Tofa Mamao: Navigating the future, guided by the past


Advancing the voices of Tagata Sa’ili Malo (Pacific disabled people), their families/aiga and supporters in all levels of our society was further strengthened on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July 2021 when Tofa Mamao Wellington and Christchurch social hubs were officially launched through the Valuing Lived Experience project, a collaboration between Tofa Mamao Collective, Vaka Tautua Ltd and PIASS Trust, funded by the Ministry of Health. 

The purpose of the social hubs is for Tagata Sa’ili Malo (Pacific disabled people), their families/aiga and supporters to advocate and promote local issues that impact their daily lives and to connect with each other as well as their natural supports within their wider community.

“Both events were very successful in bringing our Pacific disabled people and our wider Pacific community together.  I was very proud to attend both events and was privileged to hear some of our Pacific disabled peoples lived experience through their personal stories and I am convinced that our regional approach in bringing forth the local leaders that can articulate challenges and solutions for their local area is the right strategy.” said the Tofa Mamao National Executive officer, Tunumafono Ava Faamoe.

“To further advance the vision, it is my hope that once the regional groups are in the position where they could nominate their representative to sit on the Tofa Mamao National council, we will further strengthen and advance our voices on national issues and participate in international discussions for disabled people.  To help fulfil this vision, we will continue to need support from our local and national partners.  I would like to acknowledge the continued support of our original partners, Taikura Trust and Dauntless Blue Ltd” added Mr Faamoe.

At the Wellington launch, guest speaker Sonia Hawea: Taikura Trust Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged the partnership.

“Hearing and seeing people confidently share their stories for the first time is the value Tofa Mamao brings to our community, and it is the reward for the investment Taikura Trust has made for the last two years. Having been there at the beginning in Auckland it was a privilege to celebrate with our partners the extension of Tofa Mamao.", said Ms Hawea.

“As Tofa Mamao continues to advance and become truly sustainable, we’ll need individuals like Sonia and organisations like, Taikura Trust as partners more than ever.  Sonia and Taikura were the first to truly value the independent voice of Tofa Mamao Collective while resisting the temptation that most providers often fall into and that is the need to control and claim credit for that voice. Partners without condition is our future.” concluded Mr Faamoe.


To join Tofa Mamao Auckland, please contact Tunumafono Ava Faamoe by email: or mobile 0276807973

 To join Tofa Mamao Wellington, please contact Fiailoa Alivale by email: or freephone 0800 825282

 To join Tofa Mamao Canterbury, please contact Kaiongo Tupou by email: or freephone 0800 825282


Published 3 September 2021