Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Siautu Alefaio-Tugia

Siautu Alefaio-Tugia

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Massey University New Zealand

Dr. Siautu Alefaio, PhD (Samoan lineage from the villages of Matautu-Tai, Sasina, Manunu ma Fagamalo) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology Massey University. She is an experienced psychologist practitioner that has worked across various applied psychology contexts in education, health, social services, community, family violence, forensic rehabilitation and disaster humanitarian response in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific. As a pracademic she combines extensive practice and academic experience to re-inform psychology from Pacific-indigenous knowledge frameworks. During the 2009 Tsunami that devastated the Island nation of Samoa in the Pacific, Siautu provided psychological first aid, country-advice and guidance on psycho-social recovery and training of immediate responders as part of the New Zealand Ministry of Health's disaster response team. From this experience Siautu recognised the positive impact and enormous contribution of the Samoan diaspora (Samoans living outside of Samoa) and how this is often overlooked during disasters. She contributed to the UN-SIDS (Small Island Developing States) 2014 through emphasizing the importance of Pacific-indigenous cultural knowledge in disaster preparedness, risk resilience and management. In 2015 Siautu received a BIARI award to attend the Humanitarian Response and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Institute. Inspired by BIARI Siautu founded NIUPacH (New Indigenous Unity of Pacific Humanitarians) a virtual research collective in 2016. NIUPacH focuses on improving the effectiveness and accountability of disaster preparedness, risk resilience and management, humanitarian response, and overall psycho-social impact of climate change in Oceania.


Alefaio-Tugia, S., & Havea, S. (2016). Formative evaluation of Pacific faith-based family violence services: Formative evaluation of Pacific faith-based family violence services (1). New Zealand: Pasefika Proud. Retrieved from http://www.pasefikaproud.co.nz/

Alefaio-Tugia, S., Carr, S., Hodgetts, D., Mattson, T. and van Ommen, C. (2015). Ending Poverty and Inequality? Toward Psychologies of Sustainable Development. Psychology Aotearoa, 7(1), 32-36.