NZ CPIT signs MoU in Kuching
Sarawak Tribune - Fri, 14 March 2003

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KUCHING - The Minister of Tourism of Sarawak, Dato Sri Abang Johari, witnessed a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between -Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) of New Zealand and a local promoter at the Minister's office on Tuesday.

CPIT was represented by Dr Pim Borren, Dean of Commerce and Dr David Weir, Dean of International Education. The local promoter was represented by Datuk Amin Haji Satem, who is President of the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Honorary Consul of New Zealand in Sarawak, and Datuk Abang Haji Abdul Karim, who is President of the Sarawak Bumiputra Chamber of Commerce (DUBS), Encik Alex Ting, who is Chairman of the Malaysia New Zealand Business Council (MNZBC) Sarawak Chapter and Mr. Rodger Chan, who is Director of the NZ Centre in Sarawak.

The MoU was the result of the visit by the Minister of Tourism to New Zealand late last year. The Minister led a tourism and business delegation and visited CPIT in Christchurch. The Minister stated that the MoU serves to initiate co-operation between CPIT and the local promoter in line with the Government's plan to develop the tourism industry, in particular in the Food and Hospitality area, to world class standard. Johari felt that professional and quality training is an important ingredient for the promotion of overall tourism development of the state, which this co-operation will serve to meet that need. Datuk Abdul Karim stated that this is a most welcomed initiative, which will meet the needs of the state and promote economic co-operation between the two countries. He felt that this cooperation would enable the local people and industry to tap into the expertise and resources of CPIT and New Zealand. He stated that this initiative would also augur well in the overall development within BIMP-EAGA in this sector.

Dr Pim Borren stated that with the MoU and the subsequent co-operation, it will be an extremely exciting opportunity to CPIT, to Christchurch city and to New Zealand as a whole, to work closely within this BIMP-EAGA region, particularly Sarawak, to help the Tourism Industry, especially the Food and Hospitality sector, to grow. He felt that the growth in the Tourism sector would be a continuous process as part of the world global expansion process. It is a safe industry and as the developing countries develop further, the industry can only grow more.

CPIT is a premier institution of higher learning and has the largest school of Food and Hospitality in New Zealand. It is also the largest Institute of Technology in the South Island of New Zealand. The Institute is well known internationally for its IATA program and is a major government provider of IATA training. The Institute of Technology offers more than 3000 courses with over 250 qualifications at certificate, diploma and degree level, which are all fully accredited by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA). CPIT has 4 campuses with over 2300 staff member. It is one of the oldest established institutions in New Zealand since 1906. Students who are interested to study here can contact the NZ Centre locally on 082-483888 or email admin@nzcentre.biz or web: www.nzcentre.biz. Both Dr Borren and Dr Weir visited the Centre after the signing ceremony and conducted student-counseling sessions there.

The Minister noted that there was much similarity between the South Island of New Zealand and Sarawak. The land size for both is about the same. Christchurch, the major city there, is a Garden city while Kuching will be officially declared a Garden city by July this year. Tourism is an important and fast growing industry in Sarawak. Tourism is the largest industry in South Island of New Zealand and the second largest in the whole of New Zealand. It is expected that within the next 12 months, Tourism will become the largest industry there in New Zealand. New Zealand is spacious with natural greeneries, which is also similar to Sarawak. New Zealand promotes "Clean, Green and Friendly" tourism while Sarawak promote: "Culture, Adventure and Nature" tourism.

The Minister stated that he was modeling the tourism development in Sarawak based on New Zealand's successful model. Some examples include the proposed Shoal Watch in Miri, which is modeled after the successful Whale Watch of Kaikoura in New Zealand; proposed Yacht Race after the popular America Cup of Auckland and the Highway in Sarawak will have signage and lodging facilities similar to that of New Zealand. The CPIT-Sarawak co-operation will be another good model to develop further.