Pacific PowerUP programme wins award

The SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards was held on Friday 8 November, where the Ministry of Education featured strongly in two award categories. The SunPix awards recognise contributions to Pacific communities and are nominated by Pacific communities from across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Pacific PowerUP, a Ministry programme, won the Pacific Service Excellence award.

The Pacific Service Excellence category celebrates and recognises an organisation whose work makes an important contribution to Pacific families and communities.

Acting Deputy Secretary, Rose Jamieson says, “The Ministry is honoured to have been nominated by the Pacific community and selected for this award because it acknowledges the success of programmes that take ‘by Pacific as Pacific and for Pacific’ approaches.”

The Pacific PowerUP programme works with community providers to build parents knowledge of the education system so they are able to champion and support their children learning journeys. The PowerUP programme is for Pacific parents and covers topics such as NCEA, making subject choices, understanding school reports, the importance of literacy and numeracy, study skills, health and wellbeing, how to deal with bullying, and financial literacy.

Pacific PowerUP contributes to closing the Pacific vā (cultural space) between Pacific communities and the education system through enabling Pacific parents, families and communities to genuinely partner and advocate for their children’s education. It also supports equitable and reciprocal relationships.

Pacific PowerUP programme wins an award

Moe Sa’u, Programme Director, received the Award on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

“Pacific PowerUP is our flagship parent education programme. A programme that is by Pacific and as Pacific. PowerUP is a successful example of creating culturally safe spaces where Pacific peoples can build their knowledge and confidence about their role in the education system.”

“We thank the Pacific peoples in our 39 locations across Aotearoa who welcomed the Ministry and PowerUP into their communities, churches and homes. We at the Ministry will continue to welcome your voices and collaboration to the work we do. We stand firm in our commitment to raise Pacific achievement by empowering our communities,” says Moe.

In addition to receiving an Award, the Ministry presented its Pacific Education Award sponsored by TeachNZ which recognises education excellence. Following a Scholarships Evaluation in 2018 completed by NZCER, the Ministry reshaped the TeachNZ scholarship to attract more numbers of Māori and Pacific people to consider teaching as a profession.

We are excited to reveal that the two winners for our Pacific Education category announced on the night are Edmond Fehoko and Tupe Tai.

These awards and our winners in education are a great demonstration of what we discussed with diverse Pacific communities this year at the fono to design an Action Plan for Pacific Education. These fono included discussions around the need to support families to design education opportunities together with teachers, educators and leaders and to see an increase in the number of Pacific teachers and leaders in our education system.

Congratulations to all our winners on the night and for their contributions to thriving Pacific communities in New Zealand.

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