HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

News in Brief

Police arrest suspect
Police are reporting an arrest in the case of an indecent assault on a six-year old at the weekend. A 17 year old male from Panama has been collared for the alleged incident. The young girl, from Takuvaine, was playing with her younger brother in the Takuvaine Stream when accosted. Police are warning parents and caregivers to be attentive to their little ones, who are out by themselves playing.

Students to train in China
Two young Cook Islanders are off to China to study at Hunan University, thanks to scholarships from the Chinese Government. The pair, Mere Iro and Rupert Hosking, were given their documentation today from the Minister of Agriculture Nandi Glassie and Secretary of Agriculture Tony Brown. Brown says he broadened the opportunity to provide the training to two young people outside of the Agriculture Ministry. Normally, the scholarships are taken up by Ag staff. The short-term training is for a month and the two students leave for China this weekend.

Akanoa vows to get into shape
Arorangi resident David Akanoa (pic) admits he is overweight but says he will now commit to an exercise programme to get into better shape. David’s new outlook is the result of attending the Men’s Clinic outreach for the first time. The Clinic, based in Tupapa, has been going into the villages trying to attract men, who are generally reluctant to front-up for regular check-ups. So far, the Clinic has been into Arorangi and Ngatangiia. Titikaveka is up next but the response has been characteristically low.

New recruits slog it out
The ten new police recruits are into Week 2 of ten weeks of training and tomorrow will be engaged in helping Telecom Cook Islands with an assignment to carry equipment up to Te Kou. That will be heavy work for the police team as the equipment will be difficult to navigate up the mountain. The one-off assignment will be fit in around the recruits’ normal day programme of classroom work and fitness training. Three women are among the recruits. All are from Rarotonga.

Health MOU retains specialist medical services
Health Minister Nandi Glassie says the Memorandum of Understanding he has signed with the Counties Manukau District Health Board will maintain important specialist services to the Cook Islands. He signed the MOU in New Zealand while returning home from Geneva where he attended the 64th World Health Assembly. Glassie says he had the opportunity to co-chair two meetings at the Assembly and shared policy and management experiences with other WHO members, including his counterpart from New Zealand. The 64th WHA was attended by 183 member countries.

Anti-smoking campaign lacks funding
The Cook Islands has a very poor record when it comes to smoking and World No Tobacco Day arrived today with very little fanfare. No activities were planned to mark the occasion thanks to a lack of funding. The Ministry of Health could only manage a small media advertising campaign. Despite having a restrictive law in place covering anti-smoking measures, the figures continue to be bad. Kids as young as 9 and 10 are picking up the habit. Health is not even in a position yet to release the statistics on smoking.

Safety a top priority on Harbour project
Port Authority CEO Bim Tou advised the Herald on Monday that safety and health were a top priority on the harbour project.
Safety of the general public was a high concern due to the nature of the work which involves the movement of heavy machinery. Fencing and signage have been erected to restrict entry of the general public and the site is patrolled 24 hours.
NZ company McConnell Dowell is applying strict international safety standards on site. Workers and management on site are kitted out in full safety gear, hard hats, safety boots, gloves and orange coloured overalls with reflectors along with safety eyewear. Safety in relation to the site concerns the safe operation of the crane, safe use of welding equipment and grinders and cutters. There is a weekly “tool box” meeting to discuss safety and health issues and site hazards are posted on a board by the main gate (see photo).
Helen Maunga, Director of Safety and Health at the Ministry of Internal Affairs says the Ministry was due to inspect the site last Friday but the company asked for this to be deferred. The inspection will now take place at 9.30am on Wednesday. The Ministry is responsible for enforcing the country’s safety and health legislation and its Inspectors undergo training from NZ Department of Labour OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) staff.

Vandal strikes coffee trailer
Within spitting distance of the shadow of the National Police Headquarters, local business operation “Coffee Confessions” found itself to be the victim of a sabotage attempt of vandalism, last weekend. All ten wheel bolts of the two-wheeler trailer had been unscrewed turning the mobile coffee unit into a rolling accident-waiting-to-happen. Fortunately for owners, Seth and Louisa, the trailer did not veer off its wheels while on the road. The business operators had taken their coffee trailer from its usual location in town around to Wigmore’s Superstore in Vaimaanga for some weekend trading. On the way back from Titikaveka, the trailer began to vibrate and shudder violently. Upon stopping, the wheel bolts were discovered to be loosened – all of them – thereby raising suspicions immediately about the security of the parked mobile business, in town. One wheel bolt had even sheared off completely. The owners are now looking at beefing up security measures in town to combat any would-be saboteurs.

Arriving for leadership workshop
62 potential leaders from Pacific countries will converge on Rarotonga on Saturday for a two day workshop June 6-7 at the Rarotongan Beach Resort.
The participants are part of the Pacific Executive (PACE) Program was developed by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in collaboration with AusAID to build capacity and strengthen reform in the Pacific region. It is designed for public sector officials in the executive ranks who have been identified as emerging and future leaders.
PACE is a twelve month program comprising three stages: the first stage is a three week residential in Canberra; the second stage is eight months in the workplace implementing a work project strategic plan; and the third stage is a return to Canberra at the end of twelve months for a further one week.
The workshop is for PACE Alumni from the 2007, 2008, 2009 cohorts. Two Cook Islanders, Walter Henry of the FIU and Daphne Ringi of Aid Management are expected to attend.
Three other Cook Islanders, Frances Topa, Dallas Young and Priscilla Maruariki are still completing their programme.

Dangerous Goods legislation reviewed
Helen Maunga, Internal Affairs Director of Workplace Safety and Health advised the Herald on Tuesday afternoon that the Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations have been reviewed. Some fine tuning is being done before submitting the final document to the Minister Mark Brown by 14 June. The review updates and tidies up the legislation which was introduced by the former Department of Trade.

Work halted on beach volley ball site
Work on repositioning the power cable which runs across the site of the new beach volley ball courts in Nikao has come to a halt due to a lack of funds to carry out the work. A spokesperson for Infrastructure Minister Teariki Heather whose office adjoins the site told the Herald on Tuesday that a deeper trench was to be dug alongside the cable so it could be reset deeper but the Beach Volley Ball committee was seeking funding for the work. The Herald was unable to contact Beach Volley Ball Association president Hugh Graham for comment before going to print.

Tattslotto punter $10,000 richer
One lucky Tattslotto winner is AU$10,000 richer following this weekend’s Tattslotto draw. The regular Tattslotto punter won 2nd division (5 numbers plus 1 supplementary) - one number shy of the $4 million dollar main prize.
The punter is the first Division 2 winner this year but there have already been two Division 3 winners (5 numbers).
Tattslotto is a 6-number game so this year’s 3 winners have all been one number short.
Tattslotto (Friday game) is the easier game to play and win on given it’s odds are much less than that of Ozlotto (Monday game) and Powerball (Wednesday game).
The Tattslotto shop is open from 9-5pm Monday to Friday, and on Queen’s Birthday Monday will be open from 9am-1pm. - Tatts PR

National Environment Week
– Art/Purua Competition
One of the Art/Purua Competition Judges Joanne (a Rep from Matavera Girls Brigade), had the difficult task on Monday morning of judging the high standard of art work produced by Years 1-3 at the BCI. Artwork has come in from not only Rarotonga, but also from Manihiki and Atiu. The competition was held to coincide with the UN Global Day on June 5th. The theme ‘Wetlands’, has been chosen this year because ‘Wetlands’ is the 2011 campaign. Banks are providing the prizes – 1st prize is a $100 savings account, 2nd prize is a $75 savings account and 3rd prize is a $50 savings account. In addition to these prizes, there is a Banks Choice Award where staff and customers choose a piece of artwork that they feel is the best. The piece of artwork with the most votes wins the award.

Performing Arts Competition
As part of Environment Week, the second Performing Arts Competition was hosted by CITC in their car park on Tuesday morning. The competition was sponsored by CITC and the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLM). Five schools entered the competition (Avatea, Avarua, Takitumu, Apii Te Uki Ou and St Josephs) with the Creative Centre performing a special item with poems and artwork and Teiti Tupuna, the Junior Girls Champion Dancer for 2011, performing a solo dance. Judges Mere Short from CITC and Philip Strickland from NES had the difficult task of judging the first class performances. First prize of $300 was won by Avatea School, second prize was won by Apii Te Uki Ou and third prize went to Takitumu School. A special prize of $300 went to St Josephs School for the School that best brought out Sustainable Land Management in their performance and the Creative Centre won the Consolation Prize.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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