HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 581: 14 September 2011

News in Brief

Cook Islands Signs Service Level Agreement with Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency
The Cook Islands can now draw upon the technical and funding resources of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) with much greater ease through the singing of a Service Level Agreement between the Ministry Marine Resources Minister Hon. Teina Bishop and FFA Director General Dan Sua.
Signed at the Pacific Islands Forum on Friday the agreement has a five year time frame and covers areas such as options for management, surveillance and compliance, and policy and legislation.
Minister Bishop said the Cook Islands has a lot of unrealised fisheries potential, “but we recognise at the same time that Government has a limited technical and funding resource. So I am very grateful for the trust and support of FFA to help us to meet our commitments and obligations so that we can develop our fisheries in a sustainable and profitable manner”.
The Service Level Agreement will also allow the Ministry Marine Resources to tap into the pool of locally available fisheries advisers under the guidance and funding provided by the Forum Fisheries Agency.

Cook Islands NGO at the Forum

Kairangi Samuela of Punanga Tauturu Inc says that she is hoping to see some of the speaking points she raised in the Cook Islands Prime Ministers briefing notes for the Leaders retreat during last week’s Pacific Leaders Forum, reflected. These include the analysis by age and sex disaggregated data to inform decision making at Government levels. The issue of statistics was addressed under the Regional Youth initiatives Agenda and while it calls for the importance of having labour and employment statistics, our situation in the Cook Islands is that while we have the information – it is the analysis of that information in terms of the number of youths employed, which area in employment is dominated by girls. From a Punanga Tauturu perspective this is highly important in terms of providing evidence in lobbying for legislative change for example, how many young women between the age of 15 and 24 are employed and in which areas and how this affects their reproductive rights in terms of the maternity leave provisions. Given also that there are more girls completing secondary education – what employment sectors do they go to work in, how much do girls get paid in relation to boys for the same type of work etc.
The Agenda Item on Sexual and Gender based violence focused on the Forum reference group undertaking in country consultations in other Pacific Islands countries. Samuela’s briefing notes for the PM was to refer to the Cook Islands currently preparing its CEDAW report to the UN CEDAW committee and the submission of the draft Family bill that specifically addresses Domestic violence which has seen the Cook Islands progressively moving towards addressing its commitments to CEDAW.
Women in decision making was also on the agenda with the intent to intensify efforts to promote women’s equal role in decision making at all levels and to improve women’s leadership and empowerment of women as leaders. Samuela admits that she is not familiar with how these outcomes documents are worded but they are sadly lacking in target dates for achievements. For example, given the obvious lack of women in Leadership at the Forum – when do we as a region aim to have 30% (as per MDG minimum Goals) women Prime Ministers.
Samuela says that these agenda items drive the work of CROP Agencies including various donor agencies in working with countries to look at their specific needs.
Samuela has enjoyed the experience of the Forum leaders meeting as this has been an opportunity to talk to Ministers on a personal level and to understand different issues that are being raised in the various meetings.
In addition to attending the Forum meeting proper there has also been games of musical chairs as the Prime Minister and the DPM rush to and from other meetings arranged while they are here. For example, while the PM was on the leaders retreat the DPM was attending a meeting of Foreign Ministers, other bilateral meetings on Fisheries, the Minster of Finance during lunch was also meeting with the EU liaison at the Convention centre .
Samuela has appreciated the patience and openness of the Government officials in the discussions being held and encourages further Government recognition of NGOs in their Government delegations in the future. -Press release
the guidance and funding provided b

Zumba, a fantastic journey to the Cooks
Having arrived only hours before her first interview in the Cook Islands, Zumba education specialist Maria Stone is as bubbly and vibrant as the champagne she flew in on.
The Herald caught up with Stone on Tuesday morning. Master trainer Stone began her involvement within the fitness industry over 15 years and has been based within Australia instructing and teaching Zumba, “Which is why we’re very fortunate to have someone of her calibre here with us,” says Top Shape Gym owner Puai Wichman.
Being passionate about dance, fitness and music helped in becoming a Zumba master trainer, “Which has been a fantastic journey,” says Stone. Originally from Mexico, Maria completed her training in San Diego and since then has traveled to New Zealand, Australia and now the Cook Islands teaching and instructing Zumba, “I never thought I was going to be in this part of the world teaching others to teach this program!”
During her stay Maria Stone will be holding a master class this Wednesday at the National Auditorium 5.30pm, and for all those who are wishing to pursue a career within the fitness industry instructing Zumba she is holding a course at Top Shape Gym this Saturday 8.30am, “It’s an all day course,” says Wichman, “so don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.” -Maria Tanner

Pacific Snapshots
Hard work pays off, and so it should as for the past 4 months 35 strong Tereora College drama and dance students have been hard at work preparing for the annual performing arts show “Pacific Snapshots.”
The Herald paid a visit to Nikao Hall on Tuesday morning to see the students go through their paces. Dedicated performing arts tutor Clare Waldron has been gradually extending students knowledge of drama and the performing arts as she shows them how it involves other parts of the curriculum, “It’s valid learning,” Waldron stresses, “particularly literacy, (students) have to study a script and be able to take it apart. There’s a huge process involved.”
Waldron who created Tereora Colleges Performing arts platform has decided to showcase Pacific Island writers such as Makarita Euriley and playwright Toa Fraser for this year’s Pacific Snapshots in an attempt to keep it relevant for her students, “As we develop and grow I believe the kids really respond to Pacifica,” says Waldron, and will also include a range of different dance forms from “Bolliwood to Salsa.”
This Thursday evening the excited Tereora College students will be executing their hard work at the Nikao Hall, “ it’s been really important learning all the stage craft and what it is to perform.”
Waldron encourages parents and the community to come and see the fabulous talent. The show will run from 6pm to 8pm and entry is a gold coin. -Maria Tanner

Cowboys Corner
Welcome to “Cowboys Corner”, again last Saturday’s match of the week at Raemaru Park was a battle of the premier grades. The Ngatangiia flying Dragons with 39 table points and the Cowboys with 38 were ready to face off and decide a minor premier’s champion. Before we get into that however, let’s start with the junior grades.
The drizzling rain did not deter the U11’s mixed rippa rugby between the baby Dragon’s and baby Cowboys from getting under-way. The baby Cowboy’s have being waiting all season for a Club to put forward a team...so they can just play. Coached by Willie Kauvai, the Dragons were skilful from the start and wasted no time in displaying the local version of the world famous “Campese - Goose step”. The baby Cowboys on the other hand were having problems running through the gap...they preferred to run through the player like the U13’s and U16’s. The skills displayed in this game indicated that shifting into the U13’s in the coming season will be an easy process for many players. We thank Nga/ Mat admin for putting forward a team in this age grade to play the Cowboys.
The next and last game for almost 3 hours (Nga/Mat U16’s & Reserve Grade...”No Show”), the U13’s...the Cowboys sitting in second position against the Dragons sitting comfortably in fourth position. The Cowboys convincingly walked away with this game 32-0.
The Premier grade game was one of those “on the edge of your seat” kind of games as both sides have the skills, depth and drive to score brilliant tries and a slight mistake on the part of one could result in points for the other. The light rain and wet grounds played its part in a high number of ball handling errors for both sides. An unconverted try and two successful penalty conversions had the Cowboys in the lead 11-0. The Dragons fired back with a brilliant “all hands on deck” team try followed by a controversial “big bounce” try that was awarded and with the added conversion...the Dragons leading 11-12. With seconds left on the clock, the Dragons are penalised for holding onto the ball while on the ground in an effort to shut down a Cowboys fight back. Rouru Une adds the extra points and the Cowboys take the lead 14-12 when the match referee blows the final whistle. The narrow win puts the Cowboys back at the top of the table (since round one) to claim a home game semi finals knock-out.
We have provided for you the final table points standing after two brilliant rounds of rugby. The games for this weekend will be played at two venues...Raemaru Park and Nukupure Park (Muri Beach). Although the format is team 1 vs. team 4 at Raemaru Park and team 2 vs. team 3 at Nukupure Park, the Cowboys administration put forward a proposal that benefitted all Clubs; this was supported by a majority of Clubs. All Cowboys games regardless of table position will be played at Raemaru Park. Cowboy’s admin thank all that supported our proposal. The draw for this weekend is as follows;

Cook Islands schools to receive Rugby World Cup 2011 resources
New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Hon John Carter, has today announced school children in the Southern islands of the Cook Islands will receive Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) education resources courtesy of the New Zealand Government.
“These helpful resources present RWC 2011 as a context for engaging students in learning activities relevant to their everyday lives. Students are encouraged to understand and get involved in RWC 2011, one of the biggest sporting events to be held in the Pacific region,” the High Commissioner said.
“The materials are about more than just the great game of rugby. Through the classroom activities students will have the opportunity to learn how to give and receive feedback, resolve conflict, and how to set and work towards personal goals,” said Mr Carter.
Today, as he hosted Principals from schools on Rarotonga, the High Commissioner explained the idea to provide RWC 2011 resources to Cook Islands classrooms came about following a visit in July by a New Zealand delegation led by Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
“Cook Islands students demonstrated real enthusiasm and commitment at the rugby coaching sessions run by sporting legend Jonah Lomu during the visit. Tournament organisers wanted to further support students by providing Cook Islands schools with these useful resources,” said Mr Carter.
“The NZ2011 office developed the resources in collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Education. Around 480,000 New Zealand school children are now using the resources.
“Three activity books cover different ages and learning levels for Years 1-3, Years 4-6, and Year 7-8. Teaching notes are also provided to assist teachers to incorporate the material into their class programmes.
“Children will learn about a number of different themes associated with sport, such as how a nation’s identity, language and culture can be expressed through sporting events such as RWC 2011.
The resources are currently being distributed to schools by the Cook Islands Ministry of Education. Schools in the Northern islands will also have access to the resources via the internet.
- NZ High Comm Media Release

Remember why you came here
It’s the first week back since our two week break. Majority of the students (me included) are still slowly getting over the hype of the Rugby World Cup opening over the weekend. So every now and again I’m reminding myself, “Remember why you came here.”
This year has definitely gone by really quick. Before the break, our class got split into groups and we each visited construction sites and factories. Our group visited the Auckland Hospital where their new car park was being constructed. We got to get an insight on how they were actually putting the pieces together. According to the architects, everything happens really quickly. So as an architect, it is important to design fast and efficiently. In two weeks, the structure of the building (concrete frames, concrete foundations, braces, etc) was already set up. And this car park is about two times the size of Raro’s police station. Apart from learning how everything connects, it was exiting to have to wear hard hats, real metal plated gum boots, and safety jackets!
Just before the break our exam timetables were issued. And it was good to find that exams end November 11th – which is not too far away. Yet, a lot of work still needs to be done. This Thursday we’ve got projects due. This week also I’m in the workshop that deals with “construction details.” For this workshop, we each had to design an office space. From that design, we then had to chose an area which we could model 1:1 (1:1 meaning, the actual size!) So for example, if you chose to model a piece of your buildings floor, which was made out of concrete, and tiled – you would actually have to build that concrete piece and add tiles to it.
Over the break we had to come up with a finalised design, and a mock-up of the model that we are planning to present this Thursday. Yesterday (Monday) we got to talk to our tutors about our designs. Luckily, not many changes had to made, so we could make a start on our actual models.
Today (Tuesday) was quite adventurous. I’m using concrete in part of my model so I had to create a mould out of ply wood. Unfortunately, the wood workshop wasn’t selling any timber so I had to go out and find a Bunning’s Warehouse to buy wood. That’s when google maps came in handy!!! After searching for the closest warehouse to Auckland City, I googled the bus timetables and off I went. After buying what I needed, I made my way back to the city by bus. The bus ride I must say was really awkward. A filled bus staring at me with all my pieces of timber and a plastic bucket I had bought to mix my concrete – was intimidating.
As soon as I got to the workshop, one of the guys got my pieces of wood cut, and handed me the drill. I hadn’t used one before. So it sure was exciting! He was even nice enough to give me tips on how to mix my concrete! After leaving the workshop, I made my way home to start mixing it. Before doing so I lubricated the inside of the mould with cooking oil (because the guy suggested of course) then Raukura gave me a hand with the mixing. We were mixing everything inside our living room, so we were very very careful not to get dust settling everywhere, and not to wash it down the kitchen sink. One problem with the mixing was that it was a ‘fastset concrete’ – one which sets in 15 minutes. Everything turned out okay....but then again...we won’t really find out until the mould comes out tomorrow!
Yes...as we were advised before moving here. There’s no harm in having a little bit of fun. While in New Zealand, I found ways to make my social life less boring. One of them was by joining the Cook Islands Student Association. Next week will be culture week, and those of us in the association have been given the privilege to showcase Cook Island dancing. Other cultures will be performing throughout the week, so it’ll definitely be an exciting week. The other thing I’ve been doing is going to ‘HOT HULA.’ Teuru Tiraa-Passfield got me into it – and she was good enough to get some of the girls from here at the hostel doing it too! It’s pretty much like zumba – except, it’s all hula dancing – and a lot of the actions incorporate styles from the south pacific – like the samoan siva, etc. Apparently it’s starting to spread world-wide just like zumba – so when it comes to Raro and you’re finding an excuse to shake those hips – JOIN!
Last weekend was the opening of Rugby World Cup. I guess I forgot that I live in Auckland because I settled for watching it all on the Maori Channel. A lot of people are definitely into the spirit of it all. So much so that some crowds get so rowdy that it’s almost unsafe to be in the middle of it all. BUT – seeing everyone support their countries makes up for it. Tonga was definitely the dominant supporting group on the night. Auckland City looked like a red sea. And just when I thought I was getting away from it all – I come to find...a Tongan flag on our door. Gotta support our fellow pacific islanders!
Hall of residence:
I think I speak for everyone when I say “I love it here at Grafton.” The food is great, and everyone (well...everyone that we’ve met) are really nice and friendly. The other night my mum asked whether we were putting on weight. I can’t answer that just yet. All I can say is, “Yes...the food is great! And we are NOT going to waste it .” -Sally Hosking

Boxing Executives to analyze Games preparation, performance
On Tuesday afternoon the Executive Committee of the Cook Islands Amateur Boxing Association (CIABA) received a verbal briefing from Games team manager Taoro Strickland on the performance of the three Cook Islands boxers at the recent South Pacific Games in Noumea.
Of the three, Eddie Daniel won a Bronze medal while Marcus Jack’s fight was stopped in the first minute of the first round by the referee and Heavyweight Osalai Akai lost his bout.
Strickland will be submitting a full written report to CIABA’s Executive Committee in due course and the Committee will then issue a public statement.
Strickland said he will be reporting on several difficulties faced by the team, a number of issues relating to the conduct of bouts and matters to be dealt with for future international events.
Other issues which may be considered by CIBA include team selection and preparation for future events, Junior development, funding and up-skilling and strengthening of management capability.
The next major event for boxing will be the Oceania Champs in about six months time. - Charles Pitt

Week 22: Nutritional Program
Kia Orana, welcome back to another week of nutritional program updates.
This week we’ve decided to beef up our training programs and have been some intense training everyday for the next 5-weeks as this will not only benefit us individually but as a team in the Mind & Body Challenge.
This week we welcome back Mack who’s back from Noumea from covering the games, he has definitely proven himself as the whole entire time he was able to maintain his weight and didn’t gain– to much surprise to us all as we were expecting him to drop off the program once he touched down in Noumea.
Harriet’s now off to China this weekend so she’s been given tips from our nutritional coaches Lani & Nathan on how she’ll be able to maintain her weight while there.
As for TEAM DETERMINATORS, we finally made a decision to meet up everyday for some serious workouts, we began this on Monday and will continue to do so for the next 5-weeks, we’re now focusing on a ‘long-term basis’ so instead of ending this 5-weeks from now, we’re going to try to focus on the long-term to better ourselves and our family.
Our number one aim for us as Team Determinators is to place 1st this week, we’ve made it to 1st placing after the first weigh-in, then went down to 7th placing, then up to 4th placing now we’re back in the top 3, so we just need to be ‘better determined’ to get there, so we can ‘fly like an FR’!
We’ll update you on where we’re placed on the M&B Challenge after this week’s weigh-in, but we’re sure, with our intense daily training’s we’ll be right on top!

Mauke Harbour project update
Following Cabinet on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna briefed the media on a number of issues including the outcomes from the Pacific Leaders Forum in Auckland which were relevant to the Cook Islands and the now publicly sensitive issue of Minister’s travel and the costs of that travel.
The PM apologized for the delay of almost an hour in the briefing and was accompanied by Finance Minister Hon Mark Brown and Ministry for Marine Resources Minister, Hon Teina Bishop.
Brown took up the centre position and while the PM and Brown appeared tentative and cautious, Bishop looked alert and eager for questions.
Mentioned below are some of the matters touched on by the PM and his team.
Forum outcomes relevant to the Cook Islands
Key details were provided and appear on pages 4 and 5 of this issue. The PM indicated the return on the amount spent to send the larger than normal delegation was well worth the trip. He referred to the overseas parties who attended the Forum and the higher than usual profile this Forum had attracted with major countries and organizations turning up. The UN Secretary General, EC President plus a large delegation of Americans came. China, Israel, the Palestinians, Japan, France were represented.
Civil List-travel expenditure
The PM indicated a willingness to consider disclosure of the travel cost details under the Civil List but was not keen that unaudited accounts should be disclosed for accuracy reasons. Brown supported this. The PM said the matter of a way forward would be discussed at a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning. Brown indicated there was sufficient funds in the Civil List allocation to cover the costs of the China visit. The Chinese would be picking up the costs of internal travel and accommodation in China. While the amount allocated by parliament for the Civil List appears in the Budget, details of allocations for particular items such as travel, are not.
Samoa shipping link will assist northern group
A shipping service will be established between Samoa and the northern group by the Samoa Shipping Corporation. It will be a cargo ferry providing essentially a freight service. The PM said he was very excited at this development which would end problems in the north with supplies especially of key food items, fuel and water. This is the same company which provided the ferry to transport the northern teams to Te Maeva Nui celebrations. One major issue will be strengthening border controls to prevent entry of the notorious pest the Coconut Beetle from Samoa.
Assistance for low income homes and businesses to go solar
It is hoped low interest loan packages for businesses and low income homes to go solar, will soon be available. Brown said he met with the European Union Commissioner for Climate Change to discuss the matter and also the Australian based Director of the European Investment Bank about using the recent loan of $5 million Euros available to provide two lines of credit so consumers and businesses can purchase solar panels. The loans would be repaid monthly through their power bills. Brown said that firstly the higher commercial loan rate had to be negotiated down. Government would provide a guarantee similar to that government provided for the black pearl industry in regard to the NZAid funds. Brown said he would be writing to the European Investment Bank outlining Cabinet’s decision on how the funds are to be utilized. He then planned to meet and advise the Boards of the Bank of Cook Islands and Te Aponga accordingly and was hopeful the programme would start in the next six months.
China grant may be used to establish outer islands infrastructure
The establishment of a regular freight service between the northern group and Samoa meant fish could be sent to Pago. There was the possibility the Chinese grant could be used to establish supporting infrastructure such as chillers for the fish and various agricultural produce.
2012 Pacific Leaders Forum may showcase clean, green technology
The PM spoke of the possibility that the next Leaders Forum in 2012 which will be held in Rarotonga, would provide the opportunity to showcase clean, green technology. The PM said he discussed this matter with representatives from Japan, China and Israel. Israel was very advanced in solar and water technology while China was acknowledged as making the best solar panels.
Trip to China
Despite recent media comments by Infrastructure Minister Heather, the PM said there was never any doubt the China visit would go ahead. He said seven people would be going on the one week visit, departing early Friday morning. The only matter to confirm was the composition of the group however, it was confirmed that Infrastructure Minister Heather was going to discuss outer islands machinery needs, Associate Minister for Agriculture, Kiriau Turepu would be going to look into agricultural production and techniques and senior officials Foreign Affairs Secretary Dr Jim Gosselin and Acting Infrastructure Secretary Donye Numa would also be going. The PM said he met with the Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs in Auckland. The final visit programme is still awaited. Marine Minister Teina Bishop had been invited but decide to opt out because he was able to conclude all his business with the Chinese in Auckland. However, he will be going to China in October for a Tourism Forum.
Frequency of Ministerial travel
Minister Bishop said that personally he did not think the travel was excessive. Ministers had collectively completed 40 overseas visits in 36 weeks. Bishop said there was a need to be mindful of the benefits of the trips. Media queried why there was no advance notice of the trips, their benefit and after the trips, few reports were made public. The PM said there was concern at the accuracy of some media reports even when the information was provided.
$500 million for education
The PM and Education Minister Teina Bishop both expressed their gratitude to Australia and New Zealand for making such a large fund available to the region for education. While the Cook Islands as a small nation could not expect a large allocation, what could be obtained would be put to good use. Bishop referred to teacher training and tertiary training as possibilities. He asked why Cook Islanders should go to NZ and Australia untrained and become benefit dependants? With training they would go as prospective employees. -Ngataina Rani

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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