Sam Ma Chong (formerly Papalii)

Class of: 2009
School: De La Salle College
Scholarship Partner: Spark New Zealand


It is exciting to know that Sam is pioneering the pathway in tertiary education for his family as he is the first in his family to attend University.

At De La Salle, Sam proved himself to be versatile - an all-rounder across a broad range of subjects. He frequently received awards for academic excellence and was rewarded for his commitment to his studies by being awarded Dux of the school in 2010 and obtaining the Victoria Achievers Award. Sam's passion for dance and performance saw him winner of the Stage Challenge Leadership award in 2009, with his concepts and choreography resulting in his group coming away with seven awards.

"Sam is a very grounded young man who demonstrated to us a strong determination to succeed in life" said Greg Best from Spark when Sam was awarded a First Foundation Scholarship.

in 2015, Sam graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in Politics and International Relationships and worked as the Deputy Registrar at the Ministry of Justice in the Collections Central Processing Unit. In 2018, he completed his Bachelor of Laws and in October 2019 was admitted to the bar.

He is currently an Advisor, Operational Policy at the Department of Internal Affairs.