CORE's Team

Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu

Consultant, Accredited Facilitator (English-medium) and Expert Partner


2016 (In progress) PhD in Education University of Auckland
2013 Masters in Professional Studies, University of Auckland
2011 Grad. TESSOL. University of Auckland
2007 P.G.Dip. in Education.University of Auckland
2004 Grad.Dip.Tch. (secondary) Auckland College of Education
2001 B.A. (Hons). University of Auckland
1998 B.Mus. University of Auckland

Contact details


P: 0800 267 300

M: 021 390 336

Accreditation Number: ACC 237

Region: Auckland

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Aiono Manu Faaea Semeatu FS W

Professional experience 

Since joining CORE Education 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, 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 UChoose mentor to principals, senior leaders and teachers.  

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, also challenges educators to consider multiculturalism and navigating spaces of ethnicity, identity, and diversity.

As a member of Komiti Pasifika with PPTA, from 2005 to 2012, Aiono Manu has been involved in creating submissions and consultation feedback for various policy documents such as 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 has expertise in the following areas:

Digital fluency 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Use the eLearning Planning Framework to self-review and develop e-learning practices to benefit student learning
  • Focus on student-centred learning that highlights strengths-based approaches to achievement using digital technology to enhance teacher pedagogy.

Literacy and numeracy 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Identify target students and considering ways of accelerating their learning
  • Consider multiple sources to track and monitor learning transitions for students
  • Package NCEA standards and programmes that benefit Pasifika students, by creating tailor-made NCEA assessment tasks for curriculum areas, with a focus on literacy-rich tasks.

Evaluative capability 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Use the Spiral of Inquiry to enhance teacher efficacy
  • Focus on the correct tools and procedures to produce desired academic results.

Pacific responsiveness and inclusiveness 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Increase their Pasifika capability and capacity; growing their “Pasifika hearts” to connect with Pasifika learners
  • Engage in Pasifika responsiveness training for school leadership and management; Pasifika professional learning sessions for school staff; Pasifika strategic planning for school charters; recognition of Pasifika identities/languages/cultures.

Change leadership 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Critique strategic planning and annual goals for senior management in schools
  • Mentor senior leadership teams, heads of faculties, heads of departments, syndicate leaders, teachers and support staff to reach their professional learning goals
  • Challenge their own assumptions about their teaching and best practice

Community engagement 

Supporting schools and communities of learners to:

  • Broker relationships between the parent communities of Pasifika students with schools and centres by providing professional learning workshops and seminars for parents to cultivate a sustainable culture of “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Conference presentations, keynotes, seminars, workshops

Keynote speaker 

  • 2017: Kahikatea Tu ki te Uru - Leading through Mentoring - growing support systems and expertise in you and your place, "Getting down with the Brown: mentoring with priority learners in mind", TRCC, CQ Hotel, Wellington
  • 2017: NZEI Te Riu Roa Komiti Pasefika Network, Regional Pasifika Fono, Inspired to Act - Owning It, "It takes a village to raise a 21st century child." Whitireia NZ, Wi Neera Drive, Porirua, Wellington.
  • 2015: New Zealand Literacy Association (NZLA) Conference “Word for Wellington”, Westpac Stadium, Wellington.
  • 2015: New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC) 40th Anniversary Conference, Waikato University, Waikato.
  • 2014: National Teaching Learning Conference, Centre for Tertiary Excellence in Teaching, ‘Te Ao Hou - The New World’, Southland Institute of Technology, sponsored by Ako Aotearoa, “Le Lalolagi Fou: E tumau le faavae ae fesuia’i faiga – Understanding the diverse-cities of Pasifika”,
  • 2014: Home Based Childcare Association Annual Conference, “Relationships, Intentionality and Leadership – buzz words or reality?”, Rydges Hotel, Wellington.
  • 2014: Te Tai Tokerau Symposium, “Pasifika Education Plan – what does this mean for your school?”, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe.
  • 2014: PPTA Pasifika Conference, “Lalaga – Making Connections”.
  • 2014: Emerging Leaders Summit, “Celebrating Pasifika Giftedness and Promoting Achievement”, hosted by Mark Osborne, Albany Senior High School, Auckland.
  • 2014: ACE Aotearoa Hui Fono, “Māori and Pasifika Success”, Taranaki.
  • 2014: Dream Fono, hosted by The University of Auckland.


  • Faaea-Semeatu, M. (2015). Pasifika Transformers - more than meets the eye. SET, 2015(1), 34–41.
  • Faaea-Semeatu, T. (2011). “Celebrating Gifted Roots: Gifted and Talented Pacific Island (Pasifika) Students”. In Giftedness from an Indigenous Perspective, ed. W. Vialle. Papers from the 11th Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness, Sydney, 29 July–1 August 2010. Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented/Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Personal statement

I am a lifelong learner, with a strong commitment to serving all communities that I am involved in – cultural, musical, collegial, regional, national, global – as we are all universal. I am currently undertaking doctoral research in Education.  My focus is on Pacific students and their perceptions of success in NCEA.  It is an extension of my Master’s research on gifted Pacific students connecting with their musical talent. As educators, it may be very easy to focus on what students don’t do well and seeing them fail.  I encourage leaders and communities of learners to see students at their best, to recognise that their strengths will help to not only unlock their potential, but also teach them how to contribute to society and also strive to be lifelong learners themselves.