The Pacific Media Centre embarked on a collaboration project with the NZ Institute for Pacific Research in 2017 with Pasifika student journalists providing news, current affairs and video profiles about the institute’s work.

The two students who worked on the professional development project in the second half of the year are:

Brandon Ulfsby (20), Cook Islands Māori descent: A final year Bachelor of Communication Studies student. He says: “I reside in South Auckland and my main interest in journalism is the idea that media can play a part in influencing change.

“Being a brown youth from South Auckland, I’ve grown up understanding that often my communities’ stories and voices aren’t heard.

“Because of this, I love going out and finding stories that elevate success of Pacific and Māori people, as well as highlighting the issues that face these people. I have a particular interest in Pacific journalism and local community stories.”

Hele Ikimotu (20). Niuean and Banaban descent. A final-year Bachelor of Communication Studies student: He says: “I was born in Niue and I have lived in South Auckland since I moved to New Zealand. My interest in journalism is Pacific journalism, specifically regarding arts and culture stories.

“I also enjoy writing little community stories. I am currently employed by the Office of Pacific Advancement at AUT, working for the the Oceanian Leadership Network, a new initiative at the university. “

“I have a passion for Pacific stories, issues and people. I believe there needs to be more coverage on the Pacific community and positive representation of Pacific people.”

Examples of their NZIPR stories:

‘Tautai’ –  putting Sāmoans at the centre of Sāmoan history, by Brandon Ulfsby and Hele Ikimotu, 13 September 2017

PACER Plus agreement ‘not just trade but development’ says NZ chief negotiator, by Brandon Ulfsby and Hele Ikimotu, 14 September 2017

Project videos:

Profile or Dr Cath Conn and health development, by Brandon Ulfsby and Hele Ikimotu, 6 November 2017

Profile of Dr Patricia O’Brien, by Brandon Ulfsby and Hele Ikimotu, 12 September 2017

Profile of Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Tai’isi Efi, by Brandon Ulsby and Hele Ikimotu, 12 September 2017

+ NZ institute of Pacific Research

Report by Pacific Media Centre