The New Zealand High Commission in partnership with the Fiji Association in Auckland (Inc) is once again pleased to offer an essay writing competition for secondary schools across Fiji.




Cyclone Winston struck with great force, affecting hundreds of houses in the many islands of the Fiji group. Some of the worst hit areas are Koro Island, Kadavu Island, parts of Viti Levu such as Raki Raki, Vanuabalavu, Vanua Levu towns such as Labasa and the Lau Group of Islands. Many schools lost roofs, walls and valuable resources as the cyclone caused havoc to their communities. New Zealand assistance was instantly available as Air Force planes delivered water, food and urgent supplies. The Auckland Fijian communities responded with food supplies, clothing and materials taken to Fiji free by Fiji Airways. The Fiji Association has a twofold aim - to help ground agencies and to help schools in the weeks ahead. Fiji schools worst affected are closed and neighboring ones will be providing assistance where they can. Some of the schools which have received previous assistance from the Fiji Association during past cyclones (eg 1980's) have again been badly damaged or destroyed. Among them are schools in RakiRaki, Ba, Tavua, Koro and Kadavu. The Association has also postponed the 2016 secondary schools writing competition announcement till later in the term, as many schools are not operating normally, some not at all because of the cyclone damages.


This has been the seventh consecutive year the Fiji Association has offered this competition jointly with the New Zealand High Commission, Suva, supported by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The numbers have doubled compared to just a year ago, with extensive appeal in Fiji - rural, urban and remote locations. Of the 410 entries received from 93 secondary schools, there was a very good balance in terms of gender and cross section of Fiji secondary schools, especially from outer islands, away from the main centers. The essay competition continues to attract students from all backgrounds as well.

Sunia Vakamoce from Kadavu Island and Rohitesh Lal from Vanua Levu were the 2015 supreme winners. Sunia wrote on the first topic, showing how his remote school, with only ethnic Fijian (iTaukei) students can still relate to and be proactive in sharing the culture of others, including Indians, Chinese and yearly New Zealand visitors on support projects. 

Rohitesh Lal shared views on trading opportunities between NZ and Fiji, highlighting the need for more joint projects, instancing examples of Fulton, Higgins, Hawkins companies of NZ currently engaged in construction, including renovating Nadi International Airport.

Other winners from a total of 28 selected, emerged from virtually every part of Fiji.


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