Young Samoan revels in New York moment

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Helen Clark receives a Samoan-design plaque honouring her leadership from Leorida Peters.

Helen Clark receives a Samoan-design plaque honouring her leadership from Leorida Peters.

A year ago, 18-year-old Auckland student, Leorida Peters, never thought she’d be meeting with Helen Clark at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

But after claiming the Leadership and Inspiration Award at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ 2015 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards, that is exactly what this young New Zealand born Samoan leader is doing.

The prize offered an all-expenses paid trip to New York City, the home of the United Nations Headquarters, sponsored by Air New Zealand and supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T).

The idea behind the prize is that Peters, as an emerging Pacific Leader, would learn from some of the world’s top leaders on a global stage.

 “The Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards are all about the encouraging the success of New Zealand’s young Pacific people and this chance to meet with Helen Clark will inspire Leorida, and other young people watching her, to aim high,” Ministry for Pacific Peoples Chief Executive Pauline Winter says.

A highlight of the visit is a meeting this morning with former Prime Minister and United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P) Administrator, Helen Clark, hot on the heels of New Zealand announcing Ms. Clark as a candidate to be the next UN Secretary-General.

Leorida presented Helen Clark with a plaque carved by her cousin.

2016 is perfect timing for Leorida’s trip as it occurs during the second year of New Zealand’s non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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