[email protected]

Areas of expertise

  • Pacific Health
  • Public Health
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research


  • CertHSc
  • BHSc
  • PGDipHSc
  • MHSc (First Class Honours)
  • PhD

Samuela Ofanoa

Senior Researcher

Samuela Ofanoa was born in Tonga and migrated to New Zealand at the age of 11. His father comes from Felemea Ha’apai, and his mother is from Vaimalo Vava’u. 

He has studied with a Certificate in Health Sciences, Bachelor of Health Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health specialising in Pacific Health, Master of Public Health with First Class Hons, and has recently submitted his doctoral thesis investigating the risk and protective factors among mid and older community-dwelling adults in New Zealand. His academic journey has enabled him to acquire skillsets in both qualitative and quantitative research.

While at the University of Auckland, Samuela gained extensive research experience working as a researcher on many projects, including the Princess study (smoking cessation), Healthy Kai and Water-Only study, FIZZ New Zealand Incorporated, and the RUFIT (rugby fitness) study. He also has teaching experience as a tutor on the Certificate in Health Sciences Programme for the Te Ku Penga Hauora Māori department (2015-2017) and guest lecturing in Pacific Health Postgraduate courses.

He is passionate about utilising the skills and knowledge he has gained to better address the inequities in health that exists among the Pacific population in New Zealand.


  • Ofanoa, M., Buetow, S., Ofanoa, S., Huggard, P., Paynter, J., & Nosa, V. (2020). Reasons for and impacts of Kava use by Tongan men in Kava clubs in Auckland and Tonga. Social Sciences, 9 (2), 56-60. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Malakai ‘OfanoaJanine PaynterVili Nosa
  • Malungahu, M., ‘Ofanoa S, Huggard, P., ‘Ofanoa M, & Buetow, S. (2017). Lalanga: Weaving the Kakala with Constructionist Grounded Theory. International Journal of Health Sciences, 5 (4), 48-52. 10.15640/ijhs.v5n4a5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Malakai ‘OfanoaStephen Buetow
  • Ofanoa, S. M. (2015). “His Side of the story”: Tongan Men’s Perception on Mo’ui lelei and their Priority Health Needs in South Auckland, New Zealand The University of Auckland. [email protected]
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27067