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International students to receive traditional Waitangi welco


International students coming to study and live in Northland will receive a traditional Māori welcome at Waitangi Treaty Grounds this week.

This inaugural regional welcome is being led by Study Northland, the international education arm of Northland Inc, the regional economic development agency. Study Northland was established last year to strengthen and support international education in the region.

The Waitangi event, on Thursday, 13 February, will provide a traditional welcome to more than 90 students, aged between eight and 17, from such countries as South Korea, Germany, Japan, Austria, Thailand, France, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Taiwan, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, India, Brazil and Chile.

Study Northland Project Manager Jo Lees says the regional welcome at Waitangi is a great opportunity to extend manaakitanga to the newly arrived students: “These students have shown real courage by travelling so far from home to live and study in Northland, and we want to acknowledge their commitment to learning by extending them a heartfelt welcome to Northland from day one.”

Students will be greeted with a private pōwhiri and performance, followed by speeches and a presentation of welcome certificates. They will then enjoy a tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, including time spent learning traditional Māori games and crafts. The welcome concludes with a Kiwi lunch of fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. In addition, each student will also receive a goodie bag with regional guides, maps and postcards.

Ms Lees said Māori culture, friendly people and incredible scenery are among the many reasons that students give for choosing Northland as a place to live and study: “This event aims to nurture global citizenship, create lifelong memories and kick-start each student’s Northland experience – we hope it’s the first of many.”

Students attending the welcome will be studying at: Whangarei Girls’ High School, Whangarei Boys’ High School, Tauraroa Area School, Kamo High School, Springbank School, Pompallier Catholic College, Whangarei Primary School and Huanui College. Other schools and institutions hosting students, such as Kerikeri High School and NorthTec, were not able to attend, but hope to be present at future events.

A second welcome event at Waitangi Treaty Grounds is planned for July.

For more information on Study Northland’s strategic objectives, visit: https://www.northlandnz.com/northland-inc/resource-hub-documents/2015-tai-tokerau-northland-regional-growth-study/

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