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Tuesday 14 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands


Mangaia hosts New Zealand high commission
Mangaia School students with New Zealand High Commissioner Her Excellency Tui Dewes. Back left Neveiah Papatua and Miracle Tumareva and Front Left Amelia Pekepo and Zara Tumutoa. NZ HIGH COMM/22061311

The island of Mangaia warmly welcomed the New Zealand high commissioner Tui Dewes on her first official visit to the island last week.

Mangaia School greeted Dewes with a turou (traditional welcome) where she addressed the school assembly and gifted teaching resources.

She also visited the Trade Training Centre which was funded by the New Zealand High Commission in 2017, and the site where a recently funded Early Childhood Education (ECE) playground will soon be constructed.

The principal of Mangaia, Michael Papatua said: “It’s crucial to maintain a healthy and strong relationship with our New Zealand Offices to build a greater and enriching educational progress in the communities, especially in the Pa Enua where resources are limited.”

“We are grateful for their many support in the past and look forward to greater collaboration in the future,” said Papatua.

Mangaia School teacher Anaseini Pokino said Pa Enua students have a wide range of interests and skill sets on vocational and trade skills.

Mangaia mayor Makitua Tutai gifting the High Commissioner a toki on behalf of the Island Council. Photo: NZHC/22061316

“This is an area that will soar in the future and open up many doors,” Pokino said.

“It’s vital to have partners and friends like the New Zealand High Commissioner and her office who have the means we need to give out students the best learning outcome they can experience.”

Mangaia’s executive officer Anthony Whyte and Numangatini Ariki led Dewes on a guided tour to the pine forest New Zealand assisted in planting, the solar farm, harbour and local TV station.

Dewes also had the privilege of meeting with the Mangaia Island Council, who outlined the island’s priorities and discussed cooperation with Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mangaia Schools students with New Zealand High Commissioner Her Excellency Tui Dewes. Picture: ANASEINI POKINO/22061309

The island mayor Makitua Tutai gifted her with an impressive toki on behalf of the Island Council.

Visits to the hospital, power plant and High Commission-supported water tanks was also done during her stay.