HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

News Brief

Loan dispute settled
A long-running saga involving a bank loan for a new house that never eventuated has come to an end. The Samuel family (Nooroa and Tangi) met with the ANZ Bank this week, and according to the bank manager David Dennis, “we have now resolved the situation with the customer and have reached an agreement that suits all parties”. The unfortunate case first came to light in late 2009 when the Samuels loaned over $100,000 to obtain a kit-set house from New Zealand - from Bettaway Homes. Loan money was paid out but the house was never shipped.

Health advisor heads home
The Ministry of Health is saying farewell to a key advisor and administrator this week. Dr. Fran McGrath, who has been with the department for the past year, is heading back to New Zealand and the cold, unstable city of Christchurch. Dr. Fran has been instrumental in bringing Health policies and planning up to speed, as well as coping with the department’s ongoing financial constraints. She certainly leaves behind a big challenge as a result of lifting the Ministry to improved levels of administration. Best of luck Fran!

NZ Airforce assists with arms amnesty
Corporal Armament Technician Tamati Anaru from the New Zealand Air force is here to service weapons and to give tips on how to be safe when handling firearms and keeping it secure at home during the first week of the Amnesty. The Amnesty began on Monday the 20th of this month and will carry on until the 20th of July, during that time Inspector and Overseer of the Amnesty John Strickland would like to encourage all in the community who own firearms to come down to the Cook Island Police headquarters and hand it in, where your weapons could have a professional health check by Anaru. You will not be prosecuted if your weapon is unregistered, you will only need to re-register it and after two to three days with the approval that your weapons are safe to use by the armament technician officer, your weapons will then be handed back over to you. Anaru and Chief petty officer Del Bewg who is the technical advisor to the Cook Islands police force will be going to Aitutaki next week to do the same thing for the Aitutaki people. “We will not be giving out free services after the date set for the Amnesty to end, and if you are found with an unregistered gun after that date then you will be prosecuted.” says Inspector John Strickland. The Police force will also destroy any weapons that the owner would want destroyed and would encourage every current owner to register their firearms under their own names and not to leave it under the names of their late father’s/ mothers or the past owner that had sold it to them, as it would be very problematic for the present owner if they are found with the firearm.

Maori Speech Competition
The Maori Speech Competition for the local Primary Schools is back on again with the theme for this year being Toku Reo, Taku Peu. All grades of these eight Primary schools, St Joseph, Rutaki, Takitumu, Arorangi, Nikao Maori, Nukutere, and Papaaroa were allowed to compete in the minor school contests to find the top six contestants that can take their Schools to the main Maori Speech Competition to battle it out to become number one. Last Friday Avatea Primary School held a minor competition within the School, to see who will be filling out the top six spots to take to the Major League. The overall winners for that day were Gr. 5&6 Classes – Nay Chi Myo Min, Nomar Maarateina, Rachel Scheel, Sinano Vacau, Napa Tutavake and Terekino vaireka. Mauri Toa from the Ministry of Culture, Mrs Teina Etches, a former Principal of the School and Tou Ariki, President of the House of Ariki were the three judges for that day.The main Competition where the public will be able to see most of the Primary schools on the island compete with each other, will be held oncoming Thursday at 9.am in the Avatea Primary School Hall. The competition this year will be hosted by Nikao Maori Primary School.

Avatiu U19 team Champs again
The Avatiu, under 19 team rugby league team celebrated the end of yet another successful year with Coach Terri Piri, assistant coach Jim Murray, team manager Rose Manuela and the supportive and dedicated group of sponsors who lifted the team to become champions two years in a row. The players took home the Round Champions and Champions of Champions trophies again this year and are looking forward to going all-out next year to keep it on their mantelpiece, but sadly for the team most of their teammates will be leaving to join higher age groups. “This year was a special year, has it is the last year that most of the boys will be playing for the team.” Said Rose Manuela”. The Herald asked Terri Piri what he thought about some of the boys leaving, Terri replied.” I think it would be great for the club, a lot of players coming up to the higher grades, I just hope they will stay with the club, to keep the quality up cause there are a lot of great players who are leaving this team.” “The Avatiu under 19 team is a team like no other,” say’s a watchful parent, ” I’ve observed this team and I have to say that what they have here some teams cannot achieve, they’ve bonded into a strong team and great friends, their friendship will last a long time.”

National Environment Service fees may not be legal
When the new Environment Act 2003 came into force, section 70 provided for the prescribing of fees. Section 36 of the Environment Act 2003 contains provision relating to project reports and EIAs (environment impact reports).
However, no regulations prescribing fees were ever issued. The question is, when regulations will be issued prescribing the fees for project permits under section 36(4)? The Herald spoke to NES Director Vaitoti Tupa on Tuesday however he could not remember why no regulations were promulgated. He advised the NES was charging a fee of $500 and he felt this was not enough to cover the work the NES staff put into project permits. Interestingly, the section on savings, Section 75 makes no reference to any former fees continuing to apply.
It was suggested to Tupa that the fee being charged for project permits could be challenged in court as it had no legal basis. It is assumed a Ministry can impose a fair charge to cover the cost of work done where no fees exist, but this must be backed up by evidence of time spent (on clerical work, checking, processing) and costs involved (photocopying, postage, advertising).
The Herald asked the Solicitor General on Tuesday for comment but at time of going to print, no response had been received.

Boxing News:
Respects paid to Papa Apenera Short
At its meeting on Tuesday, the Executive Committee of the Cook Islands Amateur Boxing Association (CIABA) paid tribute to Sir Apenera Short who passed away last Wednesday. Papa Apenera was a former boxer and Coach with the Ngatangiia Club and often attended training sessions at the club to encourage the young boxers. When the next fight night is held at the Tupapa Youth Centre on Thursday 30 June, there will be a minutes silence for Papa Apenera.

New home base for boxing proposed
Concept plans for a new home base for the sport of boxing, next to the current Tupapa Youth Centre were tabled at a meeting of the Executive of CIABA on Tuesday. Presenting the proposal for CIABA consideration for a training centre and offices was Vice President Chris Manu. The Executive unanimously endorsed the concept and Manu will now progress the proposal further. This is an exciting development as boxing has not had a home base or headquarters.

Three clubs now affiliated
Three boxing clubs are now affiliated to the CIABA. They are, the Ngatangiia Club, the Tupapa Club and the Arorangi Club. The Tupapa Club became affiliated on Tuesday. Its President is Chris Manu, Secretary-Ms Ema Maurangi, Treasurer-Terry Strickland, Manager-Kimi Samuel, Head Coach-Phillip Strickland and Coach/Trainer-Tamarii Kaivananga. The Tupapa Club has four boxers so far and any young person, male or female who wishes to take up the sport can contact Chris Manu on 52 707 or go along to the Tupapa Youth Centre.

Medals to be awarded at next fight night
At its Executive meeting on Tuesday the CIABA agreed to award Gold and Silver medals when the next fight night is held at the Tupapa Youth Centre on Thursday 30 June. This is a new development which CIABA considers appropriate in order that boxers receive some recognition for their efforts.

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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