Massey welcomes senior research scientist as new Dean Pacific


Dr Palatasa Havea

Professor Palatasa Havea.


Professor Palatasa Havea ONZM has been appointed as Dean Pacific in the new Office of Pasifika Student Success. Professor Havea, also known as Tasa, comes to Massey from Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North where he was Principal Research Scientist.

Originally from Tonga, Professor Havea’s 22-year research career began when he studied a food technology degree at Massey University. He returned to complete a PhD in Food Technology and his inventions have resulted in the manufacture of the highest returning range of dairy protein products by Fonterra.

Professor Havea’s research has been published widely in international scientific journals and he has presented at numerous international scientific conferences. He has supervised a large number of postgraduate research students.

Professor Havea also brings a distinguished record of leadership in the Pacific community, serving on a range of boards, committees and reference groups. A strong advocate for encouraging Pacific students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, he is part of the Reference Group at the Ministry of Social Development developing new strategy, is Deputy Chair of the Pacific Education Foundation Board at the Tertiary Education Commission and chairs the Amanaki STEM Academy Board.

In January 2018, he received the Queen’s medal, NZ Order of Merit, in recognition of his services to the dairy industry and the Pacific community in New Zealand.

The role of Dean Pacific follows the formation of a new Office of Pasifika Student Success at the University. The office will provide leadership and raise awareness of Pasifika@Massey internally and externally, through engagement, advocacy and the support of initiatives that aim to help Pasifika students succeed and fulfil their aspirations.

Professor Havea will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and advocacy for Pasifika at Massey – supporting Pacific student and staff success. He will lead, coordinate and implement strategy and represent Massey University on matters relating to Pacific tertiary education, research and development at a national level.

Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes says the Office of Pasifika Student Success has been created to “lead a real change for Pacific students and staff at Massey. This new team will focus on enhancing Pacific student success across the University.

“I am looking forward to having Professor Havea join us here at Massey and bringing his deeply valuable knowledge and leadership experience to help enhance the experiences of Pacific staff and students at the University.”

Professor Havea will be based at the Palmerston North campus and commences in the role on Monday 3 February.

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