14 June 2017 at 9:00 am

Helen Clark highlights Kiwi strengths

As a keynote speaker at a special NAFSA luncheon, ‘Pathways to Peace’, Helen Clark showcased New Zealand’s progressive and positive approach to peace, development and education. 

Helen Clark
Dr Esther Brimmer with Rt. Hon. Helen Clark

Talking with NAFSA CEO, Dr Esther Brimmer, Ms Clark shared her experiences as recent Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and memories of her time as New Zealand Prime Minister.

Kaylee Butters, ENZ’s Director, Student Engagement, said the event was a commanding display of New Zealand’s progressive and positive approach to social change, development and education.

“Diversity and inclusion were passionately discussed throughout the entire conference, and were brought to the fore again by Helen Clark at the luncheon.

“By highlighting New Zealand’s stability, democracy, multicultural heritage and our open, welcoming people, we can position New Zealand as a great place for international students, especially in the current climate of populist politics and global unease.”

At the end of the luncheon, the New Zealand delegation gathered to thank Ms Clark with a mihi and waiata, powerfully led by AUT alumni, Toiroa Williams and Atereano Mateariki.

Toiroa is interning at the Sundance Institute in Los Angeles as part of an AUT internship programme, and was thrilled to be a part of the New Zealand delegation.

“The entire conference was an amazing opportunity to be around people who are creating opportunities for students to study abroad and experience a new culture," said Toiroa.

“It makes me reflect on my own experience of being a young Māori from a rural community, and accessing Aotearoa’s education opportunities to end up in Los Angeles working in indigenous film.

“So the opportunity to share my experience with 'Aunty Helen' and the other attendees at NAFSA was amazing.”

Click here to watch a video of the delegation performing a waiata.

L-R: Atereano Mateariki, Helen Clark and Toiroa Williams

L-R: Atereano Mateariki, Helen Clark and Toiroa Williams

Helen Clark with NZ team

Prior to the luncheon, Helen Clark (centre right) stopped by the New Zealand pavilion in the Expo hall for a quick photo with representatives from ENZ, Immigration New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Wintec and the University of Canterbury.

Helen Clark tweet NAFSA

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