News Item

Former Scholar now PM to open PISAN National Fono

News 5 Mar 2018

Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) scholar, will open the Pacific Island Scholars Alumni Network (PISAN) National Fono 2018 in Waikanae on Friday 9 March, hosted by PCF and MFAT.

PCF CEO Craig Strong says his presence at The Fono will inspire the young graduates.

“Prime Minister Puna is a former MFAT scholar himself, and his path to leadership is living, breathing proof of the scholarship scheme’s success,” says Craig.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the graduates, who will no doubt savour the experience for when they return to serve in their respective regions.”

The Fono, held at the El Rancho Campsite, brings together a diverse group of Pacific scholars from New Zealand tertiary institutions. Craig insists the various sessions will reinforce the strong expectations of these young leaders.

“They’ll become fully aware of the responsibilities that go with their roles in the region," he says.

"And part of the process is for them to take ownership of the issues they’re bound to face.”