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Pacific at University of Otago, Wellington


Dianne Sika-Paotonu

Talofa lava, Mālō e lelei, Kia orana, Ni sa bula vinaka, Faka'alofa lahi atu, Mauri, Tālofa ni, Fakatalofa atu, Gude, Aloha, Ia orana, Kia ora and warm Pacific greetings,

On behalf of the University of Otago, Wellington, the Pacific team would like to extend to you a very warm welcome.

The University of Otago, Wellington is a strategically positioned health sciences campus that provides world class teaching and research and is located in Newtown, Wellington, next door to the regional hospital, and part of the University of Otago’s Division of Health Sciences.

Pacific students at University of Otago, Wellington study undergraduate programmes such as Medicine, Radiation Therapy, or undertake postgraduate qualifications and courses such including masters' degrees and PhDs. A diverse range of health-based research is also undertaken at the University of Otago, Wellington which consists of nine academic departments and constitutes a research intensive campus.

The University of Otago’s Pacific Strategic Framework (2013-2020), forms a guide for Pacific related activities and is comprised of six goals:

Dianne Sika-Paotonu and staff members of University of Otago, Wellington

  • Goal 1 – Demonstrating and valuing leadership on Pacific matters
  • Goal 2 – Encouraging Pacific Research Excellence
  • Goal 3 – Strengthening Community Engagement
  • Goal 4 – Promoting Growth and Development
  • Goal 5 – Encouraging Pacific Curricula
  • Goal 6 – Contributing to the Pacific Region and International Progress

These overarching goals are supported, in turn, by strategies and planned activities articulated in the University of Otago, Wellington Pacific Action Plan.

Our team in Wellington is focused on supporting Pacific students with their studies with an emphasis on recruitment, retention and the successful completion of their selected study courses and programmes. The University of Otago, Wellington is also seeking to increase the numbers of Pacific staff members and support their professional development, in addition to encouraging stronger links with our Pacific communities within New Zealand, and also extending further into the Pacific Region and beyond.

High quality research that demonstrates clinical relevance and contributes towards improved health outcomes for Pacific communities is prioritised at the University of Otago, Wellington. The knowledge translation and dissemination activities associated with our research work are also of importance to our Wellington based researchers and teams who work in partnership with Pacific communities within New Zealand and in the Pacific Region.

We look forward to celebrating the academic successes and achievements of our Pacific staff and scholars and also seek to promote research and outreach contributions that are meaningful, respectful, culturally appropriate and are of direct relevance to our Pacific communities.

Thanking-you kindly for supporting us.

Malo ‘aupito,


Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu C.Q.S.
Associate Dean (Pacific)
Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine
University of Otago, Wellington