Tupu Toa initiative a game-changer for Māori and Pasifika students

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Auckland

A new initiative, set to launch in Auckland on Thursday, will assist Māori and Pasifika tertiary students. Tupu Toa will provide paid internships with some of Aotearoa's leading corporates and will provide early-career support to Māori and Pasifika leaders.

Tupu Toa has been collaboratively designed by representatives of business, tertiary institutions, students and Māori and Pasifika communities.

The programme will encourage participants to embrace their culture and to enjoy the advantages it gives them in the world of work.  It will provide them with a range of tools and skills to support their success, and with training and development to assist with their wider leadership responsibilities in their families and communities. 

Over time, the programme aims to produce a powerful, national network of Māori and Pasifika business leaders who excel in their careers, demonstrate deep-seated cultural intelligence, and are strongly connected to their cultures and their communities.

24 students will be a part of the first intake of interns. Within 5 years, TupuToa aims to have provided support to 300 interns and 320 emerging leaders in the corporate world. 

The programme will make its way around the country by 2021.

TupuToa co-chair Leo Foliaki says,  “TupuToa is designed to bring about a fundamental shift in the pattern of Māori and Pasifika success in the corporate world.  Although Māori and Pasifika together make up around 22% of the general population, they are largely invisible in the leadership of corporate New Zealand.  TupuToa aims to change this."

The programme is supported by prominent corporates including Air New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, Fletcher Building, Genesis Energy, Acc, Spark, Microsoft, NZ Super Fund, Precinct Properties, SKYCITY and Russell McVeagh. 

Te Puni Kōkiri, The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples have contributed to the start-up funding for TupuToa.

The launch will take place at Waipapa Marae and at the Fale Pasifika of the University of Auckland at 5:30pm.