Congrats to our Pasifika winners at the 2020 Women of Influence Awards
Coco congrats to all of our Pasifika winners at the 2020 Women of Influence Awards which were held last night here in Auckland.
Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban
In 1999, Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban became the first Pacific Island woman to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament. She was Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and Associate Minister of Social Development, Economic Development and Trade.
Dame Winnie resigned from Parliament in 2010 to take up her current role. She is chair of the Public Services Commission Public Service Pacific Fale Governance Group; patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network and the Cancer Society Relay for Life; a Creative New Zealand Arts Council board member; and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and the Council of the National University of Samoa. She is a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and was bestowed the Samoan chiefly title Luamanuvao.
Judges praised her decades of service for the Pacific Island community both in politics and at a grassroots level.
Watch her interview on Breakfast this morning in the video above.
Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i
Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i is head girl at Aorere College and an Indigenous and climate activist. She is a founding member and chair of 4 Tha Kulture, an indigenous South Auckland youth environmentalist collective which co-organised the largest and most recent School Strike for Climate. She was the 2019 New Zealand Storytellers High School Public Speaking Champion, the New Zealand representative at the 2021 Global Young Leaders Conference, and had her poetry published in The Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2019.
As an advocate for low socioeconomic and South Auckland youth, Fili worked with the School March Against Violence and aims to uplift marginalised youth in her community.
Judges called Fili “a remarkable young woman who will continue to be a leader in her community”.
Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i started her career as a diplomat, the only non-Pakeha in her cohort. She coordinated the team that negotiated the economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan, and was a driving force behind the inaugural Matariki festival there.
In 2020, Tupe was appointed to the role of chief philanthropic officer of the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation, which funds projects to bring about transformational change in the criminal justice system and family law. She is the writer and creator of independent web series Misadventures of a Pacific Professional, nominated for Best Show at the 2019 New Zealand Web Fest and Best International Drama at the Melbourne Web Fest. Her chat show, Talanoa with Tupe, aims to showcase successful Pasifika, especially women.
The judges praised the impact of her work across multiple cultures.
ARTS & CULTURE
Parris Goebel is one of the most prominent Kiwis in the global entertainment business. She owns The Palace, the only studio to win three consecutive world hip hop dance championships. She has worked with artists including Rihanna, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Blackpink, and CL. Her choreography on the video for Sorry by Justin Bieber has over 3.3 billion YouTube views.
Parris was the creative director and choreographer for the 2020 Superbowl half-time show for Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, and the New York Fashion Week Savage X Fenty show, which has been nominated for a 2020 Emmy Award. In 2018 she established The Palace Academy of Dance for Māori and Pasifika teenagers and she is a co-founder of Sisters United NZ, a charitable trust established to empower young Māori and Pasifika.
The judges praised her support of young Kiwi women through her charity Sisters United, saying she’s made an impact at a very broad level.