Staff contacts

Te Pūtahi Atawhai’s staff would love to meet you. Make an appointment or stop by and introduce yourself.

  • Emmanuel Tesese

    Emmanuel Tesese

    Database Support Administrator

    Talofa Lava! I am Samoan and come from the villages of Papa Sataua, Taga, Samatau and Vailuutai. I studied at Auckland University then transferred to Victoria from 2010–2013. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Biology and Development Studies. I have worked in numerous administrative roles both inside and outside Victoria University. I am enjoying working alongside our Maori and Pacific staff and students at Te Putahi Atawhai.

    • Sera Tokakece

      Sera Tokakece

      Senior Engagement and Transition Advisor

      Bula Vinaka, I am from Gau vasu from Lau (mother's side). I was born in Fiji migrating to New Zealand at the age of six. My education has all taken place in Wellington, graduating from Victoria with an Arts degree in Education and Social Policy. I am currently enrolled in postgraduate studies.

      I am passionate about 'planting the seed' to ignite the potential of Pasifika students on their academic journey to success. A holistic approach is applied within a talanoa (conversational) setting to accommodate Pasifika students. You can contact me for an appointment via text on 027 563 6903, as well as by emailing me or dropping in.

    • Advice and holistic success staff

      • anton o'caroll

        Anton O'Carroll

        Kaiakiaki Māori success

        Tena koutou katoa. He uri ahau no Taranaki. Ko Te Atiawa, Nga Ruahine rangi me Ngati Ruanui oku iwi. Ko Otaraua, Kanihi/Umutahi, Te Rangatapu me Araukuku oku hapu. Ko Anton O’Carrol toku ingoa.

        I graduated in 2013 from Victoria University with a BA majoring in Maori Studies and Maori Resource Management and I have been working here at Te Putahi Atawhai since Februay of 2014.

        My role is to support and assist all of our Maori students at Victoria University during their academic journey. We all have the potential to be exceptionally brillant, and I want to support all of our Maori students to realise their potential both academically and culturally.

        Whaia te iti Kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he mounga teitei!

        Pursue that which is most precious to you, and do not be deterred by anything less than a lofty mountain!

        • Mary Moeono-Kolio

          Mary Moeono-Kolio

          Pasifika Success Coordinator

          Talofa lava, I am excited and honored to join the team at Te Putahi Atawhai here at Victoria University of Wellington, as Pasifika Success Coordinator. I am a proud Samoan and I come from the villages of Falefa and Leauva’a.

          I have recently graduated with a Masters in Criminology with Honours from the University of Auckland, in which my research explored restorative justice as a culturally appropriate approach for dealing with Pacific youth offending in New Zealand. I also hold a BA/BA(Hons) from the University of Auckland.

          I am particularly passionate about education and social justice through working with and for Indigenous and Pasifika communities to establish effective methods of support for our people to make positive life decisions as well as realizing their potential. I believe that the key to a prosperous society lies in providing equal and fair access to quality teaching and education for all.

          I have also co-authored a chapter entitled A frangipani in the roses: Life as a Pacific postgraduate student. published in Postgraduate study in Aotearoa New Zealand: Surviving and succeeding (2014), which explored the experiences and challenges of postgraduate studies as Pacific Island students.

          I am excited to contribute to the great work of Te Putahi Atawhai!

          • Jenny Taotua

            Jenny Taotua

            Pasifika Success Coordinator

            Talofa Lava, my parents hail from the villages of Salelologa on Dad’s side and Satupa'itea and Vailoa Palauli on Mum’s side in Savaii. I was born and raised in Porirua, a beautiful city of opportunity that I am proud to call home.

            I was fortunate to do all my tertiary education at Victoria University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Pacific Studies and Asian Studies as well as gained a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary School). I am currently enrolled in postgraduate studies.

            I take it as a blessing to be in the role that I am in at Victoria University, ensuring that Pasifika students transition well into university life and encouraging Pasifika students to ignite their passion. The can achieve anything if they have a positive mindset and put their whole heart, mind and soul into what they do.

            It is a huge honour for myself and the Te Putahi Atawhai whanau to see our students achieve and succeed in their education and journey at Victoria University.

            • Garth Wieser

              Garth Wieser

              Kaiakiaki—Maori Support Coordinator

              Kia ora koutou. I've got Ngapuhi, Niuean and Austrian roots. I studied at both Massey and Victoria to gain my Sport and Exercise degree and Commerce degree. I have been part of the team here at Te Putahi Atawhai since January 2012, working with Maori Students as they pursue their academic endeavours at Victoria.

            • Mentoring staff

              • Dayna Eggeling

                Dayna Eggeling

                Mentoring Coordinator (Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, Education, and the New Zealand School of Music)

                Ko Kai Tahu, Ko Ngati Toa Rangatira nga iwi, Ko Kati Mahaki, Ko Ngati Rarua nga hapu. I tipu ake ahau i te Tai o Poutini i te Wai o Pounamu, Ko Dayna Eggeling taku ikoa.

                I started my journey at Victoria after moving from Te Wai o Pounamu six years ago. In the first three years I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Maori Studies and Social Policy. I then continued on to postgraduate study. I have worked with Maori students in many capacities over the last six years and supporting students while they discover their potential has always been close to my heart. As the whakatauki “Ehara ahau i te toa takitahi, Engari he toa takitini” states, success comes from not just yourself but from the multitudes that support you in your achievements along the way. I now oversee the mentoring program at Te Putahi Atawhai for Maori and Pasifika students in Humanities papers.

                • Nicola Panapa

                  Nicola Panapa

                  Mentoring Coordinator (Victoria Business School)

                  My iwi are Waikato, Maniapoto and Rongowhakaata. Education has always been important for my whanau that it was a natural progression to go from secondary school to university. It wasn’t always easy and there are things that I wish I had done differently. Hindsight is great. I graduated from the University of Waikato with a double major in Anthropology and Maori Development.

                  After graduating I moved to Wellington for mahi eventually coming to the university to work within the School of Psychology before joining the Te Putahi Atawhai whanau.

                  What I love about my mahi is seeing students develop their potential and achieve their dreams.

                  "Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nona te ngahere, ko te manu e kai ana i te maatauranga, nona te ao."

                  "To the bird that eats of the miro berry belongs the forest, to the bird that eats of knowledge belongs the world."

                  Feel free to drop me a line or call in to see me at my office. Pai Marire.