Kupe Alumni news

2019 press release curator appointment hero2Ane Tonga has recently been appointed to an exciting new role as the inaugural Curator of Pacific Art at the Auckland Art Gallery. This role will enable greater engagement with Pacific art and artists and provide more visibility to Pacific narratives in the Gallery’s collection.  

"I cannot overstate the importance of this opportunity- we're making history. As the inaugural Curator, Pacific Art this is a huge opportunity to shape a new direction for Pacific art in Aotearoa and further abroad. I am grateful for the leadership training undertaken as a Kupe Scholar and mentorship aspect (which is ongoing) that will help me as I navigate this new role and act as a catalyst towards developing new pathways for aspiring Pacific curators and leaders." 

Read the full story here


Gifted LEarners GIving BAckAfter completing his Honours degree in pure mathematics at the University of Auckland, Tristan Pang will be commencing his graduate studies at the University of Oxford in October this year. He has just received the Freemasons Orakei Scholarship, and is pursuing other scholarship options to support him financially as he embarks on this next phase.

Alongside his studies, he has continued working on his passion project from the Kupe Leadership Scholarship Programme, ‘Gifted Learners Giving Back’, a volunteer initiative aimed at inspiring young people from less advantaged backgrounds to consider University study. He recently ran a workshop for high school students from a Decile 1 school with the support of fellow Kupe alumni and his sponsor and mentor, which was very well received.

Gifted LEarners GIving BAck3Plans are already underway for another outreach event with a school outside Auckland. There appears to be considerable demand for the work that Gifted Learners Giving Back is doing and it is Tristan’s hope that this initiative can be passed on to the next Kupe cohort to maintain the momentum.

Tristan says that his participation in the Kupe programme has been instrumental to where he is now.


KDeeCongratulations to KDee Ma’ia’i who has received a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford in 2020. The first Pasifika female to receive a Rhodes, KDee will complete a DPhil in International Development. We are so proud of KDee, who is immensely deserving of this recognition and the opportunities it will create for her. 

“Being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship is an immense privilege for it provides me with an opportunity to advocate for the Pacific region on the world stage. It is not something that I had ever thought would be possible for me, so the scholarship is as symbolically important as it is practically significant. Being involved in the Kupe Leadership Scholarship at the University of Auckland has opened doors and opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise”.

Read more about KDee's story here