NZ government

Government to allow 1000 overseas students into New Zealand

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the students must be part-way through a degree or postgraduate course and would have to pay for the cost of their time in managed isolation.

Education providers have been lobbying the government to reopen the border to foreign students, who are worth more than $5 billion a year to the economy.

Hipkins said priority would be given to students who were closest to completing their qualification.

NZ collaborates with UNDP to launch Climate Risk Insurance Initiative for the Pacific

The initiative is jointly developed and will be implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations University Institute for Environment Society and the United Nations Development Programme.

“New Zealand, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is pleased to support this initiative as it fully aligns with New Zealand’s “climate action” agenda as well as its focus on disaster risk reduction in the Pacific to address vulnerabilities of low-income populations,” Curr said.

NZ increases support for Pacific language projects

This week, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples introduced round two of its Community Languages Fund (CLF) for grassroots community and family language projects.

Minister Aupito William Sio said the second funding tier of $NZ10,000 was in addition to the existing $NZ2,500 tier.

Aupito said during the first round, which closed on 31 July, applicants were able to apply for up to $2,500 to support language projects in their homes and communities.

He said 143 applications were received over the past eight weeks.

Tongan Language Week to support NZ community's Covid response

The theme for the 2020 Uike Lea Faka-Tonga is "Fakakoloa 'o Aotearoa aki 'a e Lotu Mo'oni", which in English means "Enriching Aotearoa New Zealand through prayer and faith".

Aupito William Sio said in his experience the Tongan community throughout Aotearoa were deeply spiritual people, and their theme reflected their strong faith-based belief system like many in the Pacific.

"[The theme] underscores the practicality that faith and works must go hand in hand."

Tongan family’s isolation exemption approved for funeral

The Akauola family in Auckland started an online petition this week seeking an answer from the government in regards to their case to receive a medical exemption.

The petition reached over 6,000 signatures in under a week.

The current restriction requires anyone entering New Zealand to be placed in managed isolation for at least 14 days.

Today the Minister of Health David Clark told RNZ Pacific the exemption had been granted on compassionate grounds.

NZ makes new Pacific diplomatic appointments

Helen Tunnah, who currently works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Covid-19 response team, has been posted to Niue, having previously worked in Vanuatu and Brazil.

Richard Griffith will be High Commissioner to Nauru, but based in Wellington.

He has previously been posted to Solomon Islands and Australia.


New Zealand Government makes $7.3 million payout to rugby nationwide

According to a report from Stuff, the country’s governing body, New Zealand Rugby, has attained about half of that payment – totalling in $3,687,444 – after filing applications due to hardship cause by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report states that NZR claimed for 531 staff, receiving $6933 per staff member.

The payout comes after the organisation slashed 20 percent of its staff’s pay at the beginning of the month, which, at the time, NZR said it was able to do with the assistance of the government’s subsidy.

26 Tongans receive NZ Government scholarships

Twenty-one scholars have been accepted into New Zealand universities and six scholars will study at the University of the South Pacific or the Fiji National University.

Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Nick Hurley, hosted a reception this week to celebrate the students’ achievement and to welcome home returning alumni.

Hurley congratulated the scholarship winners and encouraged them to “seize this opportunity. Be bold. Be brave. Challenge yourself. Remember always that you are ambassadors for your family, for your village, for Tonga.”