Vaimoana Tapaleao is the Pacific Affairs and People reporter for the Herald. She has been with the newspaper since 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies, majoring in Journalism, from AUT. In 2009, Moana was honoured by the Human Rights Commission for a four-page feature she wrote on the victims of the Princess Ashika Tongan ferry sinking that year. In 2010 she was named Junior Reporter of the Year at the then Qantas Media Awards, for her coverage of the 2009 Samoan tsunami. She is a former student of Massey High School and also holds a chiefly title: Timuiaipaepaetele. Moana is a proud Westie, but hails from the villages of Toamua and Lelepa, in Samoa.