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
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.