“Our ancestors of the pacific would travel across the moana using the stars as a way of navigation, for our youth we must be that star for them, we must provide the same direction and hope for our youth to navigate to and from & where they want to go in life. Our youth, are finding their way, as way finders from the pacific” 

Matt Max

Tauaika Mafile'o

Malo ‘e lelei, my name is Tauaika Mafile’o and I am of Tongan Descent. I am a year 12 student, currently studying at Aorere College. I was born in NZ then 6 months later I was taken to Tonga where I lived with my grandparents for the first 12 years of my life.

I joing Akongoue to be closer to my late grandparents. The thing I found interesting about horticulture is that it is a large industry that offers many pathways to many people of the younger generation. It’s about the culture, the land, and acknowledgement of your ancestors. Having the opportunity to gain life skills passed on from the older generations is a blessing.

Kolose 3:23 ” ‘Ilonga ha me’a te mou fai, ngāue fie ngāue ki ai, he ko e ngāue ki he ‘Eiki, ‘o ‘ikai ki he kakai. “

Katalina taufa

Hi my name is Katalina Taufa, born in Vaiola Tonga and was brought here to NZ when I was little. I am a year 12 students in Papakura High Scool. My name is unique to me because I am named after my dad’s mother.

God inspires me, because he is the reason why I am here with that being said one of my favourite prayers is the food prayer “Sisu tapuaki’i mau meakai malohi ma’u sino. Amen”

Joining the Akongoue program at first was all about getting the credits, now that we are hald way through, I’ve grown an interest in Horticulture and enjoy learning about the stages of growth of a plant.

Koheleti Setefano

Hi my name is Koheleti Setefano. I was born in Tonga, and I moved here to New Zealand before I was 1. I am a year 13 student at Pukekohe High School. The story behind the name “Koheleti” is that it was given to me by my cousin as it was her bible verse for white Sunday (fakame).

“My parents inspires me, because they are the reason why I am here today, living the best life and having all these opportunities that is given to me”.

I took part in the Akongoue programme was becayse I really wanted to bring back my culture and to find out who I really am, as horticulture is something that my father has always been doing. So, I’m following his footsteps. 

As of 5 years from today, I see myself owning my own company and my own piece of land. Somethng I value as a Tonga  decendant is the restoect; the respect that we have towards elders and in church.

uatesoni taufa

Malo ‘e lelei, my name is Uatesoni Taufa, I am a year 13 student, currently attending Wesly College. I was born and raised in NZ. My name is unique to me as I am named after my grandpa. 

My father inspires me because he cares and loves for his family and he’ll do anything to provide for us so I aspire to be like him. 

In 5 years from today, I see myself working in thee Solomon Islands and Australia becasue they hold a lot of financial opportunities

Being mentally and physically strong is important because it’ll carry me through the struggles of life. “FIDE LITTERIS LABORE, which means Family, Learning & Hard work. This is my favourite quote because I’ve been living by this quote since the beginning at Wesley College and I plan to live by this motto for the rest of my life.

I joined akongoue because I love and admire green plants and discovering new things about the produce I consume.