SPC Secretary-General visits PT&I in Auckland
Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) paid an informal visit to the Auckland offices of Pacific Trade & Invest NZ last week.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_6953" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rsz_colin.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-6953" alt="SPC Secretary-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga." src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rsz_colin.jpg" width="138" height="104" /></a> SPC Secretary-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga.[/caption]
The head of the Noumea, New Caledonia headquartered Pacific wide organisation spent an hour meeting with Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade and staff. Patricia Sachs-Cornish, Principal Adviser to the Director-General’s Office accompanied him.
Dr Tukuitonga spoke about SPC’s role in the Pacific and welcomed the idea of SPC and PT&I finding common ground to complement each other’s work to benefit Pacific communities. Responding to Mr Greenslade’s introduction to PT&I’s work in the Pacific export, investment and private sectors, the Secretary-General said though the two organisations worked in different aspects of development, there was scope to work together.
He discussed agriculture, particularly organic farming and fisheries as sectors that needed strengthening because they not only had the potential to propel economic development around the Pacific region but were also instrumental in promoting good health.
[caption id="attachment_6954" align="alignright" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rsz_colingroup.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-6954" alt="Dr Tukuitonga (3rd from left) and Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade to his right with the PT&I team." src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rsz_colingroup.jpg" width="138" height="104" /></a> Dr Tukuitonga (3rd from left) and Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade to his right with the PT&I team.[/caption]
A medical doctor by training, Dr Tukuitonga, who was educated at the Fiji School of Medicine in Suva, has spent many years in the public health sector. He expressed concern at the grim situation in Pacific public health brought on by the abnormally high incidence of NCDs (non communicable diseases). He said all Pacific organisations had a role to play in countering the phenomenon.
Trade Commissioner Greenslade and Dr Tukuitonga both agreed to engage the two organisations with each other on a more regular basis in the coming months.