The students are the first of a stream of PNG defence force personnel to undertake a Aeronautical Maintenance Engineering qualification run by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) at their RNZAF Base Woodburne campus.
PNG Defence entered into a collaborative agreement with NMIT and the RNZAF, with NMIT providing the engineering training and the RNZAF providing work-based training at their bases.
“This is the first PNG group to come on the engineering programme in New Zealand,” said James Gropp, NMIT’s Deputy Head of Department for Trades, Engineering and Aviation.
NMIT was the first in the country to gain New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority approval as a certified maintenance training organisation, which means its aeronautical engineering qualifications are recognised worldwide.
“The Papua New Guinean students have fitted in well with the other students and although being away from home has been challenging for them at times, they have enjoyed their time here,” Mr Gropp said.
“The ceremony was a celebration of their hard work and accomplishments, and a formal graduation will be held when they get home.”
Among those at the presentation were the newly appointed Woodbourne Base Commander, Wing Commander Berni Pothan and NMIT’s Director of Learning, Liam Sloan.
Mr Gropp says the PNG intake is the first of several who will undertake the NMIT aeronautical engineering course, with another cohort of students starting in July.