Māori and Pacific students set to help rebuild Vanuatu

Seven Māori and Pacific students enrolled in the EIT trades programmes are preparing for what will be the trip of a lifetime.

They will travel to Vanuatu at the end of next month to help rebuild medical centres after they were destroyed by Cyclone Pam earlier this year.

These students from the Manakura group, an EIT initiative supporting Māori and Pacific Island achievement will be based in the village of Paunagnisu and will also upgrade a medical centre in Erakor in the south of the island group.

Over the past two years, various students have participated in training sessions in Waiouru and Aramoana.

EIT's head of school for trades and technology, Todd Rogers says “It is such a good opportunity for these young people. We will sleep under the stars for the first few nights until we get the roof on the building at Paunagnisu, and will be catering for ourselves, eating rice, fish and from army ration packs,"

“The students will work from 5am and stop for a couple of hours to avoid the hottest time of day. After a few more hours work in the afternoon they will play soccer with the villagers."

The students are also being briefed on island culture and medical requirements for their trip and are undertaking training in construction.