Tāngata o Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa | Tagata Pasifika

Kia orana, Noa’ia, Talofa lava,

Mauri, Mālō e lelei, Tālofa,

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, 

Mālō ni and warm Pacific greetings

About us

Meet our Pacific research team and the Pacific members of our Governance Board

Pacific Team Lead

Dr Marianna Churchward
Lotofaga, Faleasiu, Samoa
Senior Pacific researcher

Dr Churchward is a qualitative researcher who has worked across several large projects and roles in the capacity of Pacific researcher. She has worked as a researcher/independent researcher in the university, government and private sectors. Marianna is currently working across several projects including a Health Research Council of NZ funded project understanding the experiences of Pacific families with complex needs with respect to health care and social service delivery.

Portrait of Dr Marianna Churchward

Meet the Pacific members of our Governance Board

Portrait of Tuiloma Lina-Jodi Vaine Samu

Tuiloma Lina-Jodi Vaine Samu
Salelesi, Faleula, Sapunaoa, Falealili, Pu’apu’a i Savai’i, Samoa
Tangata Tiriti Kaitiaki

Tuala Tagaloa Tamasese Tusani
Pacific lived experience of COVID-19 (Delta variant)

Portrait of Tagaloa Dr Junior Ulu

Tagaloa Dr Junior Ulu
Pacific health community leader

Meet the Pacific members of our research team

Portrait of Tali Uia

Tali Uia
Research Assistant

Tali is a Masters student at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington. She is interested in health promotion and Pacific health.

Dr Lanuola Asiasiga
Research Fellow – Pacific

Dr Asiasiga’s research interest is Pacific people’s well being and most of her research projects have touched on some aspect of this. She is a contract researcher and is involved in survey work and evaluation.

Dr Sione Vaka
Research Fellow – Pacific

Dr Sione Vaka is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Science at Auckland University of Technology. In 2019, he won the Research Award from the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and has also been awarded with many research grants including the Sir Thomas Davis Research Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand in 2021.

Dr Jesse Kokaua
Biostatistician – Pacific

Dr Jesse Kokaua works in the University of Otago’s Va’a O Tautai – Centre for Pacific Health, a part of Te Wāhanga Matua Hauora | the division of Health Sciences. Dr Kokaua is a statistician who has worked for the Ministry of Health and has a special interest in mental health and the Pacific community.

Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia
Research Fellow – Pacific

Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia is a Pacific community researcher and has taught in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, at the University of Auckland. A health professional specialising in Pacific youth health, Analosa is committed to the empowerment of Pacific communities, specifically in the area of sexual health and mental wellbeing. Analosa draws on 15 years of clinical, community, research and management experience.

Portrait of Myra Kone Tautau

Myra Tautau
Research Fellow – Pacific

Myra McFarland-Tautau is a Samoan researcher working at Te Herenga Waka – Victora University of Wellington. Her background is in Social Science Research (qualitative/quantitative). She has been involved in a variety of research relating to Pacific health and wellbeing (young and elderly), and general research. A native Samoan speaker, she is an experienced Samoan language teacher at the University within the ‘Mataupu Tau Samoa’ and Va’aomanu Pasifika, and with expatriates moving to Samoa. She is skilled in Samoan translation and interpreting as well as cultural consultancy. She is involved in work involving the wider Pacific community and relates to other ethnic communities.