Resilience, strength, and the ability to adapt easily to change are just some of the traits Teara Leaupepe Timoteo brings to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Communications, Media, and Marketing team.
The Senior Advisor remembers learning these traits during her childhood, and they have come in handy time and time again, she says.
Of Samoan descent, Teara was born in Wellington and spent much of her childhood growing up between Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Teara’s extended family played a significant role in raising her, especially her grandparents and she credits them for becoming the woman she is today, she says.
She holds family, cultural beliefs and values close to her heart, and these things are fully integrated into her work at the Ministry.
Prior to joining the Ministry in November 2018, Teara worked in the public sector as an Executive Assistant.
Earlier this year she was on secondment at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) assisting with the COVID-19 All of Government response until September 2020.
Teara explains she took the role with the Digital Channels team to be part of the strategic thinking behind the overall COVID-19 campaign and wanted to ensure our Pacific communities are always factored into decisions being made.
“I also wanted to help influence the way we communicate by humanising the messaging because COVID-19 is a deadly disease and we must always remember people are at the core of what we do as public servants.”
The role of MPP’s Communications, Media and Marketing team has been, and still is, critical in keeping our Pacific communities safe and well throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, she says.
During the lockdown at the end of March, Teara’s resilience and adaptability shone through as she went above and beyond her job description.
“As a team, we had to quickly adapt to crisis communication and provide timely, accurate and relevant information to our communities."
“We had to be proactive with our communications and ensure it was presented in an appropriate format so the messaging is easy to understand, which is why the translated content in our nine Pacific languages became an essential part to our work programme.”
Throughout this time, Teara says she developed a greater sense of belief in herself and her capabilities.
“Working under immense pressure meant I had to step up and lead key pieces of work I normally wouldn’t have put my hand up for, but recognising the importance of what we do motivated me to do whatever it took to ensure our Pacific peoples were kept informed throughout each alert level.”
Since joining the Ministry, Teara has maintained a strong focus on goal four of the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou vision which is: Confident, Thriving and Resilient Pacific Young People.
“My role has put me in good stead to collaborate with Pacific young people by sharing their stories and successes as well as providing a platform for them to amplify their voices through the Pacific Aotearoa social media channels.
“Through our collaborations, we aim to inspire and uplift Pacific young people to be skilful in the mind and skilful in the heart.”
Underlining all her work at the Ministry, is Teara’s belief Pacific peoples are destined for greatness.
“We have the natural ability to navigate and explore fearlessly and all we need is a door to open for us to steer ahead and be successful in any field or industry.
“My goal is to play a key role in opening those doors for our Pacific communities and showcase the valuable contribution Pacific people have made and continue to make to society.”
Work for MPP
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is currently seeking an Advisor - Digital Channels and Marketing to join its Communications, Media and Marketing team.
The permanent position is based in the Wellington office, but please if you live outside of Wellington - we still welcome your application as flexible arrangements can be made!
This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and enthusiastic person to bring social media content to life that reaches our Pacific communities and all of Aotearoa to celebrate the work we do.
If you would like more information please email [email protected] quoting the position title in the subject.
Applications close on September 29 at 11.59pm.
Visit MPP for current vacancies.