Leadership NZ Trust: Mana Moana leadership scholarship

Photo Apoua Fuatavai McBrien Photo credit Ralph Brown

“The course makes you think about what you’re doing and
how you’re doing it. It’s about being authentic and where
are you best to serve? Finding where you are supposed
to be and being brave enough to get to where you need to
be.” Apoua Fuatavai-McBrien.

The Mana Moana Experience is a specialist Pasifika
Leadership Programme run by Leadership NZ that
activates the rich wisdom of Pasifika ancestral and
indigenous knowledge delivered through language and
culture to current and future Pasifika leaders within New
Zealand. It embeds the poly-cultural leadership wisdom
required in these times, creating Pasifika conscious
leaders. Leaders in the south carry great responsibility as
community leaders and the Mana Moana Experience will
support and build their capacity to lead while creating
connections with other Pacific leaders throughout the

For the first time Community Trust South has offered a
Mana Moana Leadership scholarship which enables a
Pasifika leader from our region to attend the 8-month
leadership course. Apoua Fuatavai-McBrien is the Trust’s
inaugural recipient of this scholarship.

“There are leaders from communities from all parts of New
Zealand and the magic of the course is the sharing of
experiences and the connections you make. You connect
through rediscovering our language and find tools in our
culture that opens up a new view on what leadership is.
The bigger cities have larger Pasifika communities and
more resources, in Southland we have a different way of
working, with our smaller communities we work together
more collaboratively. One of the bigger outcomes is
the friendships and connections that are being made.”
Apoua Fuatavai-McBrien.

Apoua works for the Southland Beneficiaries and
Community Rights Centre and is president of the
Invercargill branch of the Pacific Allied Women’s
Council. Apoua has always been heavily involved in her
community, spearheading a number of projects over
the years with a focus on supporting youth and Pasifika
women in Southland.

“This is the best training I have ever experienced. These
are old concepts but presented in a new way.” Apoua