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​Learning the Language

News 24 May 2018

Kirkland (Kirk) Ronald Yates, Niue’s newly-appointed High Commissioner from New Zealand, is one of the first diplomats to undertake lessons in the Niue language – Vagahau Niue – at Auckland’s Pasifika Education Centre in Otara in preparation for the role.

Language teacher Lolokini Pavihi says the lessons provided Kirk with an insight and understanding of the language and cultural protocols.

“He was able to learn the greetings, farewell and basic phrases of the language,” she says.

After studying Philosophy (Development Studies) at Massey University and Horticultural Science at Lincoln University, Kirk worked as a Primary Industry Consultant in Canterbury, before making the move into the public sector with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) where he was appointed the Development Manager to Papua New Guinea in 2003.

In 2005 he was appointed First Secretary at the NZ High Commission in Suva, Fiji, where he served for four years before his role as Development Counsellor at the NZ Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 2013 he was the Vanuatu Country Manager for MFAT in Wellington, then the Agriculture Development Manager.

Kirk presented his credentials two weeks ago to Acting Premier Dalton Tagelagi, and will be meeting Niue Premier Toke Talagi on his return to Niue following the Pacific HOMS Breakfast on Friday May 25 at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland.

“It will be a great opportunity to discuss Niue opportunities with existing and potential New Zealand businesses early-on in my tenure,” says Kirk.

“There is growth in the tourism and retail sectors which provides new opportunities. Niue is open for business. There is a very active and supportive Chamber of Commerce which can assist with exploration of business opportunities.”

Find out more

Pacific Heads of Mission Breakfast 25 May

Image: Kirk Yates and Acting Premier Dalton Tagelagi. Photo/ NZHC Niue.