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At the forefront of Pacific Language and Culture in Aotearoa since 1978

Our Board

Mele Wendt (Chair)


Mele Wendt (BA, DipTchg, CertMgt) has 17 years of leadership/management experience and 20 years of governance experience. Her roles have included being a high school teacher, the founding pacific islands liaison officer and manager of the student recruitment office at Victoria University of Wellington, and then the executive director of Fulbright New Zealand for ten years.  In the last three years Mele has been doing a mix of consultancy work and governance. As well as being PEC’s Board Chair, Mele serves on the boards of Te Kura (the Correspondence School) and the ASH Foundation. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and a governance facilitator. Mele is Samoan (Malie, Vaiala, Lefaga) and palagi (NZ/Britain), and lives in Wellington.


Pafitimai Salā Dr Faasaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota


Born in Vailoatai in Tutuila, schooled in Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand Pafitimai Salā Dr Faasaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota has spent almost 30 years in the early childhood sector with twenty years lecturing and programme leader for Pasifika education at tertiary level.  Selected to be a panellist for the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Excellence Awards in Education, the Pasifika input for the development of Vulnerable Children’s paper and the current president of the SAASIA Inc (Samoan National ECE Association in NZ) for the last 9 years, she has published widely on Samoan cultural knowledge’s contribution in legitimising Pasifika world view. She hails from Vatia in Tutuila, Vaiala, Moataa, Sapunaoa and Leauvaa from Samoa.  Dr Tagoilelagi-Leota is an education consultant under Tatai Angitu of Massey University, working on international and national contracts. 

Metua Bates 


Metua Bates QSM, MBA, NZRN. Former Chair of MIT’s Pacific Advisory Committee to the Faculty of Nursing & Health Studies, Metua has over three decades of experience in the health, education and social sectors in both governance and management roles. Currently with Alliance Health Plus (PHO) as Manager Pacific Integration and Development Services, highlights of her career include roles as Operations Manager for the Meningococcal B Clinical Trials (University of Auckland), establishment of the Starship Children’s Hospital Pacific Family Support Unit, management of the Manukau Youth Centre and Patient Care Coordinator for South Auckland Crown Health Enterprise.

 Born Amuri, Aitutaki Cook Islands, Metua migrated with her family to NZ at 4 years of age. She has held a number of executive posts in community organizations including Chair Pacific Health & Welfare, National Treasurer P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A., Vice President of the Cook Islands Health Network Association (NZ) Inc – CIHNA and Co-chair of the Cook Islands Nurses Association Aotearoa (CINAA). 

Metua is proud of her Cook Islands-Tahitian-Papaa heritage, 2 children and is the proud nana of 6 grandchildren.

Professor Tania Ka’ai


Professor Ka’ai is the Director of Te Ipukarea – The National Māori Language Institute and Te Whare o Rongomaurikura – The International Centre for Language Revitalisation.  She grew up in a family with a cultural landscape drawn from both a Māori and Pacific heritage; she is New Zealand Māori, Native Hawaiian, Cook Islands Māori and Samoan. As an Indigenous scholar teaching and researching in a university, Professor Ka’ai uses the cultural values and knowledge transmitted by her Māori and Pacific elders and mentors as an epistemological framework to inform her academic writing and teaching within the academy. She is respected for her work in indigenising the academy and the validation of indigenous knowledge and methodologies within the academy. She is also respected by indigenous communities for her leadership and for ensuring that communities benefit from the research and projects the Institute and Centre undertake, making as many digital resources as possible free to access.

Professor Ka’ai has been involved in Māori language revitalisation interventions for almost 30 years and her research and publications reflect this work with the community.  She has worked in tertiary education for 36 years; 21 of these in university education as a full Professor.  Professor Ka‘ai is known widely for her work in Māori education. and has served on many committees and Advisory Boards throughout her career.  She is currently a Board member on the Pacific Education Centre



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