Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2017

The Award is for the Business School student who has displayed excellence in academic performance, community service, communication skills, extra-curricular activities and knowledge of world issues.

Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2017

Māori Business Student of the Year 2017 - Joshua Munro

Joshua Munro
Joshua Whaanga Munro: Māori Business Student of the Year 2017

Joshua Whaanga Munro (Ngāti Kahungunu & Ngāti Whanaunga) is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Accounting. He is the Tuākana tutor for COMLAW 203, Company Law. He is also The President of the Commerce Association for Pacific and Māori Students (CAPM). Joshua was a recipient of the Tāwera and Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarships in 2017 and graduates at the end of 2017.

Joshua said he was ‘initially shocked but humbled’ when he learned that he would receive the award.
"I am truly humbled by this experience, and would like to acknowledge all those who have assisted me and supported me on my journey. This award fills me with the desire to up skill myself in my chosen field in order to give back and assist in the Māori space."
“I would also like to encourage the numerous amount of talented Māori and Pasifika students to put themselves out there and give it a shot."

Pacific Business Student of the Year 2017 - Alex Saifiti

Alex Saifiti
Alex Saifiti : First overall Pacific student 2017

Alex Saifiti (Lufilufi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Tūwharetoa) studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Commercial Law and Management) and Bachelor of Property Conjoint degree. He has been the recipient of a Matakahi Cadetship, the Paul Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship and the inaugural Housing New Zealand Corporation Scholarship. These achievements along with his ability to maintain a strong academic performance, working multiple part-time jobs and taking part in several extra-curricular activities illustrate his diligence and strong work ethic.

“Over my time here at university, I have learnt the most from stepping outside of my comfort zone and accepting the opportunities available to me. Applying for this award was an opportunity to challenge myself, reflect on my time at university and contemplate my future and what it might entail.”
“I encourage those contemplating whether or not to apply to just do it! You learn and grow the most from experiences which challenge you and push you outside of your comfort zone.”

Competition guide

The Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year award assesses students on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Communication, including written, informal and prepared speech
  • Service to the community
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Business, national and world events


All full-time students with Māori or Pacific Island heritage who are currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business and Information Management or a Bachelor of Property at the University are eligible.

Students enrolled in conjoint degrees are also eligible, as long as one of their degrees is Commerce or Property. Students must have completed at least two semesters of study before they are eligible to enter.

Assessment process

Candidates for the Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year must submit:

  1. A transcript of your complete academic record at the University of Auckland including any conjoint degree
  2. A one-page cover letter explaining how you meet the above criteria by answering the three questions detailed on the application form
  3. A copy of your CV (maximum two A4 pages)
  4. A completed entry form  

Judging process

Stage 1

Each finalist will participate in six five-minute interviews with six judges. The topic of the interviews may cover:

  • Your extra-curricular activities
  • Your involvement in community, voluntary and service
  • World events
  • National events
  • Business events
  • Role of ethics in business
  • Career plans

Stage 2

Each candidate will make a five minute speech on the topic. The topic will be announced to the finalists when they are shortlisted. This will take place in an open forum with invited guests including friends and family.

The prize

  • Māori Business Student of the Year and Pacific Business Student of the Year
  • People's Choice Award 
  • Winners will have a photo and brief bio on the Business School's "Best in Business" display
  • Prize money of $1,000

All finalists will also receive a certificate.

Important dates

  • Applications have now closed.

Contact us

For more information, please contact:

Willie Uili
Student Support Adviser
The University of Auckland Business School
Phone: +64 9 923 7120
Email: w.uili@auckland.ac.nz.