HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 574:27 July 2011

News Briefs

2011 Health Conference opens
The Official opening of the Annual Cook Islands Health Conference 2011 took place at the National Auditorium on Wednesday before a large audience.
On Friday the Health Minister and delegates will travel to Aitutaki for a discussion with the Aitutaki people on this year’s conference theme Men’s Health, Mental Health Research and the focused areas of Non Communicable Diseases, HIV, and primary Trauma.
The opening got under way with ministers, delegates, different departments of Health, police representatives and College students attending. The official opening speech for the program was given by Hon Nandi Glassie, Minister of Health. Dr Kiki Maoate was the key note speaker. “Use the technology of today to take a step forward for our future in Health,” commented Dr. Maoate on the lack of much needed equipment during his career and what the younger generations have to use now. The hot topics of today’s conference was; men’s health and behavior, tobacco used among men and men’s dietary screening on Mitiaro which was presented by Dr Joe Williams, Professor Richie Pulton from Dunedin School of Medicine, Maina Tairi, Ministry of Health, Nana Cuthers also from Ministry of Health and Dr Rangiau Fariu who spoke on the topic alcohol used by men on Rarotonga and Mitiaro.
The Healthcare Heroes representative Luke Fleming, from the Pacific Medical Association also attended the event and showcased a very impressive power point presentation of what Health Heroes do and are.
Thursday’s program will include a look at suicide prevention for mental health, diabetes concern in the community and youth perspectives on health issues.

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). It requires that project proposals when submitted to NES, must be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the Regulations. It is a mandatory requirement.
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 has spoken to NES Director Vaitoti Tupa however he could not remember why no regulations were ever 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, for the last eight years there has been no legal basis for the fees.
It is assumed a Ministry can impose a fair charge to cover the cost of work done where no legal 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 has asked the Solicitor General several times for comment but surprisingly, to date, no response has been received.
It is noted from the current Budget document that trading revenue for NES is estimated at $16,000. It is assumed this figure includes fees.

Fresh fish airfreight exports set to increase
Tuesday 12 July – discussions with Taiwanese fishing company Yuh Yow have finished with an agreement to trial a 5 tonne airfreight shipment of fresh fish within the next month that MMR hope will lead to 200 tonnes of fish being exported annually.
In the past few years airfreight of fish has average around just 4 - 10 tonnes per year.
Yuh Yow company currently operates seventeen fishing vessels that are licensed to fish in the northern Cook Islands waters. According to Ben Ponia, the Secretary of Marine Resources the MMR will issue licenses for two fish carrier vessels to service the Yuh Yow fleet. One of the vessels will deliver fresh fish to Rarotonga.
A local fish processing partner will handle and airfreight the fish.
“The bottom line is that we need to leverage as much benefits as possible from all of the fishing boats that are operating out of Pago Pago. The best guarantee for these boats – both Cook Island and foreign flagged - to renew their fishing license is to invest in our local economy and establish local partnerships”, says Ponia.
Fish transhipments will be closely monitored with an MMR observer on-board the carrier vessel at all times. Most of the transfer will occur off Pukapuka or Penrhyn but some of it may take place at sea. As a part of her license the carrier vessel is not allowed to carry any fishing gear. These vessels also carry around 70,000 litres of fuel and Ponia believes that there is an opportunity to explore fuel delivery to the northern group.
Minister for Marine Resources Teina Bishop says he is supportive of this development. He views the export of fish as providing an additional return on the money spent by government to underwrite the airline services.
The Yuh Yow executives departed Rarotonga today.
- Marine Resources Media Release

Pukapuka Cyclone Management Centre progress
The contract to construct the Pukapuka Cyclone Management Centre (CMC) was awarded to local company Landholdings Ltd in March 2011 for NZD 3.0m jointly funded by the European Union and Cook Islands Government. The building in Roto village is designed to protect the people of Pukapuka from natural disasters and can accommodate 400-500 people. It is also designed to accommodate emergency management, public health, sports and other community activities.
Together with key members of the Landholdings team: Project Manager Romani Katoa and Construction Foreman James Atera, the government is pleased to announce excellent progress has been made in construction with the foundation of the building almost complete. Excavations and partitioning of amenities, the kitchen and other rooms are complete. The block work and plastering of septic tanks are also complete. With plumber (Raro Plumbing) and electrician (RK George) on island this week, all ground plumbing and electrical cabling will be laid over the next few weeks. Structural steel work is being manufactured out of New Zealand and anticipated to be on Pukapuka in early September.
Building engineers Kramer (Vanuatu) Limited have Site Manager Mr Richard SanJose on Pukapuka to supervise the project. Project administration support is being coordinated between Landholdings personnel on Rarotonga, Kramer office in Vanuatu, Aid Management Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and the EU Delegation in Suva.
The project complements the governments wider Cyclone Recovery Reconstruction Plan which aims to build resilience to natural disasters and strengthen disaster management capacity in the Cook Islands.
- Aid Management Media Release

Training to handle real life trauma
In 2003, the Ministry of Health established the Trauma Exercise as a means to test emergency services ability to respond to various simulated accident scenarios.
The plan was designed to improve the response and handling capabilities of the emergency service providers such as the police, health, fire, the Cook Islands Red Cross and participants who attend the annual workshops.
The workshop this year called Akatano was held over a two day period. On Monday the Ministry of Health held the theoretical test at the Pukapuka hostel across from the National Auditorium where the participants were taken through a rundown on what would happen for the practical on Tuesday and how to attend to the matter.
Tourists and locals who had not heard of the trauma course taking place on Tuesday were dumbfounded as they drove past watching the “road” theater set and the actors playing their roles convincingly. It was an awesome scene with the actors playing their parts as victims expertly, the attendance of the fire engine, the wailing of the ambulance siren and the blazing lights of the police vehicles.
The Herald spoke to one of the actors Ms. Tangi Ngerenganu. “I was mentally prepared to play the part of a victim in a motor vehicle accident, so it felt like I was in a movie, it was a lot of fun,” she said. The objectives to be achieved were set by the emergency services teams. They were; alerting, timely response of the emergency services to the scene, crowd control and security, effective communications among scene coordinators and the responding agencies, triaging, care and handling at the scene and transport.
“ The team today have done their best, I think they are ready to deal with and execute perfectly what they have learnt in their training, if they find themselves in a situation such as the one played out today,” commented Rangi Tairi, Chief Nurse for Public Health and organizer of the event.

Girl Guides trip to Atiu
A group of Girl Guide Leaders and National Council members attended the opening ceremony for the St Anthony Girl Guides 50th Golden Jubilee which was established in 1961 on the island of Atiu.
The invitation for the trip was open to all Guide members on Rarotonga and was organized by the National Council Executive members.
The small group that flew to Atui to take part in the ceremony consisted of three young Guide Leaders, Ms Rosa Bob, Ms Anjima Aturai, Ms Rouru Toki and four council members, Mrs Noo Sword-Browne the Life member, Mrs Matangaro Taripo the trustee member, Mrs Tepaeru Hagai National Treasurer and Ms Ngara Katuke the National Commissioner .
Family members of the Guides who have attended the Atiu Girl Guide Company also attended the event along with the Ui Ariki, Ui Rangatira and the Ui Mataiapo of Atiu and NGO leaders from various organizations and sport groups.
The group also held a short training camp for the young guides of Atiu and presented some of their achievements and thoughts on what they could do as Guides for their island and country.
“The experience there was beautiful, everyone had a great time and we got to see our sister Guides in action, we gave them advice and they gave us advice, it was a very pleasant trip,” said Ms Katuke. The guides were given coconut and tiare maori trees to plant to mark their participation in the ceremony.

Bishop elect happy to be here
New Zealand born Father Paul Donoghue who will be ordained as the new Bishop of the Cook Islands at the Catholic Church this Saturday has been a priest for the past 31 years and has mostly worked in the South Pacific. He spoke with the Herald on Monday. He said he was very surprised to be asked to preach in the Cook Islands has he had never visited here before, but also very happy. “In a sense I am very mystified as I have not worked or visited the Cook Islands, so it has been a big surprise to me personally to be asked to be appointed as the new Bishop, it is a new challenge for me but I look forward to it.”
Father Paul Donoghue was based in Fiji for 14 years before arriving here last Saturday and is looking forward to meeting and taking part with the Cook Island people and their culture. At this stage Father Paul’s expectation of his role is simply to want to listen to the people of the Catholic Church and to see how they would like the Church to go forward.
“I am very conscious that I am a complete stranger, therefore I hope that the people here and I will get along greatly when I meet them and them me.” Though Father Paul Donoghue has spend almost his priest hood in the South Pacific teaching at colleges and churches in Suvalu, Samoa and Fiji, he remains a New Zealander at heart.
Father Paul will be travelling to the outer island Catholic Churches to introduce himself to the people. “I am very happy to be in the Cook Islands and taking up the role as Rarotonga’s new Bishop given to me by the Holy Father Pope Benedict,” said Father Paul Donoghue.

Promotional work for Joyanna
The current Miss Cook Islands/Miss South Pacific Joyanna Meyer is in Rarotonga to promote the Miss Cook Islands Pageant which takes place in the last week of August followed by the crowning of the winner on 1 September 2011.
She arrived last Thursday.
The Herald spoke with Joyanna on Tuesday afternoon.
Incidentally, entries for the Pageant close at the end of July.
Joyana will also be present at the Pearl Authority event at the Punanga Nui market on Thursday when NZ Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Murray McCully visits.
She says it’s an opportune time for her to escape NZ’s cold weather.
She is currently at Auckland University completing her fourth and final year of an honours degree in Mechatronic Engineering. She hopes to do her Masters degree next year.
This year, she is working for the Auckland Bio-Medics Institute for her fourth year project which is most important for her degree.
Mechatronics is a mixture of mechanical, electrical and software engineering. In the future she wishes to concentrate in the area of Bio-Mimicry which basically is the creation of technology based on nature.
While the technology may seem new, scientists hundreds of years ago had experimented with devices based on the structure and movement of animal and bird limbs. For example, Leonardo Da Vinci had tried to design a flying machine based on the structure and movement of bird wings.
Joyanna returns to NZ on Friday morning.

Boy Scouts hold Bushcraft-Survival camp
Thumbs up for the St Joseph Boys Scouts with their latest achievement whereby, eleven Scouting members triumphantly attain their Bush Craft Survival Badge.
In order for them to tackle this brilliant achievement, the boys were sent out on a individual Solo camp, which is the final stage of the 3, surviving on the local means surrounding their given boundaries.
Thereon the 3 initial tasks to attain this badge are:
• Stage 1 – Group Camp,
• Stage 2 – 3 Man group Camp
• Stage 3 – Solo Survival Camp.
In which all of the above were set out in the valleys of Te – Au – O - Tonga.
The boys carried out this trial throughout a 3 month period along with practice journeys familiarizing themselves to the intensive task they are to forgo.
In terms of preparation, the boys undertook various amounts of Bush camp lessons such as basic knotting, latching, navigation, how to provide shelter, First Aid and Basic Safety Equipments etc.
Moving forward for the St Joseph Boys Scouts; one challenge down and more too overcome, herewith heading into the Flying Camp fore coming.
So heads up to these young achievers as we promote “Be Prepared” encountering anything is possible through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Amen.
- St Joseph Scouts Media Release

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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