Research Projects



Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow

The Pasifika Prediabetes Youth Empowerment Programme (PPYEP)

The high prevalence of obesity and prediabetes among the young working age groups of Pasifika people (18-45 years old) is alarmingly high. If left untreated, the likelihood of developing potentially fatal long term conditions is high.

Lifestyle intervention programmes that use a culturally-centred approach, that are led by the community, and consider the social-physical-cultural realities of the environment, are far more likely to be effective in addressing obesity, and prediabetes.

Working in a collaborative partnership with Pasifika communities, this study is implementing two different lifestyle programmes that empower Pasifika communities to lead healthier lifestyles and to live independently:

  • Youth empowerment programme obesity study (15-24 year olds)
  • Young adults prediabetes study (25-45 year olds)

Both programmes aim to build knowledge, understanding, and skills to empower behavioural changes to reduce the perpetual prevalence of obesity and prediabetes.

This research project is funded by the Ministry of Health, Health Research Council and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge as part of the Long Term Conditions Partnership.


link icon
Tupai-Firestone R, Matheson A, Prapavessis D, Hamara M, Kaholokula K, Tuisano H, Tevita G, Henderson J, Schleser M, Ellison-Loschmann L. Pasifika Youth Empowerment Programme: a potential public health approach in tackling obesity-health related issues. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.2018; 14(1): 63-72. link icon
Tupai-Firestone R, Matheson A, Firestone J, Schleser M, Yee E, Tuisano H, Kaholokula K, Ellison-Loschmann L. Developing principles of social change as a result of a Pasifika Youth Empowerment Programme: a qualitative study.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia,
2020 (In Press).
link icon

October 2017



  • Dr Anna Matheson
  • Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
  • Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
  • University of Auckland, NZ
  • Professor Blakely Brown
  • University of Montana, USA
  • Professor Keawe Kaholokula
  • University of Hawaii, USA
  • A/Prof Claire Ing
  • University of Hawaii, USA
  • Dr Max Schleser
  • Swinburn University, Australia
  • The Fono Trust
  • Auckland, NZ
  • South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Trust
  • Tokoroa, NZ


  • Health Research Council of New Zealand
  • MBIE: National Science Challenge
  • Ministry of Health