Aiga, culture and community at Waikato

At the University of Waikato, we value culture, community and belonging.


E vave taunu’u le malaga pe a tatou alo va’a fa’atasi

Our destiny is within sight when we paddle our canoe together — famous Samoan proverb

At the University of Waikato we want to paddle together.

Family is one of the most important principles in the Pacific. We know that Pacific learners do not voyage into learning on their own but represent the hopes and sacrifices of their ancestors, families, and communities. 

Wherever home is, we want our Pacific students to feel like they are home when they come here and to know they have become part of our wider University of Waikato aiga, famili, fanau and 'ohana — family. 

Our vibrant Pacific aiga, culture and community here at the University of Waikato includes Pacific aunties, uncles and cousins in various roles who become familiar faces to our students and are ready to help. 

Na Veiqaraqaravi Vakavanua vei Sir Anand Satyanand

The university hosted the Veiqaravi Vakavanua for our Chancellor Sir Anand Satyanand, who has roots in the Pacific — especially Fiji. The Fijian community and our Pacific Student Associations made the event possible. 

2019 08 06 Chancellor Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO 106290 500x280

Pacific Language Weeks and Independence Days

We celebrate all New Zealand Pacific Language Weeks, including Rotuman, Samoan, Kiribati, Solomon Islands Pidgin, Cook Islands Māori, Tongan, Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin, Tuvaluan, Fijian, Niuean, and Tokelauan. We also come together to mark other Pacific independence days and holidays.

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Culture and languages

You will hear many different Pacific languages being spoken on campus by staff and students. We celebrate cultural events together including all of the New Zealand Pacific Language Weeks and our Pacific Awards. 

Pacific cultures and languages are precious taonga that create community and belonging.

In Our Language: Journal of Pacific Languages

The In Our Language: Journal of Pacific Research publishes previously published and peer-reviewed journal articles in English and one or more Pacific languages that are relevant to the work.

We work with authors to translate their original publications and then publish them in an open access format. Open access and languages increase accessibility. Pacific languages mean that Pacific people, communities, stakeholders and end-users can read research about them in their own languages.


When you enrol with us, you become part of a vibrant community of stakeholders focused on success. This includes strategic partners, student leaders and proud alumni.

Strategic partners and collaborations

We are privileged to work closely with Pacific community organisations, networks and other stakeholders. 

Examples of our strategic partners and collaborations include K'aute Pasifika Trust, the Waikato Pacific Teachers Association and National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA). 

Pacific Student Associations

The University of Waikato is home to 12 Pacific student associations.

Whether you are looking for a place to grow your leadership, learn more about Pacific culture and language, to find others studying in your field or to make friends we have an association for you.

Each association is a place where students can find academic encouragement, peer networks, and cultural and social activities.

Together we celebrate nine Pacific Language Weeks and various Pacific Independence Days.

If you would like to join one of our Pacific student associations, contact them by email via the links below or visit the Waikato Student Union website.

Tautua Student Leadership Group

The Pacific Student Leadership Group is made up of the executives of each UoW Pacific student association. This representative group meets with the Pacific at Waikato team on a monthly basis to advise the team and coordinate activities.

In addition to Pacific Language Weeks and independence days, we host many other Pacific events on campus.