Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban tonight congratulated Pasifika students graduating at Massey University's Auckland Campus, telling them they are the future role models of our Pacific communities.
"Education is a key factor in achieving economic and social outcomes for Pacific peoples and in turn improving their contribution to the New Zealand economy," Laban said.
"Our graduates are the success stories behind the Pacific Economic Action Plan and Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan, which promote the future economic development of Pacific people, aiming to harness the enormous potential of our communities.
A key area for development of the Plans is education, focussing on high Pacific achievement at all levels of the education system, and increased tertiary qualifications particularly for our Pacific women.
"More Pacific peoples involved in specialist skill areas is key to New Zealand's economic growth and the Plans encourage young Pacific school leavers to enrol in high-value skill courses. It is fantastic to see our Pasifika graduates tonight with a range of degrees, including a Bachelor of Aviation, Bachelors of Business Studies, Masters in Management, and three graduates receiving their Doctors of Philosophy.
"Massey University must be congratulated for its commitment to Pasifika education, last year launching the Pasifika@Massey Strategy document to promote, cultivate and expand academic achievement for Pacific people.
"Their initiative to support and encourage Pasifika students at secondary schools to continue on to tertiary education, using top Pasifika students as mentors, ensures that our Pacific communities are equipped to make informed choices about career learning opportunities.
"Our Labour-led government aims for high Pacific achievement at all levels of the education system - it's great to see this happening with our graduates tonight."