Currently based in Pōneke Wellington, Carinnya is a New Zealand-born Samoan from the villages of Fasito’o-uta, Moata’a and Solosolo. She holds a tulafale-ali'i chief title of Ti'afelelea'i from her father's village, Fasito'o-uta. Alongside her professional roles within DGSE, Carinnya is the Wellington Director on the Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects Board.
Carinnya’s experience covers sectors of Government, Community, Transport, and more recently Housing. This work has drawn on her strengths in the cultural design space and co-design with Tangata Whenua and Tangata Moana (Pacific) communities. Working with indigenous communities as clients and project partners has developed her strong advocacy for indigenous rights through care and respect in every stage of the design and construction process.
Continuing from her graduate dissertation, Carinnya is interested in exploring what architecture can do beyond the tangible build. This has created opportunities for her to be involved in Young Pacific Leaders Forums in Hawaii and Fiji as well as presenting research at COP21 in Paris.
For the past seven years, Carinnya has worked as an assistant lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington for the 3rd Year Architecture course: Pacific Designed Environments/ Ngā Taiao o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa.