14 June 2017

Kiwi spotlight at NAFSA opening plenary

To showcase New Zealand as a sophisticated and culturally rich education destination, ENZ sponsored the NAFSA Opening Plenary and invited Kiwi icons Sir Richard Taylor and Elena to represent New Zealand to the 6,000 delegates present in the conference hall.

NAFSA opening plenary

The Opening Plenary is the largest event on the NAFSA programme. Due to the size of the audience, and the seniority of delegates (half of NAFSA attendees are senior/executive-level professionals), it was an unparalleled opportunity to profile New Zealand as an innovative and creative education destination.

ENZ’s sponsorship provided New Zealand with a four-minute speaking slot, the opportunity to show a short video and to provide a giveaway on each of the conference centre seats. 

Demonstrating New Zealand’s vibrant cultural diversity was Elena, a classical violinist who performed powerful pieces of music to welcome conference delegates as they entered the hall. Woven through the music was audio of kapa haka and a voiceover telling the story of Elena’s Māori and European cultural and creative heritage. Playing simultaneously was an animation of three graphics by Wellington design duo Fay & Walter illustrating Elena’s journey.

Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor then took to the stage to emphasise New Zealand’s unique strengths as a study destination to the global audience.

“I was delighted to speak on behalf of New Zealand’s unique educational institutions,” said Sir Richard. 

“I spoke of New Zealand’s position in the Asia-Pacific region, the strength of our universities and institutes of technology and polytechnics, and how receiving a New Zealand education helps foster the skills students need to compete in a global market place. 

“New Zealand relies on being an open and international country, we thrive on diversity and welcome international students to New Zealand as an opportunity to cross pollinate ideas. We see the benefits of such an approach at Weta Workshop where multiple teams, made up of people from around the world, collaborate every day.”

Elena NAFSA

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