The University of Otago officially opens their Pacific Office

The University of Otago, Wellington officially opens their Pacific Office on Wednesday 31 July. A milestone event which coincides with the University’s 150th Anniversary Celebration year and is an acknowledgement of a strong Pacific presence particularly within the Medical School and in other undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.



The University of Otago, Wellington’s Pacific Office, according to the university is a physical space where staff can continue to focus on supporting Pacific students with their studies, with an emphasis on recruitment, retention, and the successful completion of their selected study courses and programmes.


With a strong commitment to supporting the training of a health workforce that is well qualified to meet the health system demands in New Zealand and address the needs of its increasingly diverse population groups.


Pacific students at the University of Otago, Wellington, study undergraduate programmes, such as Medicine, Radiation Therapy, or undertake postgraduate qualifications and courses including masters’ degrees and PhDs. A diverse range of health-based research is also undertaken at the school, which consists of nine academic departments and constitutes a research intensive campus.



The University of Otago’s Pacific Strategic Framework forms a guide for Pacific-related activities and is comprised of six goals: demonstrating and valuing leadership on Pacific matters; encouraging Pacific research excellence; strengthening community engagement; promoting growth and development; encouraging Pacific curricula; and contributing to Pacific regional and international progress.


Speakers at the opening included the Hon. Jenny Salesa, New Zealand’s first Tongan-born, Tongan-speaking Member of Parliament and the first Tongan-born Cabinet Minister, and the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon. Aupito Tofae Su’a William Sio.


The University of Otago staff, students and leadership will be joined by Pacific communities, health and education sector leaders, church and community leaders, government leaders and Pacific nations’ representatives for this landmark celebration event.


The event also acknowledged the appointments of new Pacific staff members to the University of Otago, Wellington, Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma (Samoa), Head of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women’s Health, Dr Ruth Toumu’a (Papua New Guinea) as Teaching Fellow for the Higher Education Development Centre and Ms Sepola Poni Faavae (Tuvalu) as Pacific Undergraduate Programme Facilitator/Community Liaison Advisor.


The Pacific Office opening was held on:


Wednesday 31 July from 6pm to 7.30pm at


The Nordmeyer Theatre, University of Otago


23a Mein Street, Newtown, Wellington