First trip for Bougainville public servants

Bougainville public servants Raymond Minaka and Ginama Holi study at the Otago Polytechnic as part of a trip aimed at educating the region's future leaders. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Bougainville public servants Raymond Minaka and Ginama Holi study at the Otago Polytechnic as part of a trip aimed at educating the region's future leaders. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A group of 12 public servants from Bougainville are braving a chilly Dunedin summer to learn skills to help the once war-torn region prosper.

Sidcorp director Mahmood Siddiqi, who facilitated the public servants coming to study at Otago Polytechnic, said the trip was sponsored by the governor of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Joseph Lera.

It was part of ''rebuilding'' the once war-torn region and growing its future leaders, Mr Siddiqi said.

Members of the group, who worked for various government departments, were taking a level three business administration and computing course.

''They are here for three weeks, then they will go back to Bougainville where their course will continue online.''

Used to temperatures above 30degC, Dunedin's cool summer weather had been

a shock and they had bought plenty of cool-weather gear.

''It is very cold for them. They have come from a tropical environment and they are not used to the cold.''

The trip was the first fruit of a relationship between Bougainville Polytechnic and Otago Polytechnic, which Mr Siddiqi was fostering.

Raymond Minaka, who works for the Bougainville Division of Commerce, said he had learnt ''many things'' and putting up with the ''very cold'' Dunedin weather had been worth it.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

 

Learning from the experts

Raymond Minaka, who works for the Bougainville Division of Commerce, said he had learnt ''many things'.

Not to build a stadium for example.