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Our People

Moana Vā Board

Fuimaono Dr. Karl Pulotu-Endemann MNZM, JP (Rtd) -

Matua / Advisor

Fuimaono Dr. Karl Pulotu-Endemann is a proud Samoan-born Matai, Fa’afafine, and New Zealander who champions the strength and capabilities of Pacific people. Actively involved in the "By Pacific For Pacific" movement since the post-Dawn Raids of the 1970s, he has established vital services for Pacific communities, including Pacific Trust Canterbury and Le Va. His work spans governance roles in the Mental Health Commission, ALAC, Drug Foundation, NZ AIDS Foundation, and more. Guided by Fa’a Samoa principles of respect, integrity, service, and compassion, Fuimaono is a renowned consultant specializing in Pacific health issues, community development, and cultural competencies. Moana Vā is honoured to have him as their Matua and Advisor.

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Vui Suli Tuitaupe -

Founder & Chair 

Vui Suli Tuitaupe (He/Him) is the proud founder and chair of Moana Vā. He envisions Moana Vā as a collective that supports, advocates, empowers, mentors, and strengthens MVPFAFF+, LGBTQIA+, and Rainbow+ communities locally and globally.

 

Vui is dedicated to creating a safe, respectful, inclusive, and engaging space for these communities and their families to navigate and celebrate Pacific pride. Collaborating with stakeholders, he advocates for vulnerable and marginalised families.

 

As a nurse, health promoter, and fitness trainer, Vui is passionate about holistic health and wellbeing, promoting physical activity, and focusing on illness prevention and cure. He is committed to empowering communities with the message that 'health is wealth,' striving to improve Pasifika health statistics, rainbow+ inequities, and health equity for all communities.

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Lisa Suapopo-Taylor - Vice Chair 

Lisa Suapopo (She/Her)  is of Tongan, American Samoan, and Scottish descent. As a registered nurse, she serves the Pasifika community through her roles at Tangata Atumotu Trust and Waipapa Hospital.

 

Lisa is passionate about the well-being of the rainbow community, especially vulnerable youth and young adults, and is committed to fostering a supportive and confident environment for them. She proudly serves as the Vice Chair of Moana Vā.

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Fesoloa’i Situe - Treasurer

Fesoloa’i, also known as A'i (She/Her),  is a proud Samoan and dedicated parent of a rainbow person. As the Treasurer of Moana Vā, she brings a wealth of experience in financial management and a deep commitment to advocating for the Pacific Rainbow community. Her passion for inclusivity and representation drives her work.

Kauri Tearaura - Secretary

Kauri Tearaura (they/them) is a descendant of the Māori peoples of Ngāti Mahuta, Tongareva, and Avarau, and serves as the Secretary of the board. Since adolescence, Kauri has led movements across Aotearoa New Zealand, supporting diverse communities in work, learning, and life.

At 24, they are the diversity, equity, and inclusion lead at the Ministry for the Environment, making them the youngest senior leader in their field within the New Zealand public service. A self-described 'for-purpose governor,' Kauri has a community-driven governance career that includes roles in multiple advisory groups, executive committees, and boards of trustees at regional, national, and international levels.

Jeremy Faumuinā - Board Member

Jeremy Faumuinā (He/Him) is a devoted husband to his wife Shelley and a proud father of five. As a fierce advocate for the MVPFAFF+ and LGBTQIA+ communities, Jeremy is known for his multipotentialite abilities as a communicator, social worker, motivational speaker, public relations consultant, and design lead for various educational leadership training programs across Aotearoa and Sāmoa. His passion for people and keen awareness of how to teu the vā (build and nurture relationships) have enabled him to work across diverse sectors, including businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and community groups. Currently, Jeremy serves Aotearoa as a social worker with the New Zealand Police.

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Sera Thompson - Board Administrator

Sera Thompson (She/Her), of Cook Island descent, serves as the board administrator for Moana Vā. She is also the assistant manager for Aranui Community Trust. With a strong background in business and administration, Sera is a dedicated supporter of the Pacific community, bringing valuable expertise and commitment to her roles.

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Lana Shields (She/Her) 

Lana Shields is Moana Vā's operations coordinator, having been with the organisation since its inception. Her passion for the community is intergenerational, inspired by her late uncle Memea Eleitino Ma'aelopa Siania, a fierce advocate for the Pacific and rainbow communities.

 

Lana is also the proud mother of a Samoan lesbian, further driving her dedication to supporting and empowering LGBTQIA+ and Pacific communities through Moana Vā. Her commitment and personal connections enrich the organisation's mission and impact.

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Alex Faimalo (She/Her)

Alex Faimalo, a founding member and past board member of Moana Vā, now co-hosts Moana Vā's podcast Two Fat 'Fine. Alongside MahMah, Alex brings an unfiltered and joyous celebration of life in all its vibrant dimensions.

 

Unapologetically fat, queer, and proud, these dynamic personalities embark on a fortnightly journey filled with laughter, heart-to-heart conversations, and a kaleidoscope of stories that reflect the diverse tapestry of the Moana Vā community. Each episode uniquely blends humor and depth, featuring inspiring guests from various backgrounds and ages, and interactive episodes where listeners become an integral part of the discourse.

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Ati Vili (He/Him)

Ati Vili is a founding member of Moana Vā and a key figure in the Koko Nights initiative. With an exemplary background in events, his networks and skills are unmatched. Ati also serves as the Operations Manager for Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, where Moana Vā headquarters is based.

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Darren Folau (He/Him)

Emma-Rose Kennar (She/Her)

Emma-Rose Kennar has recently joined Moana Vā to assist with our social media efforts. She is of Samoan descent, hailing from the villages of Vao-Vai and Nofoali'i. A proud Samoan, Emma-Rose brings a passion for creativity to our team. Her dedication to her cultural heritage and innovative approach to social media make her a valuable asset in sharing our stories and engaging our community.

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Fesny Situe (He/Him)

Fesny Situe is the youngest founding member of Moana Vā, known for his passion in supporting our kaupuaua and his eagerness to grow Moana Vā and build community.

 

Fesny's dedication and fresh perspective contribute to the organisation's dynamic approach in empowering and advocating for MVPFAFF+ communities.

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Jessee James (She/Her)

Jessee

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Selina Faimalo (She/Her)

Selina Faimalo serves as the social media manager for Moana Vā, creating engaging content across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

 

Additionally, she is the producer for the Two Fat 'Fine podcast, contributing to marketing promotions and providing technology support. Selina plays a crucial role in managing and enhancing Moana Vā's online presence and podcast initiatives.

Kophie Su'a Hulsbosch (She/Her)

Kophie Su'a Hulsbosch is the graphic designer and creative powerhouse for Moana Vā. She brings the collective's vision to life through art and design, having painted large-scale murals and crafted the website, logo, clothing, and all branding elements.

 

Kophie's creativity and expertise play a vital role in shaping the visual identity of Moana Vā.

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Dr. MahMah Timoteo (They/She)

Dr. MahMah Timoteo (Tohoa Tetini) is a Cook Island multidisciplinary teacher and researcher, holding a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Canterbury. Their research focuses on the lived experiences of Pacific peoples navigating climate change spaces within Aotearoa. MahMah's interests encompass climate change, Pacific communities, intersectionality, Indigenous and queer liberation, body liberation, and well-being. They advocate in online spaces challenging oppressive systems affecting marginalized communities, emphasizing joy and rest.


MahMah is a proud member and advocate within the queer community, having served as co-chair of Qtopia and a core member of Moana Vā. They co-host Moana Vā's podcast 'Two Fat 'Fine' with Alex, celebrating life's vibrant dimensions. MahMah has collaborated with the Ministry for Education, Ministry for Environment, Ministry for Culture & Heritage, and other government bodies, engaging in lectures, workshops, conferences, panel discussions, MCing, and events. Their work reflects a commitment to uplifting communities and kaupapa.

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Howard Jamieson (He/Him)

Howard Jamieson is of Māori, European, and Fijian descent with a background in policy, advice, and community work. He is a creative, self-taught sewing tutor who started Moana Vā's "Sew What?" initiative, teaching sewing lessons to the community.

 

Howard's dedication to community education and creative expression enriches Moana Vā's work and fosters skill-building and community cohesion through sewing.

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Tamapua Pera (Mama Pua)

Tamapua Pera, affectionately known as Mama Pua, is a prominent community leader within the Cook Island community. She is renowned for her cultural cooking and catering skills, delighting the community with her culinary creations.

 

In addition to her culinary talents, Tamapua is also skilled in sewing, creating beautiful pieces for the community. She assists Howard in the "Sew What?" classes, where her excellent sewing skills contribute to the success of the initiative. Tamapua's dedication and expertise enrich Moana Vā's community programs, fostering cultural expression and skill-sharing.

Nathan Auimatagi (He/Him)

Nathan Auimatagi, of Samoan descent, is a founding member of Moana Vā. He is a school teacher and advocate for the rainbow community, passionately supporting LGBTQIA+ rights and inclusion.

 

Nathan has been actively involved in Moana Vā's initiatives, including coaching their netball team, where he contributes his leadership and coaching skills to empower the community through sports.

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Lana Afu (She/Her) 

Lana Afu is a proud Tongan Leiti and a crucial member of Moana Vā. She played a pivotal role in starting their netball team and training for the inaugural Rainbow Games 2024.

 

Lana's leadership was instrumental in the team's success, demonstrating her commitment and background in health and business. Her dedication to both community sports and advocacy enhances Moana Vā's mission of inclusivity and empowerment within the MVPFAFF+ and Pacific communities.

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Sipola Paris (She/Her)

tbc

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Alex Saimoa (He/Him)

Alex Saimoa is a key connection of Moana Vā to Christchurch Pride, playing an instrumental role in ensuring Pacific Rainbow community representation at Christchurch Pride's annual events. His commitment and advocacy have significantly contributed to the visibility and recognition of the Pacific Rainbow community within Christchurch Pride, making him an invaluable member of the Moana Vā family.

Alex McDonnell-Faimalo

(She/Her)

Alex has been a steadfast ally to our Pacific community, bringing her unique perspective as the wife of a Pacific woman and mother to Pasifika pēpi. Her advocacy for rainbow parenting has been a cornerstone in fostering understanding and support for diverse family structures within our community. 

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Community

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