AUCKLAND, New Zealand – November 28, 2019: 7.45pm (RNZ PACIFIC): The outgoing director-general of the Pacific Community, the SPC, has been appointed to a senior role at Auckland University’s Health and Medical Sciences faculty.
Dr Colin Tukuitonga is to be the inaugural Associate Dean Pacific.
Dr Tukuitonga, who is Niuean, has spent the past seven years at the SPC.
Before that he headed New Zealand’s Ministry of Pacific Islands Affairs and also worked with the World Health Organisation.
The university said the faculty was focussed on supporting Pacific students into medicine and other health disciplines to help meet the pressing need for more Pacific health professionals.
Dr Tukuitonga will start his new role in March, 2020.
Associate Professor Damon Salesa, the university’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Pacific, said the appointment was a â€œboonâ€ for the university and Dr Tukuitonga was one of the Pacific’s â€œoutstanding leadersâ€.
â€œHe has made enormous contributions to policy, science and public health in New Zealand, the Pacific and internationally,â€ he said in a statement.
Dr Tukuitonga on twitter said â€œDelighted to re-join a NZ iconic institution to continue working with/for Pacific peopleâ€