Tom Alesana


Nominated for:

  • Primary teaching sector
  • General membership

Kei ngā mana, kei ngā reo, kei ngā ihopūmanawa o te motu, tēnā koutou katoa

Tū ana au ki te take o te maunga o Tūtūmāpou

Ka pōkare ngā wai whakaika o Te Hoiere

Tērā ngā au whawhati o Raukawakawa e papaki mai ana ki tai

Ka tōia mai tōku waka a Kurahaupō ki te Tauihu o te Waka

Nāia a Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, ko Rangitāne ki Wairau e whakamiha atu nei

Ko Tom Alesana tōku ingoa


Relevant skills, attributes, and qualifications

Bachelor of Teaching - Poutuarongo Te Rangakura

Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts - Ngā Mana Whakairo ā Toi

Graduate diploma in Te Reo Māori - Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi

Currently studying a Masters of Te Reo Māori


NZEI Te Riu Roa Experience

I have been a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa since I began teacher training. I was a student member on Aronui Tōmua ki Whakatū, Motueka, Mōhua for 3 years, then became the vie secretary. In 2015 I became the chariperson for Aronui Tōmua ki Whakatū, Motueka, Mōhua and attended my first Annual Conference in the same year. Between 2015 and 2018 I have become more and more involved in Miro Māori and Branch activities including Pipiri Mananui every year, attending Area Council meetings, and facilitating paid union meetings in Whakatū-Nelson. I have also had the opportunity to facilitate Pipiri Mananui ki Te Waipounamu alongside other member from my Aronui Tōmua.

I am a very vocal person. I have always challenged my Aronui Tōmua members to become more active in union kaupapa, which is evident in the attendance numbers and engagement for our Aronui Tōmua presently. I am a huge activist and believe in mobilising our people, our whānau, and our membership to be 'kanohi kitea' in our communities. This has been the driving force behind my involvement in NZEI Te Riu Roa and why I continue to engage as much as I can. My past role as a National Leadership Group member gave me more drive to get out into my community and share our messages, and pushed me to run for National Executive in 2018. Mahia te mahi hei painga mō ō tātou tamariki - doing the mahi for the betterment of our children.


Other background and personal information

Kia ora, Talofa lava, my name is Tom Alesana and I am of Māori and Samoan descent. I was born and raised in Nelson, and was educated and live in a multicultural world. I am privileged to work within my community in many different capacities, and contribute as much as I can to ensure that all tamariki have the opportunity to engage in meaningful Māori cultural experiences.

Firstly, I am a pāpa - a father. My son is my world. As a single father, I strive to be the best that I can be, so that my son has a positive rolemodel in his life. We do everything together. He is the reason why I want to become a National Executive member. To show him that anything is achievable and the importance of standing for what you believe in.

I am a dedicated whānau member. My whānau are my tuarā - my backbone. Our whānau are a tight knit community that extends far beyond my immediate family. My whānau and the relationships within my whānau allows me to be confident, and connected to my community and the world. I want to be able to share this way of being with the rest of the NZEI Te Riu Roa.

I am also a proud Māori male educator and come from a whānau of educators. My mother is a teacher, my father was a secondary teacher, my sister is an Early Childhood teacher, and many of my extended whānau are educators or work in the sector. I have been surrounded by education my whole life, just like my son has and will.

I have had many different roles within education. I started off as a Peer support worker while I was at school, and after I completed year 13 I became a Teacher aid. While I studied full time I was head teacher of Te Kōhanga Reo ō Waimeha in Nelson. I was also employed for a year as a Kaiarahi i te reo Māori. These roles (although very different to the current roles and responsibilities within those particular sectors) have given me a greater understanding of the issuues that all sectors of the union face.

I currently teach at Nelson Intermediate School in a Level 2 Māori Immersion Unit - Te Pītau Whakarei. We currently have over 40 tamariki in an Innovative Learning Space. I love teaching, and I love my tamariki! I truly believe education is the 'key' to the world - and ensuring that their are multiple doors for all of our tamariki is paramount.  That's why I want to become a National executive member, to open the doors for our future educators.

I am seeking another 2 year term on the NZEI Te Riu Roa executive as the Primary teachers representative. I believe that I am a passionate activist that is committed to our kaupapa and our whole union approach. I am a confident cultural practitioner who can bring a different perspective to the governance of our union and apply multiple lens to the mahi moving forward. I am willing to fight the hard fight for us all and ensure a world class public education system for everyone - mā te katoa. I am a great communicator and believe I can support the next round of collective agreement negotiations. It would be a privilege to serve alongside the many leaders of NZEI Te Riu Roa to ensure we move in the right direction, and we can all deliver the best educational outcomes for our tamariki by advocating for them, their whānau and hāpori.

Heoi anō, I would like to conclude with this whakatauki;

Kia ngātahi te hūkere o te hoe, e kore ai te waka e tītoki - Let us paddle in unison so our waka does not capsize - it reaches the horizon.

Nominated by Nelson Branch. Endorsed by Pipiri Mananui Te Waipounamu, Aronui Tōmua ki Whakatū Motueka Mōhua.