Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2017

The Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year Award is for the Business School student who has displayed excellence in academic performance, community service, communication skills, extra-curricular activities and knowledge of world issues.


Competition guide

The Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year award assesses students on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Communication, including written, informal and prepared speech
  • Service to the community
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Business, national and world events


All full-time students with Māori or Pacific Island heritage who are currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business and Information Management or a Bachelor of Property at the University are eligible.

Students enrolled in conjoint degrees are also eligible, as long as one of their degrees is Commerce or Property. Students must have completed at least two semesters of study before they are eligible to enter.

Assessment process

Candidates for the Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year must submit:

  1. A transcript of your complete academic record at the University of Auckland including any conjoint degree
  2. A one-page cover letter explaining how you meet the above criteria by answering the three questions detailed on the application form
  3. A copy of your CV (maximum two A4 pages)
  4. A completed entry form  

Entry form

Judging process

Stage 1
Each finalist will participate in six five-minute interviews with six judges. The topic of the interviews may cover:

  • Your extra-curricular activities
  • Your involvement in community, voluntary and service
  • World events
  • National events
  • Business events
  • Role of ethics in business
  • Career plans

Stage 2
Each candidate will make a five minute speech on the topic. The topic will be announced to the finalists when they are shortlisted. This will take place in an open forum with invited guests including friends and family.

The prize

  • Māori Business Student of the Year and Pacific Business Student of the Year
  • People's Choice Award 
  • Winners will have a photo and brief bio on the Business School's "Best in Business" display
  • Prize money of $1,000

All finalists will also receive a certificate.

Important dates

Applications are now open

Applications close: 5pm Friday 13 October 2017

Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2017 final: Wednesday 25 October 6-8:30pm

Westpac Māori and Pacific Business Student of the Year 2016

Māori Business Student of the Year 2016 - Roland Taupara Brown

Roland (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngāti Paoa, Tainui and Te Whakatohea) studied a conjoint Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science (BCom/BSc) and was a member of the University’s Ngā Tauira Māori students’ association, as well as the Commerce Association for Pacific and Māori (CAPM). He is also a Tuākana mentor for Accounting 101. Roland was also awarded the Dilshika Weerasekera memorial prize which is awarded to a Māori or Pacific student for the best overall performance in Stage 1 Chemistry.

Roland acknowledged his community of support played in his acceptance speech.

“I am ecstatic and humbled to have won this award, but as I said in my speech on the night, 'Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini'. My success is not mine alone it is the success of many and so I am grateful to my whānau, friends and the support network at the Business School (Sammy, Lisa, Willie, Marino) who all played an integral role in getting me to where I am today.”

“I am grateful for the opportunities provided to me after taking part in this event and strongly encourage our Pacific and Maori students to give it a go”.

Roland Taupara Brown: Māori Business Student of the Year 2016

Pacific Business Student of the Year 2016 - Ana Sualu Saulala

Ana Sualu Saulala is from the Tongan village of Vavau. She studied a conjoint Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts (BCom/BA) degree. Ana was the Education leader for Velocity, a student-led organisation that strives to cultivate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University. She is a team member for Feel Good Period, a social enterprise seeking to help women in need to have regular access to sanitary products. A member of the Business School’s Women’s Mentoring Programme, Ana is also a class representative, an active member of CAPM, a Leadership through Learning mentor, a second counsellor for her church, and captain of the Waitakere women’s volleyball team.

Anna said she was “humbled and pleased” that her parents were present to share the moment with her.

“I wasn't expecting to win, but receiving the award has given me greater confidence to believe in myself and to pursue my dreams with more ambition whilst trying to help others see that they can do the same. There is no limit to what you can achieve, you just have to be willing to take the first step and stick with it.”


Ana Sualu Saulala: First overall Pacific student

Contact us

For more information, please contact:                      

Willie Uili
Student Support Adviser
The University of Auckland Business School
Phone: +64 9 923 7120