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Tongan academic received Honorary Medal in NZ

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 04/05/2018

A Tongan female Academic in New Zealand, Valeti Finau has received the “Honorary Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit” for her services to education and the Pacific community in New Zealand.

Finau says, the award was given to her but in reality; a lot of people have contributed to her work.

She says, the honorary medal was given in recognition of her contribution to Whitireia Polytechnic when it was established in Wellington in the 1980’s.

Finau says, at the time, she was one of the Lecturers looking after Pacific Islands students.

Valeti Finau says opportunities were given to her to travel around the Pacific Islands including PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga to build their relationship with Whitireia Polytechnic.

She says a Pacific Advisory Committee was established in 1986 to assist Pacific students.

Finau also contributed to the establishment of Tupou Tertiary Institute where they offered Whitireia Polytechnic’s accredited diplomas.

She is also the founder of Laulotaha Mentoring Program where local experts volunteer to provide one-on-one session with students.

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