Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu

Senior Pasifika Manager, Manukau Institute of Technology

Since joining CORE Education Tātai Aho Rau in 2012, Aiono Manu has worked as the Senior Advisor Pacific Education, giving advice and overseeing matters and issues pertaining to Pacific Education across all sectors – from early childhood, compulsory schooling right through to tertiary and adult community education.  She has worked as a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator across Aotearoa, Future-Focused education facilitator, and delivered tailored personalised professional learning services as a mentor to principals, senior leaders, teachers as well as professionals in government and education partner agencies.  

Aiono Manu leads blended online Pasifika courses that focus on raising the engagement and achievement of Pasifika learners, implementing Pasifika action plans and culturally responsive pedagogies.  She has also presented CORE breakfast seminars and workshops on various topics focusing on the Pasifika Education Plan and the Education Review Office Pasifika Strategy, Assessment with a Pasifika lens and engaging Pasifika parents, families and communities. 

Using her skills as a social anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, Aiono Manu also challenges educators through thought leadership blog posts to consider Multiculturalism and navigating spaces of ethnicity, identity, and diversityLeadership through Service, and Diverse Pasifika identities.  She has also written about the Pasifika position in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi – our obligations, our place and how we can support mana whenua –Pasifika in Parihaka, Pasifika position in honouring Bi-cultural Te Tiriti partnership, Pasifika in Waitangi. Aiono Manu has used these worldviews to provide consultation feedback on the professional teaching standards for the Education Council and the teaching standards for ACE Aotearoa.

As a member of Komiti Pasifika with PPTA (2005-2012), Aiono Manu was involved in creating submissions by giving critical analysis and strategic direction through consultation feedback, for various government policy documents: the Pasifika Education Plan for the Ministry of Education, the Pacific Languages Framework for the Ministry of Pacific Peoples and the Pasifika Strategy for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. 

Aiono Manu is currently completing a PhD in Education at the University of Auckland.  Her research topic focuses on Pacific Island students’ perceptions of factors that contribute to their success in NCEA.  Her research work in gifted Pacific Island education is currently being used to identify gifted Pacific Island students in Aotearoa.