Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2019

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.

Tamahauiti Potaka Māori winner 2019 and Maletino Mafi Pacific winner 2019
Tamahauiti Potaka (Māori winner 2019) and Maletino Mafi (Pacific winner 2019).

Māori Business Student of the Year 2019

Tamahauiti Potaka, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Hauiti 

Tamahauiti is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science conjoint degree, majoring in Information Systems, Management, Marine Science and Geography. He is president of Te Mana Pakihi, the Māori Commerce  Students’ Association. 

"I’d like to acknowledge the Business school for supporting me to be where I am today. However, my true success comes from the guidance and support from my hapori. E kii ana te kōrero, 'mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu.' Without my whānau and friends who have nurtured and tautoko me I wouldn’t be where I am today."

Pacific Business Student of the Year 2019

Maletino Mafi 

Maletino is in his second year of a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Accounting. An international student of Tongan descent, Maletino is a recipient of the King George Tupou VI’s Coronation Scholarship. He has secured an internship at Ernst & Young.

“I would like to thank God for this blessing and also my family, who, without their love and support, I would not have been able to achieve this award. I would also like to acknowledge the Business School for all the help and resources they provide, not only for its Māori and Pacific Island community but for all business students that help us become successful and equip us in anticipation for a very promising career.

As Pacific Business Student of the Year, I urge Māori and Pasifika students to embrace the challenges we face because only then can we overcome them, and to push our limits so that we may reach the stars.”

Competition guide 2019

The 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
  • Judge's Choice Award 
  • Winners will have a photo and brief bio on the Business School's "Best in Business" display

All finalists will also receive a certificate.

Application form

Applications for 2019 are 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.