Hirita says PT&I internship ‘very fruitful’

22/03/2016

<em>Hirita Bata’anisia from the Solomon Islands, interned at the Auckland office of Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest recently. Prior to her departure to Honiara at the end of her internship*, Hirita, aka Angeline, wrote this piece for </em>Pacific Periscope<em>. Hirita also wrote a piece on one of her country’s iconic handicrafts, which will be published in a forthcoming edition of </em>Pacific Periscope<em>.</em>

It was a rewarding 10 weeks work experience at Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) NZ.

[caption id="attachment_7585" align="alignright" width="400"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/LRGrsz_img_3824.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7585" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/LRGrsz_img_3824.jpg" alt="Hirita Bata’nisia is from Malaita in the Solomon Islands and is PT&amp;I's new student intern." width="400" height="267" /></a> Hirita (aka Angeline) Bata’nisia is from Malaita in the Solomon Islands and was recently PT&amp;I's student intern.[/caption]

I was assigned a research project which entailed constructing a brief profile of New Zealand’s key regions-Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury for Pacific exporters seeking to enter the New Zealand market.

As a simple exporters’ guide to New Zealand’s key markets, it aims to provide Pacific exporters with vital information of the respective markets at their fingertips.

It has been a beneficial and amazing work experience at PT&amp;I. Placed at the Trade and Development Division, I have been able to see and apply some of the economic theories I have learnt in my degree in a practical work environment. I have been challenged to grow and gained a lot of self-confidence and further insight into New Zealand’s business environment, its export industry as well as its relevance as a key market for Pacific exporters.

The findings of the region show that although Auckland region has the largest Pacific people’s population in New Zealand and the biggest market for Pacific Exports, there exist further market opportunities available for Pacific exports in the Wellington and Canterbury regions.

For example, Wellington is an ideal market for Pacific products in the creative industries given that Wellington is well-known for its creative industries and also the home to various government departments’ and diplomatic missions.

Other opportunities include:
<ul>
<li>Canterbury region: agriculture-processing as key industries offer great market for tropical food products from the Pacific. Christchurch city is the ideal place-with the largest Pacific population in the South Island.</li>
<li>Target for key markets: Potential market for encouragement of other niche products-that could be suited for Wellington region given the high standard of living and possesses New Zealand’s most highly educated workforce.</li>
</ul>
As a graduate, returning to home country to join the workforce, it has always been a concern for whether I would be able to transit successfully into the workforce. Whether I’d be able to apply the knowledge and skills into a practical setting. Placed at Pacific Islands Trade and Invest I have been able to do so.

I have been able to pick up and learn on range of vital skills-analytical, communication, interpersonal skills as well as meeting the demands of the organisation. Having completed my university qualifications with no prior work experience, this work experience has definitely been a platform for me to develop my professional skills in terms of communication as gain a better understanding of the work environment.

Further to that, the various tasks and activities I have done have given me further understanding about the background of the organisation and the impact they have done in the Pacific region via export promotion and investment facilitation. I have been able to learn about.

I am thankful and feel blessed to have been placed at such a key and crucial organisation as Pacific Islands Trade and Invest. It has been a perfect fit-I am so grateful for Pacific Cooperation Fund (PCF) and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (PCF) for initiating the Summer Internship Programme for NZAID scholarship recipients with the objective of developing professional networks and improve readiness to enter employment in upon return to home country.

I extend my sincere gratitude for the amazing team at Pacific Trade Invest. I have gained a lot of fundamental knowledge and skills.

I look forward to sharing the new skills I have learnt in my home country and to make an effective contribution to my future workplace in the Solomon Islands.

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<em>*The internship was part of the Undergraduate Student Summer Internship initiative, which the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT) offers in cooperation with the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF).</em>