Meet the Executive

Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau - Chairperson

Rachel was elected the founding Chairperson for the NZ Tonga Business Council since its establishment in 2010 and is the current Chairperson.

Rachel is an experienced strategic director for FaceNorth Promotions Ltd who has worked on numerous projects between New Zealand and Tonga to include trade and investment promotion and facilitation, international research expeditions, public relations and government advisory. Rachel was the Pacific Advisor for the development of Waterfront Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter and currently is the National Trust Manager for a not for profit organisation raising the awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect in NZ. She has recently been appointed under the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) to establish a Commission of Women’s Concern in NZ for further development into the Pacific Region. Rachel holds a Masters of Commerce Degree from the University of Auckland.

Sione Taufa - Vice Chair

Sione represents the University of Auckland Business School/ Mira Szászy Research Centre on the Council. Sione is a Lecturer/ Tutor at their prestigious Accounting and Finance department.

He also looks after programs designed to help Pasifika and Maori students succeed in University. He is an active participant in community activities and has significant networks amongst the Tongan community in New Zealand and in Tonga. His expertise includes Financial Accounting and Financial Analysis.

Executive Committee

Michael Greenslade - Pacific Islands Trade & Investment

Dr. Semisi Taumoepeau - Director of Pasifika Relations, Auckland Institute of Studies, Auckland

Dr Taumoepeau’s new position with AIS as from January 2015 is that he is the Director of Pasifika Relations as well as still a lecturer at the Tourism Management Programme. Semisi for the past 35 years has been deeply involved as a practitioner, researcher and a consultant in tourism, aviation and education in the South Pacific. He is a former Director of Tourism for Tonga from 1980-2003, former CEO of the Tonga National Airline 2000-2002 as well as former Chairman of SPTO based in Suva and also a former chairman of the Association of the South Pacific Airlines. He was in the board of TIANZ from 2009-2011. His recent projects and publications include south pacific aviation studies on sustainability of air services and low cost carriers, HRD regional training plan in tourism and hospitality for the South Pacific countries and for Samoa, formulation of national tourism plans in 2014 (Nauru and Tuvalu), published textbooks for university students on South Pacific aviation and tourism development. He is an Associate Director of the NZTRI (New Zealand Tourism Research Institute) based at AUT.

Sam Tangitau - Manager, Crowe Horwath

With over 10 years extensive experience in accounting and tax compliance and advisory services, I strive to provide a high level of service to clients and enjoy finding ways to add value to my clients' business, whether it be improving tax efficiency or using new technology to assist clients run their businesses more efficiently.

As well as a strong network of professionals grown over the last decade, Sam is able to create value by connecting relevant segments together through introduction of key people with aligning synergies

I also like to think outside the box to provide new ideas for clients to improve their business operations or look at innovative ways they can target new markets/channels.

As a Pacific Islander and keen rugby follower, I also have a passion to seek ways in which I can help Pacific Island businesses and Pacific Island rugby players with my extensive financial experience and networks.

Wayne Hansell - Key Account Manager-Pacific, Fonterra Brands NZ

Wayne has  worked for Fonterra for the past 10 years now in various roles, the last 3 years being in an export role. The countries under Wayne’s responsibility are Tonga, Tahiti, Niue, Norfolk, Fiji and Kiribati. Wayne is responsible for all Fonterra interest in these Islands. The Anchor brand has a huge loyal presence in these Islands. Wayne was self employed in the food industry for 20 years prior to joining  Fonterra.

His family background has connections in almost every Island from his mother being born in Haapai Tonga to his father being born in Samoa of German Samoan decent. Wayne’s wife is Maori and his 4 children are  clearly from  many mixed races. Wayne is well placed to offer valuable opinions for people in both the corporate and private sectors.

Laulu  Mac Leauanae - Chief Executive, Pacific Cooperation Foundation

Graduating from the University of Auckland with a Law degree, Mac practiced for a year and a half before realising that law was not the career path for him. With a desire to assist Pacific communities, he moved into Pacific community & business development through his work at the Pacific Business Trust. From there he moved into the primary healthcare sector, initially as the Pacific Health Manager for ProCare Health Limited and within a year, was promoted into Senior Management. During this time at ProCare, Mac completed an MBA with his dissertation focusing on ‘Community Participation in Governance’.

After five years of service he moved to Pure Pacifika Limited as its General Manager to manage horticultural products from production in the South Pacific, to its logistics and transportation into the Asian market. Mac joined the Pacific Cooperation Foundation as the CEO in March 2014, having worked in a project based role in 2012-2013 for the Pacific Showcase event series.

Rhys Faleafa - Faleafa Investments & Consultants Ltd

Sefita Hao'uli

Ex Officio

Nigel Ewels - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Nigel Ewels is part of MFAT’s Pacific Team at its Auckland Office, and currently works closely with the Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Shane Jones. He was born in Auckland but moved to Australia where he attended university and worked for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) on a range of development issues but with a strong focus on the Pacific region, including a posting to Kiribati and time in Bougainville PNG with the peace monitoring group in the late 1990’s. He was also seconded for two and half years to the New Zealand Aid Programme in Wellington and worked for the World Bank in its Sydney Office where he was the Senior Country Officer for the Pacific. He has a strong interest in Pacific economic development and how the private and public sector can work together to promote this.

Peter Lund - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Peter Lund is senior policy officer for Pacific issues at the Auckland office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He was based in Suva from 2010 to 2014, where he was trade commissioner and deputy head of mission. Peter has also served in Port Moresby and Seoul and in Wellington was responsible for implementing New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreements with China and ASEAN.

Stafford Aho - Tongan Consul

Auckland Chamber of Commerce - Secretariat

Graeme Solloway - New Zealand Trade & Enterprise