Skip to content

University enrolment a first for Tupu Aotearoa provider

University enrolment a first for Tupu Aotearoa provider

  • 09 Dec 2022
  • |
  • Samoa
Tapaau Sina Wright web

Going above and beyond to help Pacific young people into education and employment can be no easy feat.

But that is exactly what the Horowhenua Learning Centre did to support Palmerston North woman Tapaau Sina Wright into higher education.

Joining the Tupu Aotearoa programme through the Horowhenua Learning Centre (HLC) gave Tapaau the opportunity she needed to further her education journey and enrol in a Bachelor of Sport & Exercise programme at Massey University.

Tapaau, who is 25 years old and of Samoan heritage, approached HLC in April when her family moved from Auckland to Palmerston North.

Her father eventually became the new faifeau (pastor) for the Samoan Methodist Church when the family settled into their new home.

She approached the Tupu Aotearoa programme to help her pursue employment so she could “help out” her parents after their big move from Auckland.

Tessa Feomaia, Tupu Aotearoa navigator for HLC, took Tapaau under her wing, supporting her at weekly appointments, and helped her prepare a new CV for employment.

Tapaau attended several job interviews until she successfully obtained a casual job at Countdown in Palmerston North.

As part of the Tupu Aotearoa programme pastoral support services, Tapaau approached Tessa again for support to enrol with Massey University.

Tessa also encouraged Tapaau to sit her restricted driver’s licence test.

With help from the Tupu Aotearoa programme, Tapaau has now had three driving lessons with the National Driving Training Centre and was approved to book for her restricted licence test later this month.

Tapaau says sport and exercise has always been her passion.

“One day I hope to secure employment in the physical education sector or in sports and recreation,” Tapaau says.

Tupu Aotearoa

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Tupu Aotearoa initiative aims to see more Pacific people employed, in training or studying and upskilling them for the future.

Pacific communities flourish when Pacific people have access to work or learning opportunities. 

The programme is designed to ensure Pacific people have the right tools, education, training and employment opportunities to succeed and connects them with local providers who will support them to access work or learning opportunities on the journey to employment, further training or study.

Visit our Tupu webpage for more information on Tupu Aotearoa.