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PM Speech: Fulbright Platinum Triangle Scholarship

Rt Hon Helen Clark

Prime Minister

Address at Launch of the Fulbright Platinum Triangle Scholarship

Rangi Marie Room

Te Papa, Wellington

5.30 pm - Wednesday 8 September 2004

I am very pleased to be here this evening with Ambassador Charles Swindells to launch the Fulbright Platinum Triangle Scholarship.

We have Ambassador Swindells to thank for this excellent new initiative. The Scholarship was his idea and he has worked tirelessly to obtain the financial support needed so that the first scholarships can be awarded next year.

I appreciate, Ambassador, the commitment in time and effort that you have made to strengthen the ties between our two countries. You appreciate the importance of people to people links, and what better way can there be to promote them than through education exchanges.

The experiences and friendships which students form while living in another country contribute to a greater appreciation of the values and cultures of others.

New Zealand is a small country which must look outwards and be open to new ideas. This scholarship will give New Zealanders a new opportunity to study and work offshore. Through it New Zealand talent will be able to be developed at top American universities and United States technology companies.

When the recipients of these scholarships return to New Zealand, they will be well positioned to be future leaders of innovative technology businesses. This fits well with the government’s vision of developing New Zealand as high value economy, capable of sustaining high living standards.

The government very much values New Zealand’s education links with the United States, both for the opportunities for our people to study and do research there, and for the opportunity we have to host American students and researchers.

From July 2005, the government will be locating an education counsellor at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC. The counsellor’s role will be to extend the education link we have with the United States.

I take this opportunity to thank Fulbright New Zealand for their contribution to maintaining a strong education relationship between our country and the United States. Executive Director Jenny Gill is soon to step down after many years at the helm. Her enthusiasm and her commitment to New Zealand is greatly appreciated by the government, and we wish Jenny all the best for the future.

Again, thank you Ambassador Swindells, for your strong support for this new scholarship. We look forward to hearing of the programme’s success.

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