Meet our Team

Do you need help deciding what to study or if MIT is the right fit for you?

Our friendly Schools and Community team can help support you as you transition into further study.

From providing study options, programme information, on-campus experiences, campus tours and assisting you through our application process - our team are here to help.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Gina Palepua

    Schools and Youth Liaison

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

    Profile

    Gina was born and proudly raised in South Auckland.

    The one thing she loves about MIT is that no matter what walk of life people come from there is always a place for them in the MIT whanau.

    Outside of the office, she spends most of her time with family and friends.

  • Lorna Fa’alafi

    Team Leader, Schools & Community

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

    Profile

    Lorna was born and raised in West Auckland but adopted South Auckland as her new home when she and her husband bought their first home in Papakura.

    She has been working at MIT since 2017. Starting in the Pasifika Development Office then moved across to the Schools and Community team in 2018. For many years Lorna was a primary school teacher and has always valued quality education as an opportunity for a better quality of life.

    She believes MIT offers many great opportunities for young and old, and she is proud to be a part of a tertiary provider that has been serving South Auckland for more than 50 years.

    Outside of work she loves teaching Samoan dancing for young girls aged 5y-12y and empowering confidence to value Samoan culture. Her happy place is chilling with her husband and two children.

  • Matthew Fiso

    Schools & Community Liaison

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

    Profile

    Matthew was born and bred in the capital city and is a loyal Hurricanes and Pulse fan.

    He has been in Auckland since 2013 and now calls it home.

    He chose to work at MIT because their values aligned closely with his own and the continued endeavour to always put students at the forefront.

    Outside of a work he plays a little-known sport called canoe-polo. Which he has play for New Zealand on numerous occasions over the years.

  • Tusi Perez

    Schools and Community Administrator

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

    Profile

    Tusi was born and raised in Auckland. She is the Schools and Community Administrator and supports the liaison team with events, activities and other initiatives. She believes the best thing about her role is seeing people pathway into further education and realizing their goals and aspirations through tertiary study.

    Outside of work Tusi likes to spend quality time with her family and she capturing memories through photography.

  • Zak Middleton

    School and Community Liaison

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

    Profile

    Zak is North Shore born and bred but now calls Manukau home. His partner comes from a proud Samoan family and during lockdown they purchased their first home in Mangere East. They are also proud new parents to Ayanna-Grace.

    He chose to work at MIT because he loves working in the tertiary education sector, having previously spent four years working at AUT and most recently two years at St Mary’s College. The best part of the job for Zak is seeing the journey of students from their first day on campus right through to walking across the stage with their qualification knowing you played part in their journey.

    He enjoys 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 Zak is heavily involved in sports, mostly netball as a netball umpire in the ANZ Premiership and National Netball League. During the summer months, he turns his interest to golf and is a member of Whitford Park Golf Club.