Paradise Home to Future Leaders
Paradise, NZ, could be home to the first United World College (UWC) in Australasia, and just the second in the southern hemisphere. Based on the philosophy of Kurt Hahn, who also founded the Outward Bound movement, UWCs offer students with proven leadership abilities a two-year residential program which promotes strong humanitarian and environmental values within an academically demanding setting. The current co-presidents of UWC International are Nelson Mandela and Queen Noor of Jordan, but each college is set up through local initiative and remains an independent charitable body responsible for its own funding. The proposed UWC at Paradise would include 40 per cent New Zealanders among its 200-250 students. “This project offers New Zealand a chance to provide leadership as a global citizen, but we can’t do it without the help of philanthropists who have a passion for education and its role in creating a more peaceful and sustainable world,” said project manager John Hillhorst, who estimates the college’s establishment cost to be $NZ 50 million. The proposed site overlooks the Dart River at the head of Lake Wakatipu, adjacent to the South Westland/Te Waahi Pounamu World Heritage Park.