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AUT strengthens ties with Niue

13 April 2006

AUT strengthens ties with Niue

Fakaalofa Lahi Atu and Pacific Greetings

AUT University’s ties with Niue have been strengthened with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the university and Niue’s National Training and Development Council (NTDC).

AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack, the Director of AUT’s Office of Pacific Advancement Michael Jones, Niuean Minister Fisa Pihigia and the NTDC Manager Cherie Morris-Tafatu signed the memorandum at a ceremony at AUT on March 28.

Derek McCormack said the agreement was a significant step in AUT’s role in providing tertiary opportunities for the Niuean people. “As a public institution AUT must do as much as possible to engage with this important part of the Pacific community.”

Fisa Pihigia said Niue was steadily recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Heta two years ago – and AUT scholarship students were a crucial part of the rebuilding process. “The idea is that the students return to Niue to contribute with their education and expertise.”

Michael Jones said people affectionately referred to Niue as the “rock” of Polynesia as it was a fundamental part of the wider Pasifika community.

The tone of the occasion was set by a warm Niuean welcome followed by a Niuean hymn and a prayer by AUT staff members and Niuean Scholarship students.

Under the memorandum, AUT and the NTDC will develop educational opportunities to meet the needs of the Pasifika communities in Niue and Auckland.

ENDS

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