News Item

Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award Winners Announced

News 21 Dec 2021

Eight exceptional Pacific young achievers are set to join a unique alumni of movers and shakers when they receive their respective 2021 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA), says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

“The eight recipients – seven from Auckland and one from Wellington - have been selected for awards across eight categories, from over 100 high calibre applicants, and are among the top echelon of Pacific young achievers in Aotearoa,” Minister Sio says.

Since the launch of the PMPYA in 2010, the awards have played a vital role in recognising and celebrating the outstanding achievement and excellence of Pacific young people, aged 17 to 24.

“These young Pacific people of Aotearoa are being recognised in several fields – including being advocates for their language and culture, for leadership and entrepreneurship, for their efforts in the arts, education and the community,” Minister Sio says.

“All of the 2021 recipients have created a positive impact on their chosen field in recent years, and they are an integral part of the Pacific community, involved and entrenched.”

There are eight PMPYA recipients in 2021 across eight categories, supported by 10 sponsors.

Congratulations to the following:

International Scholar (Pacific Cooperation Foundation) - Winner: Luna-Rossa Lomitusi-Ape

Language, Culture & Identity (Ministry for Pacific Peoples) - Winner: Veilomani Tafa

Leadership & Inspiration (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Air New Zealand) – Winner: Moana Kaori Yasumitsu Tsujido

Commercial & Corporate (Deloitte) - Winner: Ezekiel Fiso

Teach NZ (Ministry of Education) - Winner: Joyce Turu Ieremia

Business & Entrepreneurship (Pacific Business Trust) - Winner: Sarah Colcord

Arts & Creativity (Creative New Zealand & Massey University) - Winner: Lealofitaute Vaai

Community Star (Auckland City Council) - Winner: Janah Iulia Autagavaia

Traditionally, the PMPYA awards night is the pinnacle event which brings sponsors, recipients, and their families together for an official ceremony in Wellington, however, like last year, COVID-19 has again proved challenging in delivering an in-person event.

Due to the COVID-19 delta outbreak and fluctuating alert level restrictions the award ceremony has been postponed until November 25 and will be delivered online to protect the safety of attendees.

The online announcement will take the form of an announcement video premiere on all Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube), which people can tune in to celebrate the PMPYA recipients’ successes.

For more information about PMPYA, visit