History of Pasifika @ Massey

Massey University was the first university to recognise the importance of Pasifika communities when it introduced the Pasifika@Massey Strategy 2006 – 2009: En route to Cultural Democracy, which specifically identified the needs of the Pasifika communities, and what Massey University could do to respond to those needs.

Top-ranked Tongan medical doctor and academic Professor Sitaleki Finau was appointed the Director Pasifika in 2006 becoming the first to hold this role in New Zealand.

This conscious journey continued in 2013 when the Pasifika@Massey 2020: Growing Pearls of Wisdom strategy was introduced, continuing the legacy, and providing a strategic framework to support the educational aspirations and economic needs of Pasifika communities, and what this could look like.

Most rewardingly of all, the University has seen an increased collaboration with the Pasifika community through programmes like orientation and open days, community PolyFests, Pasifika Fusion, and in undertaking research on key issues impacting Pasifika peoples.

Massey students overall are generally older, and study part-time and by distance. Pasifika learners at Massey reflect these patterns, with just over half of Pasifika students aged over 25, almost half studying by distance, and 40 per cent studying part-time, in order to fit in with work and family life.

Driven by the Massey University Strategy 2018 – 2022, the Pacific Learner Success Plan has been developed after working with students to find out what they needed in order to succeed. Developing an ecosystem that fosters support and success along every step of the educational pathway has been key.

Each campus now hosts a Pasifika space that students can use, and easy access to academic and pastoral support. We also hold annual celebrations for Pasifika graduates, which acknowledge and celebrate their success, alongside their families. 

In 2020 the Growing Pearls of Wisdom strategy will be reviewed and a new long-term strategy for Pasifika students will be introduced under the leadership of the new Dean, Pasifika, from the Office of Pasifika Student Success. 

As Massey University looks to the future, it will continue its mission to empower Pasifika students and communities to achieve their social and economic aspirations through excellence in education, research and leadership.

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey