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Keeping up with Christiane

Success Stories 16 Aug 2019

There are no days where Christiane Waneissi is never on her toes. Having attended the PCF Maori Pacific Business Forum earlier in the year to accompany the New Caledonia delegation, the entrepreneur was constantly in action interpreting and translating English to French.

Back in New Caledonia, Christiane works closely with the youth, particularly Kanak as she is believes they bring something meaningful to the Pacific region no matter what field they want to get into.

"I feel that my life's purpose is to help young Kanak people to grow to their full potential and help develop their pathways to become excellent leaders for the Pacific region," she says.

Born and raised in Lifou Island, (also called Drehu in the local language) Christiane attended the private college Havila and followed her older brothers to Noumea where she completed her secondary school education at Lycée Lapérouse.

After high school, Christiane went on to study English at the University of New Caledonia but it was winning an NZ MFAT scholarship that would soon change the trajectory of her life leading her to do research on Pacific civilisation at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Returning to New Caledonia after spending a huge proportion of her study life Wellington, France and London, Christiane became a civil servant - a role which she would invest 20 years in.

However after turning 40, Christiane decided to take on a new challenge which was to start her own business.

"I had always wanted to start my own business and today I provide consultancy and training for young adults and workers wishing to continue their studies in New Zealand or Australia."

"I am proud of the success of each of my students from the Loyalty Islands when they graduate from foreign universities and come back to New Caledonia to pursue their career in tourism, aviation, entertainment, the music industry or any other field."

"I also provide translation and interpretation services to trainers and industry specialists that come to New Caledonia on specific assignments."

Being an entrepreneur is something Christiane takes seriously, she is involved with a group of other businesswomen in New Caledonia and the newly-formed Kanak entrepreneurs association. Her active membership in the groups has led her to attend international forums such as the 2018 World Indigenous Business Forum held in Rotorua and PCF's Maori Pacific Business Forum.

"I was impressed overall with the Maori Pacific Business Forum," Christiane says.

"I found it interesting seeing the interactions between entrepreneurs from the Pacific island states, the challenges they face in a small domestic market and how they develop partnerships and strategies to extend beyond their national borders."

"I was very proud to participate in this event with eight entrepreneurs representing our Kanak customary areas.

Image: Christiane standing far left with the New Caledonia delegation with NZ Minister of Maori Development Hon. Nanaia Mahuta