Meet our Team

  • Gina Palepua

    Schools and Youth Liaison

    Phone: 027 568 8638
    Email: gina.palepua@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    Fakaalofa lahi atu kia mutolu oti,

    I’m Gina and I was born and proudly raised in South Auckland.

    The one thing I love about MIT is that no matter what walk of life you come from there is always a place for you in the MIT whanau.

    Outside of the office, I spend most of my time with family and friends.

  • Lorna Fa’alafi

    Team Leader, Schools & Community

    Phone: 022 0140 605
    Email: lorna.fa’alafi@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    Talofa Lava. My name is Lorna Fa’alafi. Born and raised in West Auckland, Avondale adopted South Auckland as my new home; my husband and I bought our first home in Papakura.

    I have been working at MIT for three years. I started in the Pasifika Development Office and now with the Schools & Community Liaison team. I used to be a primary school teacher for many years, and have always valued quality education as an opportunity for a better quality of life. MIT offers many great opportunities for young and old, and I am proud to be part of a tertiary provider that has been serving South Auckland for 50 years.

    Outside of work I love teaching Samoan dancing for young girls aged 5y-12y, empowering confidence to value Samoan culture. My happiest place is with my husband and two children, chilling and doing whatever.

  • Matthew Fiso

    Schools & Community Liaison

    Phone: 027 5689 757
    Email: matthew.fiso@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    I was born and bred in the Capital City “Go the Canes & Pulse”

    I have been in Auckland going 7 years now and call it home.

    I chose to work at MIT because its values align closely with my own and its continued endeavour to always put students at the forefront.

    Outside of work I play a little-known sport Canoe Polo.

  • Tusi Perez

    Schools and Community Administrator

    Phone: 027 568 8621
    Email: tusi.perez@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    Talofa lava. My name is Tusi Perez and I was born and raised in Auckland. As the Schools and Community Administrator, I support our amazing Liaison Team with events, activities and initiatives. One of the best things about my role is seeing people pathway into further education and realising their goals and aspirations through tertiary study.

    Outside of work I like to spend quality time with my family and do a bit of photography.

  • Zak Middleton

    School and Community Liaison

    Phone: 022 0103 516
    Email: zak.middleton@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    I am North Shore born and bred but now call Manukau my home and have been living here for nearly two years. My partner comes from a proud Samoan family and during lockdown, we purchased our first home in Mangere East.

    I chose to work at MIT as I love working in the tertiary education sector, previously spending four years working at AUT and most recently two years at St Mary’s College. Seeing the journey of students from their first day on campus right through to walking across the stage with their qualifications is an awesome feeling knowing you have been part of their journey in some way.

    I look forward to meeting and working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and promoting the uniqueness and vibrancy that MIT has to offer.

    Outside of work I am heavily involved in sports, most notably as a netball umpire in the ANZ Premiership and Beko Netball Leagues. During the summer months, I turn my interests to golf and am a member of Muriwai Golf Club.