More than 1000 primary school students will visit the Kermadec Exhibition at the New Zealand High Commission in Nuku'alofa from 22 May - 1 June 2012.

In May 2011 the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group invited nine of the South Pacific's most prestigious and higly-acclaimed artists to join them on the navy ship HMNZS Otago to voyage from New Zealand, through the Kermadec region, to Tonga.  The resultant Kermadec Exhibition is a celebration of that journey.

'It is a privilege for the New Zealand High Commission to host such a high-calibre exhibition.  I am honoured to share this unique gift with the people of Tonga and especially happy that so many school children will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition', said His Excellency Dr. Jonathan Austin.

Four of New Zealand's most prestigious artists, Dame Robin White, Gregory O'Brien, John Pule and Elizabeth Thomson, will also journey to Tonga to be part of the hosting for this special event and meet with the school children.

'We are really glad for this opportunity.  It will expose children to this type of art and hopefully motivate those who are gifted with this talent.  We are very excited about this,' said Ponepate Taunisilia, Deputy Director for Schools of the Ministry of Education, Women's Affairs and Culture.

The New Zealand High Commission has also organised a series of free public talks and workshops which will commence on Friday 18 May.  Details of each of the individual events are listed in the separate attachment and on the High Commission website.  The general public are advised to register at the High Commission office for the free events as space is limited.

The Kermadec Exhibition will be open to the public from Tuesday 22 May to Friday 1 June at the New Zealand High Commission during office hours.  The exhibition will also be open to the general public for viewing on Saturday 26 May (10am - 2pm)

Press enquiries:
Leilai Tamu, Second Secretary
New Zealand High Commission Tonga
Ph: +676 23122 ext: 102