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Celebrating Māori and Pacific Success at Ara’s Eke Panuku Awards

Eke Panuku – which means “to achieve with distinction” in Māori – is an annual event that celebrates Ara Māori and Pacific students who have been recognised for their academic progression and commitment to community.

Due to COVID guidelines this year’s annual Māori and Pacific student success awards, was a bit different than normal, being online instead of in person.

2021’s event was designed by the Eke Panuku organising party with support from the Ara Foundation and included a video presentation of awards (view this here), some inspiring messages from previous recipients and bespoke celebration boxes which were delivered to recipients homes. The judging panel were impressed by the calibre of over 80 nominations this year received across a variety of levels and departments within Ara.

Tate Tiatia, a main organiser of the event said, “After careful consideration the working party were certain that there was no way that this event was going to be cancelled, and therefore a lot of planning and design went into ensuring that a virtual presentation would be created so that our learners were recognised formally despite COVID-19 restrictions.  Year-on-year our event has grown in attendance and we were pleased to be able to share this with an even wider audience through the digital tools available to us.”

Celebration Box Maori.jpgOne of the celebration boxes delivered to recipients

“The panel received over 80 nominations and are proud of the accomplishments of our learners, particularly those who overcame extraordinary challenges. All of our recipients received an extra special celebration box to share with their whānau, along with specially selected taonga and trophies for each category.”

Eke Panuku awards list:

Supreme Awards

Pathways to Treasures Supreme Award - Pacific

Winner: Jahan Miller: Business and Digital Technologies


  • Simione Tagicakibau
  • Naomi Williams
  • Candice Aualiitia

Monte Ohia Supreme Award – Māori

Winner: Raelyn Kamo: Hospitality and Service Industries


  • Ruka Walker
  • Eruera Poi

Foundation Level 2 – Recipients

Māori Award

Brooklyn Heather: Trades

Foundation Level 3 – Recipients

Pacific Awards

Elisara Vaifale: Trades

Mese Fuaava: Humanities

Vinimua Pauga: Trades

Naita Fifita: Trades

Māori Awards

Lea Tahapehi: Trades

Jordyn Keys: Humanities

Janine Poharama: Trades

Jade Chase: Trades

Foundation Level 4 – Recipients

Pacific Awards

Uaniva Tauveli: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Lolesio Falefou: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Evone Siufanga: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Elenoa Paasi: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Māori Awards

Ruka Walker: Hospitality and Service Industries

Kim Nolan: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Adam Hudson: Trades

Connor Wilson: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Diploma and Degree Level 5-7 – Recipients

Pacific Awards

Max Silva: Creative Industries

Renee Makea: Engineering & Architectural Studies        

Candice Aualiitia: Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Viliami Kaetau: Hospitality and Service Industries            

Simione Tagicakibau: Health Practice

Bryden Joe: Business and Digital Technologies

Māori Awards

Eruera Poi: Creative Industries         

Marge Carran: Applied Sciences and Social Practice       

Raelyn Kamo: Hospitality and Service Industries

Iwitea Ataria-Ivannikova: Health Practice

Michael Ellis: Business and Digital Technologies

Postgraduate Awards Level 8-9 - Recipients

Sarah Morley: Health Practice

Joseph Clarke: Creative Industries