemporary arts committee

Bruce is also the Project Manager- Pasifika for the He Taunga Waka project.

Dr Mei Winitana


Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, me Te Āti Awa ki Waiwhetū.

Mei is currently an independent consultant doing contract tutoring. Prior to this, she worked for four years at Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi as a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor of Education Teaching, Masters + Prof Doc programmes.

She has extensive experience in leading, directing, guiding, and mentoring other professionals as a Literacy/Numeracy and Māori pedagogy workshop facilitator in the ITP, Polytechnic, and Whare Wānanga settings.

She is also very experienced in establishing positive working relationships with people at all levels in the public and private sectors, and related industries.

Most recently she has developed and facilitated workshops in Literacy/Numeracy/ Māori pedagogies for the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy (NCLANA), Waikato University (2009-2010). Delivery of these workshops included Polytechnic/ PTE and Whare Wānanga sectors.

Liza Kohunui


Te Arawa me Ngāi Tūhoe descent and lives in her hometown of Rotorua. 

Liza has 13 years' experience working in literacy and numeracy sector, having held local and national positions of this nature in reputable New Zealand learning institutions.  Her experiences range from Lecturing, tutoring, curriculum development, training, to managing the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy contract for Career Network. 

Liza is currently the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Programme Manager for Career Network and is the chair of the Rotorua Literacy and Numeracy group, which promotes Language, Literacy and Numeracy awareness and success for their community. 

Her qualifications include a National Certificate in Social Work (Waiariki Institute of Technology), National Cert in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Educator (Literacy Aotearoa), Bachelor of Social Science (Waikato University).  Liza is also a trustee of NZ Cuban Festival and the Rotorua Performing Arts Center.

Pale Sauni

Pale Sauni

Pale comes with 30 years’ experience working in Pasifika health and education communities. His background is in Social Work, not only at the micro level of society with individuals, but equally important at the macro level and the bigger picture. He has spent his time in creating, developing, engaging and maintain Pasifika pedagogies of transformative learning to include the cultural world-views for out ethnic specific groups. Pale has worked to critically examine our teaching practices and engagement in regards to Pasifika education. He is presently Pasifika Advice and Support at the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income.

Pale also provided the Professional Development-Pasifika role with the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy and continues to complete a number of projects of research and evaluation in and for Pasifika and Māori communities.

Pale contributed to the development of the He Taunga Workshops.


Manogi Tavelia

Manogli Tavelia

Manogi is currently working as Engagement Strategies Senior Advisor (Māori, Pasifika , Youth and Governance) for Literacy Aotearoa with a focus towards increasing access to literacy and numeracy services for priorities groups Māori, Pasifika and Youth.  

Manogi has always had a love for reading and history which translated into working after secondary school and taking a wee hiatus to do the OE  before returning to further studies (Bachelor of International Communications (Hons) and MPhil in Social Policy).

She has completed the CALT Level 5 and NCALNE to upskill and obtain further understanding of the adult literacy and numeracy field.

She has been working at Literacy Aotearoa for over 4 years. Previous roles include community engagement, advocacy and representation on various Pasifika forums.

Janet Te Rore

Janet Te Rore

Janet is the Manager and Founder of Te Roroa Learning Assistance, Dargaville (1999). She is a member of the Literacy Aotearoa governance body Te Kōruru, and within this body, she is also a member of the Policy committee.  She is a contracted trainer at Poupou and national level, delivering the Literacy Aotearoa Certificate in Adult Literacy Level 5, National Certificate in Literacy and Numeracy (Educator) and National Certificate in Literacy and Numeracy (Vocational). She was also a contracted evaluator of Poupou performance.  More recently she has been carrying out an assessor role (CALT L5 assessments).

During her association with Literacy Aotearoa (since 1994), she has been a Poupou tutor, administrator, manager, trainer, evaluator, assessor and a contributing member within a variety of working groups, for example, the Literacy Aotearoa Student Assessment Working Group, Blended Training (Resources) Working Group, NCER and Literacy Aotearoa  Wellbeing Assessment  Framework Group etc.

She received her B.Ed. (primary) in 2005 from Auckland University and has teaching experience ranging from mainstream primary to alternative education in high school environments and polytechnics.

Janet Te Rore has also held a ministerial appointment to the governing council of Northland Polytechnic (now Northtec) Whangārei.

She is passionate about education and is a self-confessed lifelong learner.

Len Matautia

Len Matautia

Len is Samoan and has been a Carpentry Tutor for Pasifika Trades Training at WelTEC for the past 4 years.  Prior to that he worked as a qualified carpenter.

His background is in:

  • Pasifika Studies.
  • Teaching Pasifika students the fundamental of Construction.
  • Mentoring staff (WelTec) on how to teach Pasifika Students.
  • Developing strategies on teaching Pasifika Students.

Len is passionate about being a role model for his community and it is his belief that there is much room for development in the area of education for young Pacific people. He is a member of a research team working with Ako Aotearoa on the ‘Discovering the language of the trades’ project and has recently presented ‘Building Houses’ which he co-created. It focuses on building literacy skills and confidence in students.

He most recently co-presented the He Taunga Waka – Teu Le Vā summary presentation at the NCLANA 2015 Symposium in Wellington.

Len has a passion for rugby, rugby league and Church.

Danielle O'Halloran 

Danielle O'Halloran

Danielle (MEd candidate, BA Hons – Pacific Studies), has worked as a Pasifika Advisor at the University of Canterbury since 2010, and is involved in developing  effective academic supports for Pasifika students through evidence based good practices.

For the last three years, Danielle has been a co-researcher on a collaborative Ako Aotearoa project – Change Strategies for Pasifika Success at Canterbury Tertiary Institutions (see Danielle’s Diversity Week presentation here). This wider project, led to her own Master of Education thesis on Restorying Pasifika students’ Inclusion, Success and Supplementary Tutoring at the University of Canterbury.

Danielle’s experience in applied research on improving education for adult Pasifika learners, provides a strong platform from which to share teaching and learning strategies in a variety of contexts, most recently, for the College of Education’s Postgraduate Certificate of Tertiary Teaching on ‘Teaching Diverse Learners.’

As second generation Pasifika, Danielle connects to Samoa through her father’s village of Malie and to Ireland and England through her mother’s Pakeha roots. Danielle was part of the movement in the early 2000s, as a founding member of Daughters of the Pacific, to widen understandings of Pasifika identities to include younger NZ born, mixed ethnicity, culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. In her weekends, Danielle is also a mentor and workshop facilitator for Rising Voices Youth slam poetry. Danielle’s background in education and storytelling creative arts make her workshops a warm and playful educative space. 

Tama Kirikiri 

Tama Kirikiri

 Tama Kirikiri is Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori – Sector Leader Māori Medium at Tātai Angitu e3@Massey. He is responsible for managing the contract delivery of PLD in Māori Medium kura.

He was formerly at Ako Aotearoa where he was senior project manager for our Hei Toko i te Tukunga – Enabling Success For Māori Learners project.

Waitiahoaho Emery

Waitiahoaho Emery

Nō Ngāti Pikiao, nō ngā waru pūmanawa o Te Arawa. Nō Ngāti Unu – Ngāti Kahu hoki, he uri patupaiarehe nō roto o te rohe o Ngāti Maniapoto.

Waitiahoaho is an independent education and cultural consultant working at national and local community levels. Her recent work has included Te Ahu o Te Reo research project: The Health of Te Reo Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Ata Hāpara Māori Reading assessments development – Adult Assessment Tool (NZCER); Literacy and Numeracy Projects Manager (Waiariki Institute of Technology); Professional Development Facilitator (Waikato University – NCLANA); researcher and writer of iwi contextualised readers (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao). She also tutors part time in te reo Māori and foundation studies.

Waitiahoaho has many years experience in kaupapa Māori and mainstream education with a passion for using Māori pedagogy to raise skills and increase success in teaching and learning. She has worked across the education sector in Whare Wānanga, ITP, Polytechnic, marae and community; primary to secondary school; kōhanga reo and ECE. Her roles have included teacher/tutor, academic advisor, student support, programme developer, programme manager, researcher, professional development provider and advisor.

Waitiahoaho’s education qualifications include MA (1st Class Hons), BA Hons (1st Class Hons), BEd, Dip Teaching, BMPA, Certificate Adult Teaching, NCALE (Voc).



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