Leveki National Fono - Pacific Resilience & Covid-19


Whāraurau invites you to attend an online Leveki National Fono 



Wednesday 29 September 2021

09:30am - 2.00pm

Facilitator: Maliaga Erick and Exeter Alofi, Whāraurau


Whāraurau will be hosting a National Pacific Leveki Fono on the 29 of September from 9.30am – 2.00pm. 

The theme is Pacific Resilience & Covid-19, with many great speakers for the day. See the speaker profiles below. Additional profiles will be added to the event web page once we receive them.

Please register quickly as approval will be given on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

A Zoom link and calendar invite will be sent to the approved attendees. 

Go to:

Dr Api Talemaitoga

Auckland-based GP, who has helped set up practices in both Christchurch and Manukau, Auckland. 

An average week for Api includes working with patients and their families in the Manukau practice, providing advice to the Ministry of Health and other health sector agencies and organisations, providing health care services to inmates at Mt Eden prison as well as chairing the Pasifika GP network and the Pacific Chapter of the Royal NZ College of GPs...to name just a few

He’s a busy man with a passion for seeing people take control of their own health and by helping them understand the symptoms and conditions they are experiencing as well as what they can do about it. 

He also spends some of his spare time supporting and encouraging those who are exploring a potential career in Pacific Health. 

In August 2020, Dr Api was appointed to the National Covid response group co-chaired by Heather Simpson and Sir Brian Roche.




Dr Maryann Heather 

Dr Maryann Heather is a NZ Trained Consultant General Practitioner working at Southseas Healthcare Otara. She has worked in Samoa, American Samoa, Australia, China and around New Zealand.

Maryann enjoys working with the elderly and has interests in long term medical conditions in adults, Pacific Health teaching and research.

She is also a senior lecturer in Pacific Health, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. 






Dr Elizabeth Mati

DClinPsy, BA/BCom

Elizabeth Mati joined the Le Va team in January 2019 as the senior manager for violence prevention and leads the Atu-Mai programme. She is a registered clinical psychologist and sits on the national Pasifikology executive.

Prior to Le Va, Elizabeth worked in Pasifika Child and adolescent mental health at CMDHB in frontline and management positions.

She has fifteen years' experience supporting Pasifika people in educational, mental health, forensic and community settings.

Her doctorate explored holistic approaches to forensic youth interventions and focused on facilitator qualities as an enabler of change.

Elizabeth possesses a strong interest in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Pasifika interventions across the system.







Natalie Netzler

Dr Natalie Netzler (Samoan/European/Māori with affiliations to Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Hauā, Te Āti Awa) is an associate investigator with the Maurice Wilkins Centre and a Pacific postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Auckland.

Natalie has several years of experience working within the biotech industry in various research projects spanning prostate cancer, chemotherapy resistance, and vaccine development.

Natalie’s current research is funded by the Health Research Council to investigate genetic variants that are unique to Pacific populations and how these variants may affect immunity and susceptibility to infectious diseases. Natalie is also part of a wider collaborative team that is investigating how these unique Pacific gene variants may contribute to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and gout.

The overarching aims of these projects are to identify pathways for disease prevention and tailored treatments for health conditions in Pacific populations to improve overall wellbeing both here in New Zealand and across the Pacific nations and their diaspora.



Chris Puli'uvea


Chris is a final year PhD candidate at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, University of Auckland, and an Affiliate Investigator of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Bio-discovery.

His research focuses on the relationship between immunity and health inequities between Māori and Pacific peoples compared to other ethnic groups.

His research includes exploring how unique Māori/Pacific genes influence immune function and how these unique genes relate to a number of diseases such as cancer, auto-immunity, metabolic and infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

He is passionate about improving the health of Māori and Pacific peoples by gaining a better understanding of how genes may influence immune responses







 Aigagalefili Fepulea'i-Tapua'i




For enquiries regarding this event, please contact Josie Opie:

[email protected]

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Register here