Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

2022 New Zealander of the Year Finalists announced

The finalists for the 2022 New Zealander of the Year Awards

The finalists for the 2022 New Zealander of the Year Awards

The finalists for the New Zealander of the Year awards were recently announced, and a few of our Pasifika community superstars featured heavily on the nominees list.

Get to the know our Pasifika nominees below:

Nominated for Senior New Zealander of the Year, 89-year-old Ngatuakana O-Rangi Wichman has run a food bank for 25 years, delivering parcels in her own car and sourcing clothing for those in need. She’s a regular volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, helping to build houses in Fiji and Nepal.

Wichman also spends her time teaching families critical budgeting skills to see families financially independent.

His Buttabean Motivation (BBM) bootcamps draw hundreds in from around Auckland, and during the lockdown, he turned his facilities into a food bank with around 700 food parcels a week.

Dave ‘Brown Buttabean’ Letele has been at the forefront of health and wellbeing for the Pacific community, and his hard work has recently paid off with the announcement he has secured financial support from the Ministry of Health to improve health and wellbeing of families living in South Auckland.

Letele was announced as a semi-finalist for the NZ Local Hero of the Year award.

The Polynesian Panther Party are up for the NZ Community of the Year award. Founded in the ’70s, the social justice movement was a direct challenge to the racism and discrimination faced by Pacific communities at the time. They were also prominent campaigners against the Government-sanctioned dawn raids, an initiative to search and arrest men and women who overstayed their visas.

Earlier this year the Panthers worked together with the Ministry of Pacific Peoples to obtain an official apology from the government regarding the raids. The group have also travelled around Aotearoa, sharing their stories and history with the younger generation.

CEO of TROW group Saia Latu is up for New Zealand Innovator of the Year. 50% of construction materials and demolition waste end up in landfills. The leading deconstruction group in New Zealand, TROW finds innovative ways to repurpose these materials to help build schools, social housing, community centres and churches across New Zealand and the Pacific.

In 2018 Latu was awarded the Sunpix Pacific Enterprise Award, for his work with TROW.

This year the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala Dinner will go digital. The 2022 winners will be broadcast live on 1news.co.nz on Thursday 31 March. Follow New Zealander of the Year Awards on Facebook for more details.

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