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Tupu Aotearoa helping Pacific young people to move mountains

Tupu Aotearoa helping Pacific young people to move mountains

  • 12 Jan 2020
  • |
  • Cook Islands
thumbnail Vaiana 6

Aptly named, Moving Mountains NZ is doing just that for Pacific young people throughout regional New Zealand, as they roll out the Tupu Aotearoa programme. 

The Bay of Plenty Service Provider joined Tupu Aotearoa in July 2019 along with six other organisations from the Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui regions, recruited to help the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) deliver the Tupu Aotearoa programme (formerly the Pacific Employment Support Service). 

Tupu Aotearoa is designed to empower Pacific young people aged 15 to 39 years to enhance their skills, kick-start their career prospects and earn a good living, while also providing employers with skilled, motivated talent they need. 

Thanks to an injection of funding from the Wellbeing Budget 2019, the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has provided $8.85 million for Tupu Aotearoa to be expanded to the regions throughout New Zealand, in addition to Auckland and Hamilton. 

Aligning with Tupu Aotearoa’s aspirations, Moving Mountains NZ aims to help people make progress in life and we do this by assisting with licences, employment preparation and employment placement services, Manager Nouha Tavita says. 

“The organisation decided to join Tupu Aotearoa because it saw the need for more specialised services for Pacific peoples,” Nouha continues. 

“In the regions we service, there is a high Pacific population and understanding cultural sensitivities can assist clients to make progress.” 

The Tupu Aotearoa Service Provider has given Vaiana Poko, of Cook Island descent, with the head start she needed to successfully find employment. 

She says she went to Moving Mountains NZ in August 2019, seeking help to get her full drivers’ licence, and how the Tupu Aotearoa programme might assist her with finding employment.   

“One month later, I successfully gained my full licence and Moving Mountains NZ set up an interview for me at Sudima Hotel, in Rotorua,” Vaiana says.

Vaiana impressed the panel at her interview and she has started working full-time at Sudima Hotel just before Christmas.   

“The service from Moving Mountains NZ was exceptional and they understood my needs, especially my cultural needs as I am a Cook Islander,” she adds. 

“I am grateful for the support they gave me and continue to give me – they call and check up on how I am doing and have said the doors were always open for me to come see them for any other help I need. 

“Thank-you Moving Mountains NZ and Tupu Aotearoa.” 

Moving Mountains NZ Manager Nouha says the organisation is looking forward to continuing to contribute to Tupu Aotearoa by helping more Pacific clients like Vaiana, to identify their needs, addressing those needs and assisting them to move into employment to become self-reliant. 

“We hope to see Pacific peoples gain employment and be successful in what they do.”