‘Eseta Finau has spent much of her working life improving nursing services for Pacific people, especially Auckland’s 40,000 strong Tongan community. She is also a spokesperson for and President of the Tongan Nurses Association of New Zealand.
‘Eseta grew up in Tonga and attended Tonga High School before training in general nursing in Sydney, Australia. She travelled widely, working as a theatre nurse throughout the Pacific and Australia before returning to New Zealand. The tireless, and largely volunteered efforts of ‘Eseta and other Tongan nurses in Auckland helped ensure the success of Langimalie, New Zealand’s first ethnic-specific health service. This was launched in 1998 and now has a patient base of more than 6,500.
‘Eseta is the head of the Tongan Nurses Association of New Zealand and helped organise the first Tongan Health Professionals Conference in 2006. She is involved in a wide range of church and community health initiatives and serves on the boards of the Pasifika Medical Association and the Tongan Health Society. She received a PMA Service Award in 2008.