News Item

PCF NZ Scholarship Interns complete 10 week internship programme

Success Stories 17 Feb 2021

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) hosted 17 interns and their host agencies in Auckland on Friday 12 February to partake in a special event to mark the completion of their 10 week PCF NZ Scholarship Internship Programme.

PCF Board Member David Vaeafe said, “This event provided a valuable opportunity for 17 ambitious and bright young Pacific scholars, who come from a diverse range of Pacific countries, to be able to share their 10 week internship experiences with each other, and their host agencies, and for the PCF also to acknowledge the support of various organisations and companies that hosted them.”

The PCF NZ internship programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is in its 6th year, providing undergraduate students from the Pacific and Timor-Leste, the opportunity to gain professional work experience with reputable New Zealand companies and government organisations.

The day’s programme included a policy career pathway workshop, facilitated by Director of Policy at the Ministry of Pacific Peoples, Leilani Unasa.

PCF management consultant Afamasaga Jackie Curry said, “The objective of the policy workshop was about promoting policy as a career pathway for the interns, because the whole idea of the internship programme, is that interns will come away with an experience that will benefit them in terms of professional development and that they apply their new knowledge when they return to the Pacific.”

Labour list MP based in Papakura Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, who was the official Government speaker at the lunch, shared the importance of a values based approach to foreign policy as articulated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Nanaia Mahuta in her recent inaugural foreign policy speech to the diplomatic corps, - manaaki – kindness or the reciprocity of goodwill, whanaunga – our connectedness or shared sense of humanity; mahi tahi and kotahitanga – collective benefits and shared aspiration; and,kaitiaki – protectors and stewards of our intergenerational wellbeing.

Samoan High Commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Leasi Papalií Scanlan, who also spoke at the lunch said, “I have no doubt that for many of you, your parents and families, have made many sacrifices so that you could get the best education and a better future than the ones that they were brought up in.

“We are all very proud because you have utilised well the opportunities available to you, and through your hard work, this has resulted not only in your receiving a scholarship to study in New Zealand, but also these internships.”

Wellington based PCF intern Fugalaau Mafi, who is studying towards a Bachelor of Laws at Victoria University, who did her internship with the Ministry of Business Innovation Employment (MBIE), thanked the PCF and host agencies on behalf of all the interns.


She said, “It is very important for us to continue these skills and life lessons so that we can go back home and hopefully apply those skills to help the development of our islands.”

PCF Management Consultant Afamasaga Jackie Curry said, “The PCF is proud to be MFAT’s mandated regional leadership development partner to deliver a pipeline of quality emerging leaders from the Pacific region, and we truly hope that the experiences learned and skills acquired during each interns’ experience will fill their kete and enrich their contribution to whatever they set their minds to doing when they return to their home countries.

Afamasaga said, “The PCF thanks all the host agencies for making these internship experiences so valuable and extends its gratitude to Auckland Transport for sponsoring this event."

To view the full list of the PCF NZ Scholarship Interns for 2020/2021 and their host agencies, click here.

Media Contact: Laree Taula, 021 992 200

Photo1: PCF NZ Scholarship Interns, host agencies, PCF staff and PCF board member

Photo 2: (L-R) PCF Board Member David Vaeafe, Labour list MP based in Papakura Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, Samoan High Commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Leasi Papalií Scanlan, Lynette Reed, Organisation Effectiveness Consultant Culture and Transformation, Auckland Transport, Antony Hall, Head of Organisational Effectiveness, Auckland Transport

Photo 3: Back row L – R: Hella Rore (Solomon Islands), Meleteukialupe Soakai (Tonga), Fugalaau Mafi (Tonga), Vensel Margraff (Samoa), Bryan Wasuka (Solomon Islands), Sapati Fili (Samoa), Grace Paie (Samoa), Siuola Vaipuna (Tonga).

Front row L – R: Lilitasi Letasi (Tuvalu), Laisa Dan (Vanuatu), Litia Takuia (Kiribati), Wendy Andrews (Solomon Islands), Vanessa Simbiken (Papua New Guinea), Eera Timaera (Kiribati), Aunoa Uele (Samoa), Augusta Soares (Timor-Leste), and Luna Rossa Lomitusi-Ape (Samoa).