New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell recognized the key role of Filipinos in the growth and development of the youngest nation in the world over the past several years.
Ambassador Kell was in the city to aggressively promote the ‘Manaki’ scholarship offered by the New Zealand government to interested Filipinos wanting to earn masteral degree on agriculture, renewable energy, governance and indigenous peoples interaction.
He claimed that the Filipino community in New Zealand is the third largest with a population of more than 80,000 behind the Chinese with a population of more than 220,000 and Indians with more than 212,000 population.
Manaki is a Maori term for hospitality or sharing and caring that illustrates the New Zealand culture on hospitality and caring for the over 5.5 million population including those coming from various countries like the Philippines.
The ambassador pointed out that the Filipino community might look too small but it is creating a positive impact to the whole New Zealand.
“We welcome and we are grateful to the Filipinos who call New Zealand their home because of the contribution they make not only to New Zealand but also the relationship between New Zealand and the Philippines,” Ambassador Kell stressed.
According to him, New Zealand is known in the world for its agriculture and food security and exporting prowess aside from being known for its geothermal technology.
He claimed that New Zealand was instrumental in the development of the geothermal sector in the Philippines 40 to 50 years ago.
Kell underscored that New Zealand is no stranger to the Cordillera as based on available data, in 2005-2009, a New Zealand government assistance was given to a forestry and water reticulation project in La Trinidad.
He disclosed that no less than former Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan, Sr. recognized that the said project created an impact to the lives of the upland communities by providing the people with access to potable water.
Further, he stipulated that the said project also irrigated the strawberry farms in the plains of the municipality that supported the source of livelihood of hundreds of strawberry farmers.
Ambassador Kell said that some of the sectors in New Zealand such as agriculture, renewable energy, tourism and education are geared towards the exporting sector for people to be moving out of New Zealand.
New Zealand is one of the biggest exporters of protein in the world, particularly dairy, lamb, wine among others.
He revealed that New Zealand does not produce much but the said country exports that much to the different parts of the global village.