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

Our Team

LotoPasifika Team

Sio Kihe La’a Talakai-‘Alatini 

LotoPasifika Programme Literacy Manager 


“The past is ahead, in front of us, is a conception of time that helps us retain our memories and be aware of its presence. What is behind us cannot be seen and is liable to be forgotten readily. What is ahead of us cannot be forgotten so readily or ignored, for it is in front of our minds’ eyes, always reminding us of its presence. Since the past is alive in us, the dead are alive – we are our history”.

(Hau’ofa, 2008)

 Since February 2015, Sio Kihe La’a has been the LotoPasifika Literacy Manager at PEC. Following her MA (Hons) in International Tourism Management Sio Kihe La’a examines what tauhi vā (to take care of socio-spatial relationships between kin and kin like members) might mean from the perspective of the Tongan diaspora and how VFR tourism may contribute to maintaining cultural relations between home and Tongans living overseas.

 Sio Kihe La’a held various roles at Auckland University of Technology as the Pasifika Postgraduate Studentship, tutor and mentor to student in the undergraduate programmes. She holds a Level 6 teaching qualification which opened several opportunities in education. During this time in teaching, Sio Kihe La’a was awarded a scholarship by the Australian National University to attend the annual Pacific Research Colloquium Conference where she had the opportunity to work with academic scholars as well as to present a paper during the conference. With her Industry experience at Menzies, New Zealand Statistics and World Vision she brings a wealth of knowledge from a Bachelor and Postgraduate level where she taught at the International Travel College (Level 5 Diploma), her co-hort of level 5 students were the first to graduates from the Botany Campus in 2013.

 As a Tongan born living in New Zealand, Sio Kihe La’a prides herself in her Tongan heritage and continues to advocate for the maintenance of Pasifika languages and culture through PEC here in Aotearoa.


Matilda D'souza (BBus)

Student Coordinator

"E pala le ma'a, a e le pala upu" - Even stone decay, but words endure

Matilda is the youngest member of the PEC team, hers is the voice you will hear at the other end of the phone when you call us to enrol. Matilda makes sure the office runs smoothly, and has the challenging task of keeping tabs on everyone's classes. She voices our students concerns, to ensure our Pacific languages will continue to our next generations.

People find her to be an upbeat, self-motivated team player with excellent communication skills. For the past several years she has worked in marketing, and digital media design in the high-end construction industry. Her experience includes successfully project planning and coordinating day to day office operations. Despite being a Westie, she takes pride in her strong Samoan upbringing. She's always looking for the opportunity to travel the world, a keen Foodie and a recovering Netflix addict.

Matilda holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing & tourism from the Auckland University of Technology and through NZQA has completed many industry training courses such as project management, integrated marketing communications and more.



Admin Team

Malianive Manuokafoa Atkinson (Tongan)

Office Administrator


Mālō e lelei

Ko hoku hingoa ko Malianive Manuokafoa Atkinson pea ‘oku ou ngaue ‘i he ‘ofisi ‘o e Pasifika Education Centre. 


Filomena Bernie 


LotoPasifika - Educators

Cook Islands

Tutana Moetaua

Mareta Tere


Tarisi Vunidilo 

Kalisito Vunidilo 


Lingi Sisikefu 

Ioane Aleke Fa'avae 

Meleveti Makaloa 


Lemoa Henry Sevesi Fesulua’i

Jennie Tapu

Musuiaigaatoa Neil Sitagata Tapu

Tauanu'u Sealiimalietoa Perenise Tapu 

Alaelua Taulapapa Leasoiloaifaleupolu (Malesala) 

Lofipo Peilua 

Fuatino Nu'usavili 

Kimiora Malesala 

Toesulu Brown 

Starsky Akeripa 


Frederick Loloa Alatini 

Christine Helu 

Hainoame Fulivai



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