Malo e lelei, my name is Masiu Tuipulotu, known to many as Max. I am a proud New Zealand born Tongan, by way of Ōtāhuhu. Mum is from Fo’ui, Lavengatonga, Matahau, Ha’avakatolo and Fatai in Tongatapu and Dad is from Koulo and Faleloa in Ha’apai.
My father once said to me “Koe nima ke ngaue, tokoni pea foaki” – your hands are made to work, help and serve”. This is what I hope to bring to Le Va as a Senior Project Coordinator for the FLO team, to learn and serve my people and community.
By profession I am a registered social worker, which was driven by my passion for working with young people and helping unlock their full potential and guiding them in the fields they hope to excel in.
My experience before joining Le Va has been a humbling journey. From being a youth worker in secondary schools helping disengaged students who are at risk of being expelled, to a senior social worker providing social support to young Pacific mothers under 20 years old and offering a wraparound service for them. All great experiences that have helped prepare me for this new adventure with Le Va.
A big passion I have is in creative arts. I have been a Punake (choreographer for Tongan dance) creating dance pieces for young people performing on the Tongan stage in the Auckland secondary school’s Polynesian festival. I taught at tertiary level for the past 15 years, and I continue to teach a creative way of mixing traditional and modern movements to entertain an audience.