Staff contacts

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

Management team

  • Aaron Nonoa

    Aaron Nonoa

    Manager, Te Pūtahi Atawhai

    Talofa Lava, fakaalofa lahi atu, my Dad hails from Lufilufi in the beautiful islands of Samoa and Mum from the village of Hakupu in Niue. I was born and raised in Hamilton, and am proud of my Pacific heritage.

    I completed my undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Waikato University, and also achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Education with merit here at Victoria in 2015. One of six children, I was first in family to graduate from a tertiary institution, but since then my younger brother Lloyd completed a Bachelor in Education and taught primary school, and my Mum graduated from Waikato Polytech with a Diploma in Teaching People with Disabilities.

    In January 2016 I was given this wonderful opportunity to manage the Te Pūtahi Atawhai Māori and Pasifika student success unit, and I have the privilege of leading an awesome team of Māori and Pacific staff, who are dedicated to ensuring that our Māori and Pasifika students transition well into university life. We encourage them to ignite their passion. My team supports them with personal support, academic mentoring programmes, learning events, and connecting students to all the range of support services here on campus. We are all about supporting hard work and achievement within an environment of whanau and aiga—family values.

    The payback for us as a unit is to see all Māori and Pasifika students to cross the graduation stage, and to see our students achieve and succeed in their education and journey at Victoria University.

    • Jenny Taotua

      Jenny Taotua

      Senior Engagement and Transition Advisor

      Talofa lava and mālo e lelei.

      What a privilege it is to be paddling on the Vaka of Success with our Tauira/Aiga at Te Pūtahi Atawhai.

      I hail from the villages of Salelologa, Satupa'itea and Vailoa Palauli in Savaii, Samoa. I was born and raised for most of my life in Porirua the beautiful city of opportunity.

      I was fortunate to do all my tertiary education at Victoria University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Pacific Studies and Asian Studies in 2002. After almost 10 years I came back and completed my Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary School) at Victoria University of Wellington and then went on to completing a BA honours degree in Pacific Studies.

      I am extremely passionate about seeing our young people aspire to be the best version of themselves, to be educated, informed citizens and inspiring leaders of this generation.

      I look forward to welcoming you into our Te Pūtahi Atawhai Fale and paddling the vaka with you on your journey to success at Victoria.

      “We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood”—Teresia Teaiwa

      • Kelly Te Paa

        Kelly Te Paa

        Database Administrator & Team Support Coordinator

        Tēnā koutou katoa. He uri ahau no Hokianga. Ko Ngāpuhi me Te Roroa ōku iwi. Ko Ngāti Korokoro tōku hapū. Ko Kelly Te Paa tōku ingoa.

        I graduated in 2009 from Victoria University with a BCA majoring in Managment and Marketing. I have had a number of roles at the University and have finally made my way to Te Pūtahi Atawhai where I feel very fortuante to be able to give back to the communities that have supported me throughout my academic journey.

        My core role at TPA is to maintain our databases and the otherside of my role is to support the team in executing their visions for student success.

        He waka eke noa—we’re all in this together

      • 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!

          • Kalo Afeaki

            Kalo Afeaki

            Pasifika Success Coordinator

            Fakatapu ki he Tangata Whenua ‘oku ‘o nautolu ‘a e kelekele ni. Fakatapu atu ki he ngaahi kaungā motu mei he Pasifiki. Fakatapu mavahe ki he sola mo e vūlangi ‘oku tau kaungā fakapaea ‘i Aotearoa ni. Kae tuku mu’a keu fakahoko atu ha’aku lea.

            Mālō e lelei and Kia Ora. I am of Tongan, Māori and Pālangi descent, with my Tongan ancestry coming from Ha’ato’u, Ha’apai and Tofoa, Tongatapu. My iwi is Ngāti Kahungunu te Wairoa, and my pālangi roots are from Northern Ireland and England.

            I moved to Aotearoa from Tonga in 2012 to commence my studies at Victoria University, and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Pacific Studies and Geography) in 2014.

            As Pasifika Success Coordinator, I am dedicated to ensuring the success of our Pasifika students here at Victoria. I urge you all to take this opportunity offered at Victoria, to better the lives of our people here in Aotearoa and in Oceania.

            Oua lau e kafo, lau e lava—do not dwell on your mistakes, strive instead for success.

            • 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.

              • 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!

              • 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.