Meet our staff

Meet our Pacific staff and learn about their interests and their roles in the faculty.

Pacific science staff

Academic staff

Dr Sione Ma’u

Sione Ma’u hails from the Kingdom of Tonga, and relocated to Aotearoa, New Zealand in 1991 to complete his secondary school education; before beginning his tertiary education at the University of Auckland thereafter. Sione successfully graduated with his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physics and Mathematics in 1997. Sione then returned to the University of Auckland to complete a Master’s in Mathematics, where he graduated with first-class honours, as well as maintaining significant connections across the Faculty of Science with his well-received grades and high-class projects.

Read Sione's full profile here

Dr Sam Manuela

Sam Manuela completed his tertiary education with a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Bachelor of Science (Honours/Hons), and a Master's and PhD specializing in Pacific Psychology, within the University of Auckland. Fortunate timing at the end of his PhD led him straight into a lecturing role in Psychology at the University.

Read Sam's full profile here.

Malia Puloka

Josephina Ah-Sam


Dr Heti Afimeimounga

Heti Afimeimounga’s academic journey has been quite the motivating and influential one that many others can aspire to. She completed her secondary education in the Kingdom of Tonga and then moved to the city of sails; in Auckland, New Zealand to begin her tertiary education. She then completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Science (MSc), and a PhD at the University of Auckland in 2012; specializing in Operational Research for optimising and rerouting public/private transport. She is now a professional teaching fellow at the University of Auckland, lecturing statistics courses.

Read Heti's full profile here.

Dr Sina Greenwood


Dr Sarah Kapeli

As of 2022, I am a lecturer with the School of Psychology where my time is largely dedicated to teaching, research, and service roles. Getting here included completing my doctoral and postgraduate studies in psychology and I also have an undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science. As straight forward as this sounds, it was far from it. There were many challenges along the way, but there were also many triumphs.

Read Sarah's full profile here.

Professional staff

Lizzie Tafili

Lizzie Tafili is a Student Support Adviser for Māori and Pacific students studying in the Faculty of Science. Her role is to provide care and support for students of this cohort throughout the duration of their studies.

Read Lizzie's full profile here