Pacific heroes celebrated at the 2020 SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards
The Pacific community celebrated another year of Pacific peoples contribution in Aotearoa at the 6th SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards.
Thirteen winners were announced across seven awards categories in tonight’s ceremony at Eden Park. The night also featured performances from Tatau Dance Group, Resonate and music living legend Annie Crummer.
This year saw a focus on Pacific heroes making a significant contribution in their community through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We feel very fortunate to be able to celebrate our Pacific people in a year that has been full of uncertainty. These recipients have been at the forefront of keeping our communities safe during Covid-19,” says SunPix Director Ngaire Fuata.
Among the winners was Aorere College Head Girl Aigagalefili Fepulea’i Tapua’i, recipient of a Le Va Pacific Emerging Leadership Award.
Aigagalefili has been a strong advocate for high school students through the Covid-19 lockdowns in New Zealand, particularly South Auckland. She fights for equity across education, is a climate change activist leading indigenous environmentalist group 4TK, and recently protested with other students against school violence.
“I think what motivates me the most is thinking about not only our ancestors in the past but thinking about what our future will be like for our descendants,” says Aigagalefili.
Receiving an MFAT Pacific Enterprise Award was Cook Islander Robert Teina. Robert runs Supreme Plumbing, a family company that has strong links to the community, volunteer work and sponsorship of local sports clubs. During Covid he gave away $1000 to help other struggling businesses.
“If you have something, you give it. Without a doubt. That’s how me and my sisters were raised, all my family too. It’s just part of who we are, you know? It’s in our nature, it’s in our culture,” says Robert.
The awards will air in a Tagata Pasifika 90-minute special on Saturday 14 November at 9.30am on TVNZ 1.
See the full list of 2020 SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards Winners below
Ministry for Pacific Peoples – Pacific Community Leadership Award
Ministry of Education – Pacific Education Award
Sosaiete Aoga Amata Sāmoa I Aotearoa (SAASIA)
Lynn Lolokini Ikimotu Pavihi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade – Pacific Enterprise Award
Rob Teina / Supreme Plumbing
Amatailevi Stella Muller
Le Va – Pacific Emerging Leadership Award
Aigagalefili Fepulea’i Tapua’i
Pasifika Futures – Pacific Health & Wellbeing Award
Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga
Safaato’a (To’a) Fereti
PHARMAC – Pacific Service Excellence Award
Pasifika Medical Association – Debbie Sorenson
Talanoa Ako (Ministry of Education)
ProCare Health – Pacific Top Year 5 Medical Student