New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand furnishes two classrooms at ‘Ahopanilolo Technical Institute

HE Mr. Mark Talbot hands over TOP$7964 cheque to Sister Kieoma Finau

New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, today presented funding to the ‘Ahopanilolo Technical Institute to buy furnishings for two classrooms, including the renovation of a simulation housekeeping class.

“I am delighted we are able to work with ‘Aholpanilolo to improve the student experience”, said Mr Talbot.  “With ‘Aholpanilolo training the future leaders of Tonga’s hospitality industry, it is especially pleasing to help make their training more life-like.”

The ‘Ahopanilolo Technical Institute Principal, Sister Kieoma Finau said, “The majority of ‘Ahopanilolo students are from low income families so have not had any experience of staying in hotels or motels. We are also in  desperate need of proper classroom set up for the theory learning of the students. This funding will be a great help by giving our students an opportunity to have a comfortable and conducive learning environment in the  classroom and work in real life situations within our upgraded simulated accommodation suites and commercial kitchens. Practical work experience is a key component of all courses here at ‘Ahopnailolo. This support from the government of New Zealand is helping to ensure our students are work ready and have the best opportunities for careers in hospitality. This is also contributing to Tongan’s future by supporting young people to develop their skills and contribute to our country’s future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the NZ High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Talbot and the government of NZ for their great generosity to assist us in these areas of need of our school. With heartfelt  gratitude and deep appreciation we unite together with St Paul’s letter to the Philippians. 1:3 ‘I thank my God for you…’”

Funds for these furnishings are made available from the New Zealand High Commission’s Head of Mission Fund (HoMF).  In the 2012/2013 financial year, the HoMF supported 23 community projects across a range of areas such as income generation resources for women’s groups, infrastructure such as water tanks and fences for schools and environmental projects such as the replanting of trees. Recipients are generally not-for-profit organisations implementing projects that benefit the community.

Applications to the HoMF for projects up to TOP$8000 are accepted. Applications packages are available on the New Zealand High Commission website ( or at reception.


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