(Picture caption: Steven Naidu, second from left, with his K’aute Pasifika team.)
K’aute Pasifika Employment and Education Team Leader Steven Naidu says his role suits him right down to a tee.
Steven is the Tupu Aotearoa Navigator at the Hamilton-based K’aute Pasifika, a provider which enables Pacific people in the Waikato region to reach their full potential in life.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) flagship programme Tupu Aotearoa is one of the wraparound services K’aute Pasifika facilitates, providing Pacific people with the right tools to access education, training and employment opportunities.
Tupu Aotearoa connects Pacific people with local providers – such as K’aute Pasifika - who then support them to access work or learning opportunities on their journey to employment, further training or study.
Steven says supporting people to achieve their employment goals aligns with his personal passion and values.
“I believe building a person’s capability to become independent through employment is very rewarding for the person and their families,” Steven says.
“Being Pacific, I am blessed to be able to do this for our people from a Pasifika employment space.”
K’aute Pasifika started their first Tupu Aotearoa contract in July, 2019, as there was a need to assist Pacific people throughout the Waikato.
“We recognised employment and education was as important as our health and wellbeing programmes.
“For our people to progress and strive we needed to develop an employment programme that is responsive to Pasifika people’s needs.”
Steven explains the K’aute Pasifika programme is distinctive in the sense of its approach and delivery of employment and education services.
“It is all about how best we can support our people with meaningful pathways.
“The Tupu Aotearoa programme allows us to upskill our people and to support them to realise their full potential, on the ground we connect with our people culturally and navigate the best possible way to achieve their goals.
“Our talanoa are welcoming, motivating and in partnership with our clients – an approach that allows us to fully understand our client as an individual and also their family situations.”
It is encouraging for Steven and his team when they can support Pacific people into higher education, and a successful employment outcome leading to better standard of living through income and career progression.
However, Steven says when this option is not a reality then employment outcomes are focused on careers that have progression ability.
“We want to see our people grow in their roles and have a career path to follow through.
“Our vision is that with our efforts we will be able to see more of our clients achieve sustainable employment with a career pathway, and an increased number of Pasifika enrolling in tertiary education.”
For Pacific people in the Waikato region, Tupu Aotearoa is a blessing which allows them to achieve their goals, Steven says.
“If you are a Pasifika in Waikato and needing some support or guidance to plan your career path or a job, please reach out to our services.”