The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is increasing, as are disparities in health burden experienced by different New Zealand sub-populations. The inability to curb metabolic disease, indicates current health strategies aren’t working for all New Zealanders. My goal is to change this. However, in order to improve targeted interventions, an understanding of what causes some individuals and population groups to be more susceptible to obesity and diabetes is required. Research suggests 40-70% of risk variability between sub-populations may be genetically based, and recently gene variants have been identified in Polynesians. This project will study how Polynesian-specific gene variants, in Auckland’s Samoan population, influence ways the body uses energy. In doing so, the aim of the project is to better our understanding of how metabolic diseases develop in Samoans, and, in turn, how metabolic diseases may be better prevented and treated in this population.