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VOTING IS NOW LIVE! For ALL UoA Postgraduate students including non-PGSA members (including alumni/uni-leavers).

If you are a current student please use the official university site for voting on campus labs:

If you can't access this, please complete our google form:



ELECTIONS Are in full swing! Meet our applicants, and keep an eye out for their own stories and facebook pages!

Candidate personal introductions are below the links:


Hi, My name is Sahan.

I have always had a passion for academia which probably arises from the fact that both my parents are academics. Since, I grew up around a university environment, I have a very good understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in a university not just from a student perspective but also from a staff perspective. This has been further developed in the last few years as a tutor and the Academic Vice President of the Postgraduate Student Association (PGSA). I am passionate about developing and improving the quality of life for PG students the University of Auckland and I believe this role is the perfect opportunity for me to achieve this.

I have been serving as the Academic Vice President (AVP) of the Postgraduate Student Association (PGSA) for approximately 2 years. During this time, I have represented the PGSA and the PG student body as the student representative on multiple committees. I have formed a good rapport with many of the staff members in the committees which has helped streamline communication and achieving our goals in the PGSA. One of the most important committees that I have represented the PGSA on is the Doctoral Development Governance Group where major decisions regarding the doctoral program and opportunities available to doctoral candidates are discussed. The experience gained sitting on this committee has helped me develop strong communication skills and the ability to better understand what is required to help students. Other committees that I have sat on as the PGSA AVP include:

- Board of Graduate Studies

- Student Consultative Group

- Education Committee

- PG Council

- Teaching and Learning (T&L) Environments Subcommittee

- T&L Delivery Working Group

- Curriculum Transformation Programme

- Academic Audit Working Group

Beyond the experience, I have gained as the AVP for the PGSA, I believe the most important thing about this role is my passion for creating a better environment and system for students studying at the University of Auckland. I want to improve the environment for PG students at UoA by providing a student voice and perspective to university committees. In many places there seems to be a problem where the people that make the system do not understand the perspective or the issues of the people that experience the system.

My experience as the AVP, rapport with staff and, my understanding of the current systems in place at UoA make me an ideal candidate to be the President or AVP of PGSA. I am diligent, committed and dedicated to the cause and will do my best to make the goals of PGSA realised within the University and provide a better time for the PG students at the University.

  • Shengzhi (Shawn) 

Kia ora everyone , my name is Shawn and I am running for your Student Engagement and Wellbeing VP, alongside with running to retain my role as the PGSA International Student Officer (should I be unsuccessful in SEVP).

Over the past year I have had the blessing of working with the PGSA, Campus Life, Faculties, AUSA, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), and the International Student office to be the first port of call for international students during these challenging times. I also had the opportunity to join the New Zealand International Students Association to represent UoA International postgraduates.

Throughout my time in these roles I have conducted emergency support for Postgraduates, conducted a survey for postgraduates, the results of which were submitted to the university for advocacy and representation, I worked with our offshore Chinese rep to engage support with students via the WeChat support channel we ran for UoA, I collaborated with SGS to host international welcome sessions, linked students who needed emergency assistance with AUSA, and am currently building our international representative base with individuals from several countries.

I appreciate that not only are international students often faced with incredible emotional, financial and health strain, but there is so much to be done in working with our rainbow officer, disabilities rep, cultural advisors and much more to push further for international students.

I also recognise that there is a deeply entrenched need for each of these items to be pushed for, for ALL students, and that by continuing to build these connections, working with faculty associations and PGSA's, we can do a better job supporting students' wellbeing, mental healthy, safety, accessability,funding, accommodation support, induction, and consultation.

After this year developing this role, establishing many committee and university relationships I hope to connect further with you and take the SEVP/ISO roles to the next level. I am one of the few current PGSA committee members who is not graduating and who is running again, and I feel I have the knowledge base, dedication, and passion to navigate what is needed this year to progress forward on behalf of postgraduates.

  • David

Hi, my name is David Peterson and I am running for one of the

Communications Officer / Events Team / Welfare Team roles.


I am a local from South Auckland. Did my undergraduate degree here at UoA in Mathematics. And was recently accepted into the Postgraduate Certificate in Operations Research and Analytics, which is offered by the Engineering Faculty, as part of my goal towards getting a Masters in Data Science.


Currently I've been working in the Film Industry for the past decade as a Production Sound Mixer, they're the HoD of the Sound Department who are responsible for capturing all the dialogue on film sets. Worked on hundreds of shoots, you'll be able to hear one of the recent productions I mixed when "Cowboy Bebop" gets released on Netflix this



I enjoy casually playing Chess/Go/Shogi/Xiangqi, and all endurance sports (am a multitime Ironman triathlon finisher).


I applied for one of those roles because:

Communications Officer = been a web developer before and can help run the website. Have run very large facebook pages / groups as well (currently the admin for a filmmaking group with 100K+ members).

Events Team = with my media industry background I can help the Events

Officer with the promotion material beforehand for events, and for events coverage on the day itself with photos/video.

Welfare Officer = have a disability (ankylosing spondylitis) myself that I struggled painfully with for many years (but thankfully is now in remission), thus am very empathetic with to help with whatever issues students are going through and finding what support is right for them.


Feel free to follow me or message me with any questions over on

Thanks for reading and I'd be honoured to have your vote,


  • Yatin 

Hi there, I’m Yatin Grover, currently doing my Masters in IT. A bit about myself, I’d consider myself a people person, love talking to people and making new connections. I’m quite outgoing and always up for a brew. I’ve worked in multiple different industries over the years, worked as a Business Analyst, an English teacher in Spain, and as a recruitment consultant. So you know I’m not lying when I say I’m a people person HA!

I’m currently interested in being part of the Events Team, I feel given my personality and experience in different industries I would be perfect to help the Events officer plan helpful, fun and engaging events to help anyone in the PGSA community make new friends, discover new knowledge and do something fun together.

  • Odysse 

Hi everyone! My name is Odysse, and I am a first-year PhD student in psychology.

I am originally from the US (Ohio) and received my BA at Wittenberg University. I moved to NZ in 2018 and recently received my MSc from the University of Auckland, for which I received first-class honours.

My master’s thesis examined how episodic amnesia impacts sense of self. My PhD project will investigate the neural and cognitive mechanisms that underlie our subjective sense of self over time. I will do this by using methods from cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology.

I am also a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant.

Events Team role: As a postgraduate student, it can be difficult to connect with others due to being so busy with our studies. As both an international and post-graduate student, I know exactly how this feels. However, PGSA provides great, fun opportunities for postgrad students to get to know each other as well as chances to take much-deserved breaks from studying.

I have really enjoyed these events myself over the years, and I would love to join the team to help organise events that will allow you to make the most of your post-graduate experience at the University of Auckland!



  • Spark 

Kia ora everyone, my name is Spark Vulpa (Sang Myung Park).

During my university career, I have interacted with and come to appreciate a vast variety of cultures, worldviews and fields of knowledge within the university environment, as well as the larger society as a whole, and I am now more passionate and confident than ever before about incorporating individuals’ backgrounds and personal pursuits in both learning and socializing. As a representative of University of Auckland Postgraduate Students Association (PGSA), I would make certain to address existing and future issues for the student body and staff, mitigating stereotypes and profiling, whilst encouraging factual knowledge. Today, it would appear that tertiary education students frequently resist in partaking in frivolous encounters, and are becoming more responsive to issues regarding reason and ethics. It should not be a challenging task for PGSA to introduce more objective methodologies regarding new ideas and problems that need to be addressed, all whilst considering Te Tiriti o Waitangi, university regulations, respect and probity for all staff, students and interconnected parties.

I would bring my extracurricular skills and experiences to the table in order to further acknowledge and comprehend the various cultures and ever-expanding options available to us. Outside of my academic pursuits, I am a singer songwriter who delves into multiple genres of music, as well as being a home cook, a mixed martial artist, film and video game critic, in addition to maintaining a presence as an internet artist and author. My passion for interests outside of academia is largely fuelled by my antipathy towards superficiality and my admiration for ingenuity, which is an integral aspect for my vision regarding the PGSA’s future.

In the last 20 months of trying times, much of the university, as well as the staff and students’ daily lives and expectations, have transformed dramatically. I wish to utilize my knowledge of sociology, law, criminology, education and politics to its full extent, in order to not only ease pressure and stress, but also steadily and stably improve our morale. I would create and continue to evolve a balanced amalgamation of a realistic, financially-sound approach and idealistic equality to maximize opportunities available to all students. Over the past few years, I have both seen and experienced unspoken disparities and misuse of knowledge and power both within and near our institution. Hence, one of my primary focuses would be to mitigate negative impacts caused by abuse of political correctness that may distort academic objectivity in hopes of improving all aspects of our postgraduate student lives.


For the role of PGSA President or Academic Vice President:

I trust that I am sufficiently qualified and motivated to take on the responsibilities of a PGSA President or Academic Vice President. It would be my goal to sincerely help students and staff engage in social, political and academic proceedings. I would like to incorporate everyone’s concerns in order to make meaningful and pragmatic contributions in all events and meetings regarding the Board, Postgraduate Student Council, Auckland and NZ Offices, as well as any other parties PGSA would be involved with. It is imperative that the association be well equipped with adequate insight and drive for improving the well-being of postgraduate students, remedying society’s ills and the underlying damage COVID-19 has caused to tertiary education as a whole.


For the role of International Students Officer:

As an International Students Officer, I will be sure to incorporate my cultural and lingual knowledge in order to establish and maintain positive relationships with AUSA, International Students Office, as well as international and offshore institutions. I believe my personal experiences and engagements in immigration and scholarships, as well as my passion for learning more about and appreciating various cultures from around the globe will all contribute toward building a strong and reliable international understanding of postgraduate issues.


For the role of Vice-president of Student Engagement and Wellbeing:

As Vice-president of Student Engagement and Wellbeing, I will prioritize my bonds with and understandings of fellow students, primarily in order to provide accurate and helpful feedback to the Board, Faculty Working groups, Board of Graduate Studies, as well as AUSA. Having helped with youth victims of crime and fellow students throughout my career as a tutor, I trust that I am sufficiently qualified and motivated to take on the responsibilities of this role.

  • Annie 

I am Annie and I am keen to be your Student Engagement and Wellbeing Exec or a member PGSA's Welfare Team in 2022!

I am in my 2nd year of my PhD at the School of Population Health. For my PhD, I am looking at the idea of 'missingness' and how it occurs in government collected data. It's a bit of data science, meets ethics, meets Critical Theory and health resourcing. This topic is reflection of how strongly I feel about justice, the duty of care that institutions have, and our rights as individuals to have our needs met. The same values have led me to putting my name in the

ring for the PGSA Elections.

My journey in academia, like most, has been a bumpy one. It's not been without financial struggles, mental health challenges, grief, and every postgraduate student's frenemy - Imposter Syndrome. There have been times where I have been able to find support and compassion, other times when I've felt like I have fallen through the cracks. My goal is to try to make sure that less of us experience being left behind, and more of us feel confident that we will be met with

support in our time of need.

By voting for me, you will get someone who has had experience being a student representative consistently throughout undergrad and postgrad. You will get someone who will ask the questions or raise the concerns you have, and feel a sense of duty to making tangible change and progress. You will get someone who sees the value of your health and wellbeing to your academic success.

  • Jodeci 

Kia ora, Talofa lava and warm Pacific greetings,

My name is Jodeci Namulau’ulu Sio, a Samoan who hails from South Auckland, Otara. I am running for the Pacific Student Officer position 2022.

A bit about myself, I have been at uni for a few years now, mostly because I love studying and enjoy repeating papers. On a serious note, I have completed two certificate courses (at AUT and UoA), a Bachelor’s degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences. I am currently a second-year medical student.

As a Pasifika, I believe we bring a lot of diversity, flavour, and talent to the university – yet, through lived experience and hearing other student’s stories, being Pacific and a postgraduate student also carries unique challenges. I want to run for Pacific Student Officer as it is a platform that can increase Pacific voice within the university. It also provides Pacific postgraduates an opportunity to voice their concerns or challenges. Though I don’t know what this will look like, I am keen to start dialogues with various Pacific associations and postgraduate students.

Through the years, I have been blessed to have served as the Maori and Pacific representative on AUPHSA (Auckland University Population Health Students’ Association) 2018, class representative for Pacific health (POPLHLTH 312), a MAPAS tuakana, FOB leader on Handle the Jandal youth campaign and a Pacific Student Leader (AUT). One thing I have learnt from these roles is that you don’t stop learning and growing – so I am also keen to develop new skills and sharpen some old ones.

Outside of uni, I love tasting different food, playing sports, travelling (even if its to the next suburb) and chilling with friends and family. I also serve as one of the youth leaders at my church.

  • Ahmadreza

My name is Ahmadreza Mohebbi. I obtained my BA in English Translation from Kashan University. I also did my MA in TEFL at Kharazmi University. I have had many academic and teaching positions in various organizations both during and after my MA studies. Back when I was an MA student, I acted as a research assistant conducting research projects with my professors and other classmates. Furthermore, I have been teaching EGP courses at various language institutes for over 11 years now. I have also worked as an ESP instructor in different state organizations teaching corporate English and communication skills programs to company employees and executives for international business.


During my Master’s studies, I had the opportunity to work with an assistant professor in the faculty of education. This educational internship enabled me to observe genuine and multidimensional responsibilities associated with being an eminent researcher at Kharazmi University. Even though the observations and insights that I possess can by no means be generalized to any institution or department, they inform my emerging understanding of academic work and take me one step closer to determining whether this career path is right for me.


Having achieved all the qualifications to teach in higher levels, I was promoted to teach advanced levels and professional and academic writing courses at numerous schools. The nature of my work in education has prepared me to seek academic teaching or management positions. My interest in research and educational management has stimulated me to lead a language learning project. My role was to help the employees and CEOs learn or improve their English and intercultural communication skills. As part of this, I had to liaise with the various companies’ education department and the institute managers to produce the most effective learning project. In doing so, I have developed skills in teamwork, team leadership, educational project management etc. I faced some challenges along the way, such as students’ demotivation, work overload, laziness etc. and overcame them by creating a friendly milieu where the learners did not feel any tension at all. I also encouraged them to study English without thinking they were too old to learn new things. The impact of the project overall was that the company could hold its private business meetings with the international partners without needing to have any translators. All in all, the above-mentioned skills and competences have enabled me to handle senior academic positions.


If you would like to see more about me please see the below links :)

  • Julia 

Hello everyone, My name is Julia and I'm running for PGSA Engagement and Wellbeing VP as in my role on the Faculty of Science PG SSCC board, I noticed the low engagement and communication between staff and students on core issues that are vital for success, consistent across postgraduate students in other faculties. I have a special interest in supporting differently abled students due to my own experiences with physical disability, ADHD, and mental health, but overall I really want to continue to ensure fairness for all students and enable us all to achieve what we come to university for in a healthy, supportive environment!



* Attend all faculty meetings and actively keep students updated of larger, important developments in the works that can easily be missed by individual class or department reps

* Consolidate feedback on issues consistent across faculties to increase cooperation on university-wide issues such as extensions, equipment availability and general support

* Increase awareness of support services available to students and increase quality of services offered according to student needs and feedback

* Coordinate a welfare team with eyes and ears across a range of faculties and departments, increasing the reach we have to raise awareness and gather opinions from large numbers of students to incentivise change by the university



* School of Chemical Sciences Taught Courses representative at the Faculty of Science PG SSCC

* Class rep for three 700-level courses in 2021, twelve courses across my undergraduate degree

* Advanced advocacy training including communication skills, de-escalation of conflict/violence, gathering and presenting feedback, and cross-cultural communication



* Massey Scholar - top 5% of 2020 Massey University graduating class

* UoA Summer Research Scholarship 2020-21 summer

* Top Massey undergraduate Chemistry student 2020

Favourite Quotes

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

  • Qiqi 

Kia Ora, I am Qiqi Wang, who is running for offshore representative.

I was born in China. Similar to many of you, I still stay in my own country due to the border restriction. I got an M.E. degree from the University of Western Australia. I am a first-year Ph.D. student at the School of Computer Science of UoA. Currently, I am researching applied Artificial Intelligence to Law. But I also have big fun to applied AI to other social science. If you are also interested, we could have whether formal or informal discussion to see the possible cooperation.

I meet many challenges during the offshore study. You may find the same with me to fight with the internet or endless border restriction. I want to be an offshore representative to give our offshore student feedback and voice to the student office. The feedback from you is essential for not only you and following new students. Furthermore, to help each other is another plan and responsibility for the role. I have solid student-tutor experience, which aims to help the freshman, in UWA. I expect to stay with you to cross the hard online study time.

  • Joanna 

Kia Ora Everyone, my name is Joanna Tao, and I will be running for the role of Vice-President (Student Engagement and Wellbeing).

I am currently a Geography postgraduate student with a Bachelor of Global Studies specialising in Environment and Sustainable Development at the University of Auckland. Being a postgraduate student with a passion and driven ambition to achieve a more sustainable world – I often strive to transcend conventional social boundaries to create new innovative solutions that address many global challenges, including climate change, human rights and anything else that students wish to engage with both inside and outside of the university sphere. I grew up in Europe and have travelled across the globe at a young age. I am also bilingual, fluent in both Chinese and English.


As an individual, I have a distinct intellectual curiosity of addressing the concerns associated with postgraduate students' well-being and engagement during their postgraduate study and the high-value multi-cultural collaboration required from various organisations both within and outside the university to tackle this issue. With a more original approach, I aim to dedicate my knowledge, skillsets, and experiences to help PGSA deliver the best available services to postgraduate students surrounding their well-being and engagement throughout their studies.

Through my time at the university, I balanced part-time work and full-time university studies whilst coordinating conferences and workshops both in Aotearoa and internationally. Over the last 12 months, I have been Co-Founding the 'EARTH ACTION HUB' with six other young professionals from the UK, USA, Ireland, Brazil, Denmark and Italy. Earth Action Hub is a global youth-led project that bridges the gap between generations, cultures, and the Global North and South. I was head of event management and participant engagement. I helped manage over 1000 attendees from across the globe during our first-ever virtual summit in May 2021. I was responsible for emailing participants for event reminders, checking up on feedback, and ensuring that help and support were available if any issues or concerns were raised pre, during, and post-conference. This experience has allowed me to have a comprehensive understanding of project management methodologies while developing critical organisational, strategic thinking and administration skills, making me an excellent candidate for the role.

Furthermore, I have a combined experience of 5 years in the retail sector. I have mastered all skillsets required for frontline support, including delivering exceptional customer services that go the extra mile for all customers across various communication channels (in person, emails and phone calls). Not only so, but I was also always able to follow through with all customer enquiries and post-class feedbacks with diligence. These skills and experiences can be replicated into the role of vice president for student well-being and engagement, where I can advocate for postgraduate students as a collective and deliver solutions and the support required by each student, whether it be financial aid or mental health or peer support.

To close, I genuinely believe that by giving me this opportunity, I can deliver the support postgraduate students require during their time with the university and help PGSA progress further in the future.

  • Runzhe

Hey everyone, my name is Runzhe, and I'm doing my Master of Science in Statistics. I completed my UoA Bachelor of Science degree this June, and my undergraduate majors were pharmacology and statistics.

I have been working for the UoA Study Buddy Team for 2 years and am still on the team. I have working experience in AskAuckland Central as well. As a PG student and a Uni staff, I have experienced struggles by myself, and have heard concerns from students a lot, and I have tried my best to check students' mental health regularly and solve their concerns/issues in the past 2 years.

Also, I have been the statistics postgraduate rep for 2021. I have attended faculty meetings throughout this year, so I am aware of many available services/updates from the university side (at least the science faculty).

It would be awesome if I could make use of my experience and knowledge to help people out. So I'm confident that I could be a perfect match for this position. And I can broadcast our platform through myself and my colleagues so that more international students can actually be aware of our offered activities/welfare and make use of them.

Thanks for your time and help, have a good one.

Kind regards,


  • Harsimran 

Kia ora University of Auckland Postgraduate Students

My name is Harsimran Singh (Simran) and I am studying Master of Conflict & Terrorism Studies, recently completed my 3rd semester. My previous education background includes Bachelor of Law and Master of Financial Management along with variety of diplomas & certificates. I have a career spanning over 15 years in various fields like IT, finance, research, and entertainment sectors in public and private sectors. My vast work experience and education has given me wisdom of knowledge about dealing with people and crisis.

This time I returned to education as a mature student to contribute to student community with my wisdom of real time issues being faced in industry and life. In a professional field there’s always a talk about work-life balance, but this needs to learned from university level where being postgraduate students, we need to maintain high quality study-life balance. Over the past years of my life, I have learned a lot about myself, the professional environment, the academic environment, and how practically lives function being an adult student. This knowledge has not only shaped my perspective but has informed my decision to become a candidate in this year's elections. In University of Auckland, I started my journey as a student and by end of 3rd semester, I gained experience being a student rep and faculty rep. But now I want to do more than contributing at a class or faculty level about change, I want to be an agent of change for whole of postgraduate community at UoA.

If you give me an opportunity to be your next face of PGSA I plan to work with Postgraduate committees, Boards, Subcommittees, and Postgraduate Student Council to ensure that all student perspectives are considered, validated, and accounted for in campus-wide decisions. Five prominent pain points that have been identified to me by my fellow students and that I promise to make a priority if elected:

1. Mental Health

2. Social Health

3. Family Health

4. Financial Health

5. Spiritual Health


I love UoA, but I also see its flaws. My journey here hasn’t been the most conventional, but that means that I’ve got more university experience than the average postgrad, especially in the times of pandemic. I’ve seen many different sides to this university, and some of them are pretty ugly. We think that UoA has to be a one-size-fits-all experience, but that’s not necessarily the case for disabled students, students from different backgrounds, students from first generation backgrounds, for international students and new challenge, which might erupt is a difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated students.


Academic Vice-President:

My main priority would be building connections. I think a lot of students feel disconnected to the PGSA because much of its work is done behind the scenes, so getting out into the student community is going to be so important over the coming year. I would use that sense of connection to get the student body’s perspective on bigger institutional issues, such as decolonization and improving our welfare strategy.


Student Engagement and Wellbeing:

As Student Engagement and Wellbeing Officer, I would contribute to improve welfare support available at UoA for Postgraduates, tackle structural issues on which student welfare depends, and work with students, staff and the local community to support their campaigns and projects, get communities and students engaged to build better present and future.


International Students Officer

I came to New Zealand as an International student and understand the challenges faced by international students when they come to a new country, whether it is language, culture, weather, food or struggle to earn bread/accommodation and study. I can just say, trust me I have gone through all that and I will best try to make every effort to help international students to gain the best experience in UoA during this challenging time.


Communication Officer

My IT and entertainment industry-based work experience adds a feather in my Hat Turban (lol). I have managed the production of publications including the Roar, Lumen and other newsletters and in addition to that contributed to the development of Radio’s (Radio Spice NZ) presence on social media including posting and creating agreed content.



  • Iatua Richard Felagai Taito

Kia Ora, Talofa lava and warmest greetings!. My name is Iatua Felagai Taito and I am an energetic and passionate postgraduate student running for Pasifika student officer and Rainbow student officer for PGSA.


I currently have my Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Pacific Studies, will be graduating early next-year with my Postgraduate Diploma in Dance Studies and I am currently enrolled and studying for my Masters degree in Dance Studies where I specialise in practise

led research, indigenous research, contextual, queer and dance theology within a Samoan-Christian lens, spirituality, reclamation and advocacy of cultural sexualities and identities within the Pacific.


For these officerial roles within the university I know I can bring wholeheartedly my energy and passion in these roles because I am invested in visibility, representation and equity for all students with an emphasis on the Pasifika and Rainbow postgraduate students.


Firstly if I was a Pacific student officer it would allow me to ultimately network with other associations finding new ways to connect and help each-other and allow that minority group (Pacific students) entering Postgraduate study showing there is a representation at the forefront. As well as create useful initiatives and maybe programs to emphasise the significance postgraduate study offers. Creating workshops to help navigate the postgraduate journey as a Pacific student at the university.


In addition, I am a Pacific Studies graduate major and so I have an understanding of the complex issues we face within the institution and more so hopefully I can be of use moving forward. My postgraduate research is centred on indigenous Pasifika research methodologies and values so with this understanding affirms my positionality for this role respectively.


I am a strong advocate for our Rainbow students at the university, due to the gender fluidity and nuanced identity journeys being in navigation can be tough and hard. With that being said, working with rainbow communities in general is quite familiar with me because I have worked as a Co-chair for the Rainbow Fale Youth Advisory group for Village Collective last-year and have been a research assistant for Point Associates for the Ministry of Youth Development which then allowed me to have facilitated focus groups with rainbow rangatahi and have assisted in publishing a report this year labelled “Experiences of COVID-19 for takātapui, queer, gender diverse, and intersex young people aged 16-24”. Through this I know I can continue to assist with our Rainbow postgraduate students as being an advocate for their voices. And creating inclusive projects specific for our rainbow whanau but also for the intersectional Pasifika and Māori rainbow identities for example; MVPFAFF+. Together with everyone so then a strong foundation within the Postgraduate Student Association of rainbow students is prominent in that space.


Simply, my goal is to have Pasifika and Rainbow voices heard with the Postgraduate Student Association and the agency of opportunities and support in the growth for these students are reflected and heard :)

  • Imogen 

Kia ora, my name is Imogen Spray (she/her) and I'm running for the 2022 PGSA Student Engagement and Welfare Vice President role!

I’m currently in my third year of post-graduate study. After graduating with a BA in Japanese and Anthropology in 2019, I decided to pursue further study in Social Anthropology. In 2019-2020, I did my BA (Hons) before a Masters of Anthropology (2020-2021), and in December, I will be beginning a Ph.D. My Master’s thesis explored the online hope-making practices of older persons with Parkinson’s Disease in New Zealand and Australia. For my upcoming Ph.D. project, I hope to explore how young people in Aotearoa make sense of well-being, particularly mental well-being, in high school.

While studying, I have also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant for the past three years. More recently, I have taken on the role of Research Project Manager. Outside of study, I enjoy running, tramping, reading, and cooking (over the past two months, I have been developing my gnocchi making skills to fulfil my childhood Masterchef dreams).

I’m keen to get involved with the PGSA to support post-graduate students and ensure post-graduate students are represented and properly supported at the university, especially in times like these. I believe my work and study within the university have provided the experience necessary to make me a good candidate for this role.

I’m no stranger to the stress of post-graduate study and the way the unexpected always happens; a month before my honour’s dissertation hand-in date, I gave myself a concussion (a funny story for another time which involves a night swim in a pool with no lights), not to mention doing a Master’s degree during a pandemic. These experiences have shaped my approaches to study and life in general and meant engaging with a range of university support services and learning how to advocate for myself and others. Although I do not have personal experience with, for example, the Disability Support Services, in my past three years as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I have helped undergraduate students find the necessary support from such services.



I’m running for the Vice-President Student Engagement and Wellbeing because I am passionate about student welfare and advocacy. Over the past year or so, this has increasingly become part of my role as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. However, I would like to be able to offer my experience and an open door to do the same for post-graduate students. As a social anthropologist, too, I am always keen to listen to people’s concerns and ensure that they receive appropriate representation. For these same reasons, I am also interested in being part of the Welfare Team should I not be given the SEWVP role.

Ngā mihi,


  • Samuel

Kia ora koutou, my name is Samuel Dobson, and I am in the final few months of my PhD, specialising in cryptography. I originally graduated from Massey University (Palmerston North) with a BSc in physics and computer science, then moved to Auckland where I did my BSc (Hons) in computer science and began my PhD in mathematics. I'm willing to help out the PGSA however I am able, because it's great to have a student organisation like this specifically for postgrads. It turns out that the PGSA needs a treasurer, so I am happy to put my hand up. I have some executive experience from my time at Massey, where I was the president of the computer science club for two years. While I have no official treasurer experience, I am comfortable with mathematics, have a good attention to detail, and have a lot of experience managing finances in my personal life. I look forward to being able to help out in this role, work with some other great postgrads for the good of all postgrads, and the new challenges this role will bring. Ngā mihi.

  • Olivia 

My name is Olivia Coates, I am in my first year of my PGDip in Forensic Science (yes, all that nasty stuff to do with the body and crime scenes ). In my undergraduate, I did a BSc majoring in Biological Science and Anthropology.

I am originally from Pukekohe and Tuakau but last year I moved into a flat in Auckland, which has been fantastic as it now only takes 10 minutes to get to Uni instead of the 2 hours previously! This has allowed me to become a more active member at Auckland Uni as I now have the time to participate.

This year I have been involved with the Science Ambassador Programme in the role of the logistics and operations leader where I helped to create study session scheduling and helped out with our event planning. I was also apart of the film club although the sessions were moved onto zoom so I didn’t get to enjoy all the free food I would have liked . I would probably say Les Mis and Sweeney Todd are two of my favourite movies, both of which are musicals although I cannot sing for the life of me. During lockdown I picked up cross-stitch and am now an addict, everyone in my family will be receiving a cross-stitch for all of their presents from now on.

I would love to be involved in planning events as part of the Postgraduate Student Association as I want to create a fun and entertaining atmosphere at the Uni which can help students destress from their hectic lives. I feel as though I have valuable experience to be the Events Officer with my dedication to the Science Ambassador Programme. In this programme, I was responsible for scheduling students, organising google forums to collect student information and also helping to organise events for Wiki Whai Hauora week. From this, I have also made connections with faculty members within science as well as a good relationship with many students, both undergraduate and soon to be postgraduates. These aspects would also make me a good candidate to be on the Events Team as I am organised, can successfully manage my requirements to my degree and extra-curriculars and am always on time and eager to help.

Helping out in the welfare team is also a role I feel passionate about as I know and understand how challenging and stressful a postgraduate degree can be. As a person with mental health issues, I value the dedication that the University makes to help students feel safe and protected while at Uni. This year, I thoroughly enjoyed the postgraduate lounge in the science building which allowed me to relax in a quiet space to study or to get a cup of tea. By being a part of this team, I hope to make safe spaces and resources available for students to use to help them cope with their stress and anxieties around Uni life.

  • Moritz

Kia ora, my name is Moritz (Mo).

I am an international student with a background in computer science (major) and economics (minor). I am in the second year of my PhD, researching how we can utilize our sense of touch for assistive technologies and human-computer interaction techniques. In my free time, I go running, bouldering (climbing), and hiking, or I work on small DIY projects. I am very dedicated and passionate about the things I do, and love to help people where I can.


I am applying for the PGSA Vice President role for Student Engagement and Wellbeing. As your VP for Student Engagement and Wellbeing, I would see my responsibility to support postgraduate students on three different levels:

  1. I want to provide students who are experiencing difficulties and challenges in their studies a place where they can seek help.

  2. I want to support students during their daily campus life with environments where they can socialise and exchange interests with other postgrad students.

  3. I want to promote opportunities that allow postgrad students to network, grow, and learn new skills next to their regular study activities.

I would like to contribute to achieving these goals in different ways as Student Engagement and Wellbeing executive:

  1. I want to help maintain and build relations with other associations/clubs/student committees. I believe that fostering mutual relations between these and PGSA creates great opportunities for postgraduate students and brings more visibility to PGSA which ultimately benefits postgrad students.

  2. I would like to help promote and organize events that bring postgraduates together, provide them with environments where they can network/seek help, and offer them with other opportunities such as personal/academic/industry/entrepreneurial development.

  3. I want to help students directly, connect them with the right university support services, and attend university committees to give postgraduate students a voice in them.

  4. In general, I wish to raise awareness of the PGSA and what it has to offer postgraduates so that students can actually take advantage of it and the impact of PGSA can grow.

  5. I believe that each of us has suffered from the effects of the pandemic, which have impacted our daily lives and mental health. Therefore, I consider it is more important than ever to look at how we can support students in their mental wellbeing through the PGSA during these difficult times.


My goal last year as part of Velocity's outreach team was to promote more diversity and inclusion across faculties, ethnicities, and genders in and around Velocity by connecting with clubs and associations, and organising events. I would love to continue this within PGSA to support all postgraduate students on campus.

My personal motivation to support students on their journey and to work within PGSA stems from my own experience as a postgraduate student who struggled but also had the possibility to find support and grow in the right environment. Within PGSA I see the opportunity to make an immediate positive impact on students' lives. I also see the opportunity to get to know the people behind the various university organizations and decision-making structures. Finally, I hope that we can work together in a fantastic team and learn from each other to achieve the best for all postgraduates.


I believe that the role of Vice President for Student Engagement and Wellbeing would be the most fulfilling for me and would allow me to pursue my goals - especially by working closely with the Events and Communications Officer. For this reason, I am running next to the role of Vice President for Student Engagement and Wellbeing also for the role of the Events and Communications Officer. Please vote for me for either of these roles if you feel I would fit them and could adequately represent you within PGSA.

Kind regards/Ngā mihi nui,


  • Viha 

Hi, my name is Viha Vig and I'm running for the India offshore representative role and for a position in the welfare team.

I was born and brought up in India, completed my undergrad degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University, been working in research for over 4 years now and I am currently studying MBChB (year 2, grad-entry student). I enjoy research, running, and Reiki! (Reiki is a hands-on Japanese therapeutic technique).

I would like this role because I want to get to know more people with similar interests at the University of Auckland and I would love to represent my peers from India. I feel I can contribute to helping our community feel more connected and inclusive, especially for offshore students.

Please check out my LinkedIn profile to learn more about me.

  • Yifei

Kia ora fellow scholars, my name is Yifei Liu and I'm looking forward to being your Events Officer for the coming academic year! 

I am in my final year of my Master of Data Science programme, with a previous BSc background in CompSci/InfoSys. Interactions outside of the classroom have always been important to me, as I think it's one of the key areas where one can establish those lifelong bonds which makes their university experience unique to themselves. Over the past year I have participated in UoA Data Science Club as a general executive, before being promoted to Events Officer and finally nominated and voted as the Vice-President for 2022. Through those experiences I learnt the inner workings of growing the influence of an academic club and the steps it takes to provide positive interactions between a student body and industry. This year I am looking to apply what I've learnt there to achieve much of the same but with more of a social focus for PGSA, to attract more interest to what we have to offer for the benefit of my own university enjoyment as well as the wider PG student body. 


With my first year of studies now settled I've found myself often seeking more out of the postgraduate experience at UoA. I also happen to be a firm believer of taking action to create the environment I wish to live in so that's why I'm applying to be your Events Officer for this year! I'm confident in my ability to provide fresh ideas that will enrich the experiences of both PG and UG students alike, as I have been involving myself as a volunteer ambassador for Auckland Unlimited - which aims to improve the overall secondary & tertiary student experience, as well as the social committee of my previous workplace which gave contrasting perspectives of what 'socializing' looks like between uni and a working environment.  

  All jokes aside, All I'm really looking to do is to put in my best effort to make the overall PG experience at UoA that much more attractive beyond the practical benefits career-wise. Looking forward to meeting you all at the candidate panel later this week.



With my proven track record in 2021 as Events Officer for an academic-focused club, I'm looking to apply my experiences to achieve much of the same but with a social focus. I'm confident in my ability to provide fresh ideas that will enrich the experiences of both PG and UG students alike, as I've been involved in various volunteer roles both in and outside of University which gave me contrasting perspectives from academic, social, as well as workplace perspectives!


Best wishes,

Yifei Liu



This year’s PGSA student elections have arrived and ALL Executive and Officer positions are open!

PGSA Executive and Officer role nominations open 8:00am on 18/10/21


We are so happy you’re interested in getting involved with our work here at the PGSA.

There are so many ways for you to help, and we truly appreciate each and every effort.

By lending your support, you’ll become a valuable part of our Volunteer Organization and help to strengthen our operations.

Whether you are experienced in student representation or not, everyone has a unique set of skills to bring to the table and we WANT to hear from YOU!

Our roles are flexible and tailored to the individual so it is yours to grow!

You can reach us any time via email at, or message on Facebook to ask about the process or if you want to know more about us: 


  • President

  • Academic Vice President 

  • Student Engagement and Wellbeing Vice President

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Communications Officers (x2)

  • Events Officer 

  • Maori Student Officer

  • Pasifika Student Officer

  • Rainbow Student Officer 

  • International Student Officer

  • Offshore International Representatives (multiple)

  • Welfare team

  • Events Team

  • Postgraduate Student Council Faculty Reps

Learn more about who we are:

You may not be familiar with our association, but we are a powerful force at UoA holding seats on university committees where no other student body represents postgraduates. As postgraduates ourselves, we have the relationships developed with staff as colleagues that enable us to build rapport, confidently approach staff and committees with experience behind us, and we are frequently consulted regarding Policy change, framework development, student support implementation, and new initiatives.

After two years of restructuring the central PGSA and aligning the postgraduate faculty PGSA's/postgraduate groups on the UoA Postgraduate Student Council, we are in the midst of a crucial period where the UoA is engaging in a large amount of consultation with the university.


With more involvement than EVER, we need strong individuals onboard.

We are looking forward to what the next team brings with fresh ideas, teamwork, and the unique perspective each of us brings to postgraduate life and student experience. 


This page will be updated for the next round of elections.

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