Last of this year’s UniVols leave soon

Published on 27th February 2012

The last of this year’s UniVols will leave New Zealand at the end of February to take up their assignments in the Pacific.


This year 10 UniVols will spend 10 months on assignment in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Tonga. This is the first year UniVols have gone to Tonga.

The 2012 UniVols, clockwise from top left: Russell Wark, Amanda Weaver, Andrew Bird, Gina Coffin, Hannah Quigan, Aaron Horrell, Dacre Polly, Matthew Potts, Lucy Dryden and Libby Kerr

They are working in a wide range of assignments, including two UniVols who are working alongside VSA volunteer Annabel Norman helping to organise the Pacific Festival of the Arts being held in Honiara in July.


This year’s UniVol intake includes the nephew of one of VSA’s most active volunteers, Kevin Bird, who is currently on his fourth assignment based in Papua New Guinea. His nephew Andrew Bird will spend 10 months working as an agricultural assistant at the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Centre in Luganville.


The UniVol programme is a collaboration between VSA and Otago University’s Geography Department and Victoria University’s Development Studies Department.


It began at Otago University in 2007, when eight UniVols went on assignment. Victoria University joined the programme in 2010.


To apply, UniVols must be studying at least 300-level papers in development studies.


This year’s intake will take the number of UniVols who have been on assignment with VSA to 45.


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