Older Persons Support Team
The Older Persons Support team is comprised of Pacific community leaders who run healthy living/healthy action programmes in the community. The day programme themes are health & wellbeing, independent living and health promotion. Each leader is responsible for organising the group’s weekly activities including arts and crafts, day trips, exhibitions and organising health and disability providers to do presentations to the group on a monthly basis.
Mary Tuake - Mangere Cook Islands Group
Mary is a Coordinator for the Cook Islands Older People’s Group in Mangere. She has been undertaking this role since November 2002 and is the longest serving Older People’s Coordinator of Vaka Tautua. She is responsible for organising the group’s weekly activities including arts and crafts, day trips, exhibitions and organising health and disability providers to do presentations to the group on a monthly basis. Mary’s passion is to serve her Cook Islands people.
Fatu Tu'u - Mangere Samoan Group
Rev. Fatu is the Church Minister for the Samoan Open Brethren Church (Au Uso Kerisiano) at Manukau. He joined Vaka Tautua in 2011 as a Coordinator for the Samoan Older People’s Group in Mangere. He has a great passion in serving the Samoan people in all walks of life. Prior to joining Vaka Tautua, he worked as a part time teacher at both Clyde Moor Primary School and De La Salle College.
Rongopo Pepe Tuake - Otara Cook Islands Group
Pepe is a Coordinator for the Cook Islands Older People’s Group in Otara. She has been in this role since May 2003. Pepe and her late husband Tani Tauke are both strong supporters of Cook Islands people both within their SDA Church community and the wider Pacific community. Their greatest joy has been raising five children, 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Ofa Corbett - Tongan Older people's Coordinator
Ofa has been working for Vaka Tautua since late 201. Her passion to work with elderly people was derived from her mother - who was a person committed to working with the vulnerable. She enjoys her work and appreciates the many lifelong friendships she has forged through her role at Vaka Tautua and work out and about in the Tongan community.
Louisa Lavakula - Tupuna Niue Older People’s Day Care Group
Louisa has been working for Vaka Tautua since 2003. Louisa has been a resident of Otara for 34 years. Louisa have served on various boards for a number of years - Including Otara Health Board, Pacific Health Advisory Commitee and Niuean Nurses Association just to name a few.
Alefata Kauapi - Tuvalu Older People's Coordinator
Alefata has been working for Vaka Tautua since February 2006. Before becoming a coordinator Alefata was the first member of the group when it started in 2003 under the leadership of Teera Pita. She enjoys working in all different departments of her church and is currently their Sabbath School Superintendent. Alefata also volunteers her time to teach embroidery skills to Tuvaluan women.
Lilieni Bamber - Samoan Papatoetoe Group
Lilieni is the coordinator of the Samoan Older People’s Group in Manukau and joined Vaka Tautua early 2013. She is currently a leader of Personal Ministries in the South Auckland Samoan Seventh day Adventist church, and a woman Elder at Papatoetoe church. Lilieni is a strong supporter of any activities to do with the wider Samoan Community and believes in the saying – “there is no rest for the wicked at any age”. She enjoys working with the elderly, building good relationships and supporting them in areas of health, exercise and community based activities.
Atonio Hiliate - Tongan Otara Older People's Group
Atonio Hiliate is Tongan and is a huge supporter of the Mate Ma’a Tonga team. Previously he worked in retail for 20 years running his own retail business.
Atonio has worked for Vaka Tautua for two years as a Financial Literacy coordinator, and in February last year he took on the role of Older People's Coordinator for the Tongan Otara group. Recently he has been contracted for the DIAS Coordinator role.
Atonio brings his coordinator experience to the DIAS team to help support Pacific people in his networks, communities, connections and churches to access disability services.
Atonio likes to play league in his spare time, he is married with 3 children, his passion is helping people and getting to know the community and meeting new people.