Vanuatu Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to speak at AUT’s South Campus

21 Oct, 2014
Vanuatu Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Honourable Ralph Regenvanu

AUT is proud to be hosting the Honourable Ralph Regenvanu at a free public lecture at its South Campus in Manukau on Thursday 23 October.

Hon. Regenvanu is the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in the Republic of Vanuatu, and also President of Vanuatu’s Land and Justice Party.

As keynote speaker, Hon. Regenvanu will speak to the theme of pushing the cultural agenda in Vanuatu.

He will speak on his personal journey from being a cultural advocate working in the cultural heritage sector at national, regional and international levels, to entering national politics in Vanuatu to try and effect the desired policy changes from within.

His journey has involved being the Pacific voice in defining intangible cultural heritage for the UNESCO Convention adopted in 2003, implementing a radical reform of the land laws in Vanuatu over the past year and spearheading current efforts to reshape Vanuatu’s post-2015 development agenda on a foundation of culture.

It is a case study in advocacy and coalition-building as well as rethinking development from one of the Pacific’s Least Developed Countries.

“It is fantastic to be able to share my knowledge of Vanuatu’s cultural agenda and the various factors at play in shaping Vanuatu’s political, economic, social and cultural landscape,” says Hon. Regenvanu.

AUT’s inaugural Professor of Pacific Studies, Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop says AUT’s Pacific team is proud to welcome Hon. Regenvanu to the event.

“This will be the first time Hon. Regenvanu has spoken publicly in New Zealand, and on a topic that is of interest to many.”

“Hon. Regenvanu will touch on a number of areas that are very significant to the research of our very own postgraduate researchers here at AUT’s South Campus.”

New Zealand’s links with Vanuatu are long-standing, through programmes such as the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme - of which Vanuatu contributes the most seasonal workers to New Zealand - and through tourism.

Event details

Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 6-8pm, followed by light refreshments.
Location:  MD210, AUT’s South Campus, 640 Great South Road, Manukau
RSVP: For catering purposes, please RSVP to Mandy Marsters at, or phone 9219999 extn 6604, by Wednesday 22 October 2014.

Biography – Hon. Ralph Regenvanu

Ralph Regenvanu is the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu and also President of the Land and Justice Party.

Prior to his entry into politics in 2008, Regenvanu served as the director of the National Museum and Cultural Centre of Vanuatu, for eleven years (1995-2006). In this role he was one of the founding executive board members of the Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA) and was on the international drafting committee of the “Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage” which was adopted by the General Assembly of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2003.

In 2013 he was the main driver behind a major overhaul of the land laws of Vanuatu and is currently chairing the government’s efforts to put in place a new national sustainable development plan for the 15 years post 2014.

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