Press Release – Massey University
Supporting and nurturing Pasifika students at Massey is the focus for Massey’s new Pasifika director.
Tongan-born Dr Malakai Koloamatangi has been appointed as the new Pasifika director within the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Māori and Pasifika).
Dr Koloamatangi replaces Professor Sitaleki Finau and will continue to promote and implement the University’s Pasifika strategy.
The strategy, which is a first for a New Zealand university, aims to encourage more Pacific Islanders to take part in university life and promote research based on Pacific Island values, ethics and priorities.
Dr Koloamatangi says it’s important for universities to meet the changing needs of New Zealanders.
“It will be an honour to be at the forefront of a University that supports the development and care of Pasifika staff, students and research,” he says.
His parents moved to New Zealand from Tonga in search of better education and opportunities for him and his siblings.
“My parents came to New Zealand for us, to ensure that we have a better future and this appointment really fulfils that dream. I was the first one in my family to go to University, and it will be a privilege to watch and nurture other Pasifika students to be able to do the same.”
Dr Koloamatangi, who grew up in Auckland, has been the acting director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at Canterbury University for the past 10 years.
He will bring a wealth of academic nuances and experience in international and national Pasifika development and has an extensive political background.
Assistant Vice Chancellor Selwyn Katene says Dr Koloamatangi fills an important role.
“It [role] will encompass finding ways to forge academic pathways and to champion the Pasifika@Massey strategy,” Dr Katene says. “This will be just one of the many tasks that he will be intrusted with.”
Dr Koloamatangi will be formally welcomed at the Albany campus on April 16.