The notion of “success” for Pasifika students in higher education remains contested given the socio-political agendas of education in New Zealand targeting Pasifika engagement. The motivation to increase academic achievement for Pasifika peoples stems from “tail-end” outcomes, in which Pasifika populations are compared with other demographic populations in the attainment of higher qualifications. Many institutional “success” strategies are initiated essentially from a deficit positioning, to respond to barriers of participation, and ensure academic progression and student completion. While such aspirations may seem advantageous for Pasifika learners, the complexity lies in how such strategies shape Pasifika learner identity and subjectivity within institutions. In this article, the tensions for Pasifika success are argued from a position of decolonising education through honouring cultural onto-epistemology (practices of knowing-in-being) and relating to the world, thus challenging motivation for engagement with Pasifika learners as strength based rather than a deficit response. The art of engagement with traditional wayfinding tools designed for teaching and learning is utilised as a way of generating and reconceptualising notions of Pasifika success as Pasifika.