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Social Services Team leader, Peter Tupou is inspired by seeing lives change. 

The Auckland based Tongan encourages vulnerable Pasifika families to navigate positive outcomes. 

Recently completing his Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, with support from work-based training provider Careerforce, Peter’s graduation was recognised at a Pacific Celebration of Success event in Manukau’s MIT Theatre. 

Peter Tupou with wife, Dr. Matamoana Tupou at the Careerforce Pacific Celebration of Success

The diploma gave Peter new business and management skills that helped him continue to follow his passion. He secured a new leadership role with Fonua Ola, a social services provider, that supports Pasifika families to be safe and well. 

“Our primary services at Fonua Ola are providing counselling services, budgeting, social work support, youth services, family harm interventions, Community engagement, food parcels, whānau ora support and parenting programs. We have a big team of professionals including social workers, counsellors, youth workers, financial budgeters, navigators and whānau support staff.” says Peter. 

“It’s both rewarding and inspiring to see the positive outcomes for some of the most vulnerable families in our community.   

“With family harm, for example, when our interventions are put in place, we empower individuals to change behaviour and we see a reduction in reoffending.” 

Peter had previously worked with youth navigators completing an apprenticeship with Careerforce, and so was already familiar with the work-based learning provider.  And, when a colleague enrolled in the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership, also supported by Careerforce, he decided to give it a go. 

The diploma is a 20-month part-time work-based learning programme completed via an online learning and assessment platform. Enrolments are taken throughout the year, and each learner is assigned a dedicated leadership and management coach for the duration of the programme. 

The programme assesses the skills, knowledge and competencies in areas such as motivating and developing others, business practices, impacts of external factors, innovation, problem solving and analysing how Te Tiriti ō Waitangi can be applied to business. 

Careerforce provides plenty of support for learners

Peter credits Careerforce Assessor, Regan Cotter for supporting him in his learning journey. “Regan helped to clarify certain things for me, and was always willing to go the extra mile, even going through some of my queries with me on a Saturday. He is a very generous man and I owe him a lot,” says Peter. 

Peter says that generally he found the programme straightforward and not as difficult as he anticipated it would be.   

“What I liked about the programme, was being able to gather the appropriate experience that I had in my workplace and to accurately reflect that on paper, within the modules and the assessments. 

“There were clearly things I did at work, that I could reflect in the assessment, such as reflecting on leadership styles, strengths, areas that were strong and areas in my leadership that needed to be worked on.  

Peter Tupou with Careerforce General Manager Employer Services, Stephanie Clark and Careerforce Executive Director, Rod Bentham at the Careerforce Pacific Celebration of Success

Lots of opportunity to apply the Business level 5 learning in the workplace

“There was also a lot of the policies and management of my work and team, that from an operational aspect, I learned to quickly identify.  

“Learning about SWOT analysis gave me a clear understanding of my role at work, the teams that I was leading and the work we were doing.” 

Completing the diploma, and moving into a new role has been quite a transition for Peter. He says that he is keen to get settled into the role before pursuing more learning, but has been accepted to pursue a bachelor’s in applied management with Capable NZ. 

“I would highly recommend the business programme to others,” says Peter. 

Peter is keen to offer his expertise as Careerforce incorporate more Pacific perspectives into their learning materials. He was therefore excited when asked by Careerforce to consider being a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and share his Pasifika knowledge.   

“Hopefully my feedback helps to contribute to Pacific learner success in the future.” 

More information

Careerforce is a work-based training provider for the health and wellbeing sectors.  For more information about the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 5) Leadership and Management, contact Careerforce.