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An Incubator for Transformative Systems Change for Pasifika in Aotearoa

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Uptempo partners with like-minded organisations to create new and transformational Pasifika-led initiatives to re-design future systems and transform lives of Pasifika people in Aotearoa.


Uptempo Manager Anna-Jane Edwards explains how they are testing and demonstrating new pathways which help Pasifika people thrive.


“A key highlight for us was creating, in partnership with TROW Group and Oceania Careers Academy, Aotearoa’s very first green skills micro-credential in the construction sector,” says Edwards.

The deconstruction micro-credential will help build the capability of the demolition sector in reducing building waste to landfill and distributing quality salvaged products for use across our communities. And the team are in the process of developing more.


A core focus for Uptempo in 2022 is to partner with Pasifika families (‘aiga), employers and government on opportunities to test ways to increase the wealth and wellbeing of Pasifika communities. Nearly 400 Pasifika people from across south and west Auckland have so far engaged with new Uptempo initiatives designed to create a more equitable Aotearoa.


Edwards says the team is excited to be developing solutions that change the employment landscape for Pasifika.


“Right now, we are testing tools which will help employers recruit, retain and progress Pasifika workers, starting with their existing staff," says Edwards.
"We’re also learning what it takes to create space for ‘aiga Pasifika to lead and design solutions that will enable more Pasifika people to progress in work and grow wealth and wellbeing.”

This work is ever more pressing with new data that shows Covid-19 has a long tail for Pasifika. New research released by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Institute for Work shows that Pasifika young people and women have fared worse in job prospects and pay during the pandemic and that the road to recovery could take 20 years or longer if there isn’t a focused effort on reducing the disparity.


To address these new challenges as well as long-term systemic issues, Uptempo has been established as an incubator for transformative systems change for Pasifika in Aotearoa.


“The pandemic has shown us that new ways of doing things, ways that value indigenous world views and break stereotypes, are not only important but essential to our future as a city and country” says Edwards.
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