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More Family, Less Debt and Great Qualifications

August 15, 2016

For sisterskalisi and mel 320x320 Mel and Kalisi Ma’afu, study at EIT is opening doors without the burden of student debt, or isolation from family.

The eldest of four sisters, Mel (28) promotes the region to the world through her job at Tourism Eastland, where she was recently promoted into a marketing officer role. A special interest Level 5 marketing paper at EIT is giving her the knowledge she needs to advance her career as she works.

“I don’t have a marketing background – only tourism. I thought, why not up-skill? It’s always good to progress in that way.”

Getting the knowledge to succeed is easier at EIT, says Mel.

“Classes are small which makes it easier interacting with the lecturers. I want to transfer a lot of what I am learning at EIT into my role here at Tourism Eastland.”


Kalisi (19) enrolled in a Bachelor of Akalisi 320x320pplied Social Science (Social Work) at EIT, inspired by the work she saw parents Pauli and Seini Ma’afu do in the Tongan Community here in Gisborne.

“Watching that made me want to do what they do and give back to the community – to work with my own people and others also.”

Like many young people, Kalisi felt she would like to get out of Gisborne, but Mel influenced her decision to stay.

“It’s so much cheaper living at home and there is the Year 13 Degree Study Scholarship that’s available for school leavers if you are doing a bachelor’s course. That’s a whole year you don’t have to get a loan for. You save a whole lot of money and you get a whole lot more one-on-one, face-to-face interaction with your lecturer. It’s just better.”