HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 584: 05 October 2011

News in Brief

Wake up CIP – people are leaving

By Robert Wigmore Leader of the opposition
The shameless spending on overseas travel by the Cabinet Ministers is continuing to cause real embarrassment to the Cook Islands Party Government. They’re probably hoping the fuss will die down but it won’t. All the talk about the blowing of the Civil List travel budget turned out to be a straight forward case of spending money too fast – a clear case of ‘Kid in a Candy Store’ Syndrome – Ministers getting over-excited about globe-trotting without any real concern for prioritizing the trips. Willy-nilly is another description that comes to mind.
Unfortunately, willy-nilly is a term that applies to the Government’s approach to most things. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors, backed up by colourful language, and then? No real substance – just picking the brains out of someone else, who might have a clue. One of the most abused words in the ‘CIP Dictionary’ has to be ‘innovation’ – or every derivative of ‘innovate’ you can think of. The reality is that the Government is struggling to make sense. And we can’t make sense of them.
Look at the recent, embarrassing debacle over the vanilla exports to Tahiti, as a prime example of how the ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ style of our Minister of Finance and the bungled steps of the Agriculture Minister can add up to utter confusion. The Ministers are confused. The entire country is confused. The outrageous claims of producing “100 tonnes of vanilla” – nearly double what Tahiti itself produces in one year – and then exporting them to French Polynesia as a result of “a specific request” has to be right up there with agreeing to sell off Suwarrow to the Russians. This embarrassment for the country rippled all the way to Papeete where the Government there was forced to publish denials and explanations.
Seriously, a worrying sign, especially for many businesses, is the lack of priority given to the private sector’s need for the stimulation and growth of economic activity. The Government is failing to put its finger on the pulse of how the business community is coping under the strains of costs, poor returns, and other barriers. Many businesses do not see a clear vision stemming from Government as to dealing with the ongoing climate of uncertainty. Maybe the Cabinet thinks Night Markets are the answer?
We are tourism-dependent. Of that there’s no argument. But where are the in-depth analyses of how the country must contend with the vulnerabilities of dependence, the threat of global financial collapse, the massive infrastructure requirements the country is faced with, and the crippling state of our depopulation – especially as far as the Outer Islands are concerned.
The Prime Minister once boldly declared how our most important resource was people. And yet, not once has Henry Puna articulated a policy priority for depopulation and the need to stem the outflow. One day, even the Prime Minister will run out of people to carry him on the paata. He must realise, sometime, that this over-arching issue has to be placed front and centre of the Government’s entire approach to governing.
The Cabinet Ministers have had every opportunity to put the pressures on population at the top of their ‘To Do List’. But what evidence is there that the thinking is on track to deal with this debilitating problem – to the professional employment sector, businesses, public sector, our health system, and schools? The evidence is there all right. It’s down at the airport in the departure lounge waiting for its flight to the next overseas destination.
It’s no wonder that Cabinet had a big argument over the travel issue. The argument was so heated that the Ministers immediately denied it. No argument. It never happened. If only they were that quick to wake up to the idea that people are still leaving the country.

Rakahanga drives Renewable Energy ambition

By Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna
Last week the Cook Islands broke exciting new ground with the signing of a finance agreement for solar panels in Rakahanga.
Those present at the ceremony were moved to hear Rakahanga MP Taunga Toka recount just how important the $1.2m agreement was for bringing renewable energy to people on the island.
Taunga said access to renewable meant access to ‘reliable energy’ that would relieve the people of Rakahanga from their suffering - and only having access to electricty for 12 hours a day.
I am pleased to say that we are now progressing plans for similar projects at Pukapuka, Nassau, Suwarrow and Manihiki. These plans will be submitted to the Pacific Environment Community Fund (PEC) in the coming weeks to ensure those projects too become a reality.
It is important to acknowledge the tremendous support of the New Zealand Government for our renewable energy programme. The close collaboration between New Zealand and Japan to standardise equipment in the outer islands, to ensure greater efficiency and ease of maintenance is laudable.
I am also grateful for the generosity of the New Zealand Government and its offer to fund the renewable energy programme in Mitiaro, in addition to others in the Northern Group.
Government has made a strategic policy decision that renewable energy will stabilise electricity costs, reduce the cost of living for our people and improve their livelihoods, while at the same time, allow us to be good global citizens by reducing our green house gas emissions.
We are completing our Cook Islands Renewable Energy Chart to transform our electricity sector from one dependent on imported expensive petroleum, to a vibrant one based on renewable energy and resources.
Any options and strategies pursued will be those that guarantee energy supply for the long term - systems that ensure flexibility, simplicity, reliability, low maintenance costs and which provide a return on investment both socio-economically and environmentally.
Our renewable energy programmes will be always be underpinned by the objective of improving our peoples’ access to affordable, reliable, clean and green electricity.
Achieving such major and important milestones requires solid teamwork, and I can reassure people that Government is united in achieving our renewable energy targets.
Our thanks to the Government of Japan for its generosity in granting the Forum Islands US$66 million of which $4 million has been allocated to the Cook Islands.
This year has been a milestone in the growth of a formal diplomatic relationship between the Cook Islands and Japan. I look forward to further discussions that progress our bilateral programme with Japan.
The Rakahanga project has given us extra motivation and drive to fulfil our renewable energy ambition. At the same time we acknowledge our progress will be challenged by lack of funding and other essentials.
I therefore hope many of our other development partners will take a leaf from Japan’s book and provide more opportunities to achieve our renewable energy targets of 50% by 2015 and 100% by 2020.

Power Station to get new power house – next door
The Rarotonga Power Station will undergo upgrade work on its control systems, according to Te Aponga Uira. The upgrades will occur over the next six months and involve a transformation from mechanical to electronic control systems. Te Aponga says the upgrade will improve the response time of the engines at the Power Station, and help the capacity of the grid to absorb renewable energy, including the load flow on the distribution network.
The improvements to the Rarotonga Power Station are all leading to the development and construction of a new second Power House – to be situated adjacent to the existing building. Already, the present facility has undergone several years of upgrades, including the installation of new engines operating alongside the older engines, and high voltage switchgear to improve reliability and capacity. With construction planned for 2012, the new engines will eventually be consolidated in a modern plant with automated, state-of-the-art control and management systems. Introducing the new engines will mean retiring the old ones and eventually, the existing operation will also be subject to the same modernization treatment.
Next year’s construction of a new second power house is part of Te Aponga Uira’s overall renewable strategy, which will continue to assist the interconnection of solar and wind systems to the Rarotonga grid. So far, the power authority is catering for an increasing number of embedded installations that contribute to the grid. These currently generate 200kW of power and are expected to increase to 500kW over the next six months. The modernized power station will be designed to provide system control and communication between larger renewable installations, in the future.

Future billionaires to feature at Youth Night Market

There will be a Night Market dedicated to our young up and coming entrepreneurs or “Future Billionaires.”
Called the Youth Night Market, it will be held at the Punanga Nui market on 12 October starting at 5pm. All stallholders will be our young people with the theme “Future Billionaires”
Terry Rangi, CEO of the Business, Trade and Investment Board (BTIB) told the Herald that early in 2011 BTIB completed its strategic plan for the period 2011-2015 and in this strategic plan one of the goals was to create a culture of enterprise among out youth.
BTIB do this is by promoting avenues for young people to connect with business activities and by running a number of business support programs.
BTIB is also partnering with the Ministry of Education, Internal Affairs & the USP where possible for the delivery of some of our activities.
The main program is the “Young Entrepreneur Program” or “YEP.” These are business planning exercises done thorough workshops in the various schools. YEP has been running now for a year.
Also provided are opportunities for our young entrepreneurs to be mentored by local business owners; for example Chris McKinley of Turtles.
In a recent exercise, several Tereora college entrepreneur groups pitched their ideas to a business panel and were given capital for starting their own business. The students then sold their items at the “Go local” night market in June.
This writer took part in one of these programs and presented the group’s work to a business panel. It was quite an experience, and it actually gave me a perspective on what it was going to be like, running a business. We were given capital to start up and it was a great success. Our group (Tutu Frames) had sold out that night.
Event partners are the BTIB, National Youth council & Internal Affairs. Rangi said the BTIB was grateful for the support and sponsorship from BCI which has made it easier for this to happen. -Norma Ngatamariki

Mobile Service for Pukapuka a reality
The mobile phone service for Pukapuka is set to become a reality,according to Telecom’s Sales and Marketing manager, Damien Beddoes. A team of five Telecom technicians from Rarotonga flew to Pukapuka in the early hours of Thursday morning last week with the job of preparing the site and mast for the installation of the new equipment that will enable mobile service for this outer island.
We are pleased to announce that that by Saturday they had attached the equipment to the mast (see photos attached) and had begun testing. Everything has gone smoothly, and the team is now awaiting the allocation of additional satellite bandwidth to connect the mobile network on Pukapuka to Rarotonga and the rest of the World.
This is expected in the next few days, giving plenty of time for the team to thoroughly test the system before returning to Rarotonga. While on the island they are taking the opportunity to do maintenance and various enhancements to the network. To celebrate Pukapuka’s inclusion on the mobile network we will hold an official launch of the service and have taken big supplies of handsets, SIM cards and “starter packs” to meet the expected demand.
Other essential supplies (sausages and bread for the barbecue) arrived safely by boat to make sure the launch goes off with a banger!” Says CEO Jules Maher “…with Mauke in August and now Pukapuka on the mobile network we are making excellent progress in ensuring our outer islands receive up to date telecommunication services.”
Telecom Media Release

Infrastructure the main focus of China visit
Minister of Infrastructure and Planning, Hon Teariki Heather said that the trip to People’s Republic of China was an excellent opportunity to see the immense progress that China has achieved and to see what lessons we can learn from them.
While being part of the official delegation with the Prime Minister, the MOIP Minister said his main focus on the trip was to explore in more detail a proposed multi- million dollar grant offered by China. The offer was made to the previous Government and was earmarked for the purchase of heavy machinery for infrastructure purposes on the outer islands. However, the offer was not taken up by the previous Government and so when the China visit was proposed, Minister Heather said he was keen to see first hand what machinery was available, in the event that the Cook Islands Government accepted the grant.
While in China, the Minister and his delegation of Associate Minister of Agriculture, Hon Kiriau Turepu and MOIP Acting Secretary Donye Numa had informal talks with senior representatives from China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to discuss plans for infrastructure in the Cook Islands. CCECC have already been involved in construction in the Cook Islands and were keen to explore areas of any possible cooperation in future.
Minister Heather says that taking up the grant is still only a proposal and would depend on the ‘figures’ involved and then subject to approval by his Cabinet colleagues. “Until we get the figures relating to the amount of machinery that can be purchased within the proposed allocation, and freight costs of shipping from China to New Zealand and then forwarding on to Cook Islands are to be carefully considered. Until we have the costs for freight, we cannot proceed with consideration of any such grant.”
Outer islands projects that could benefit, should Cabinet take up the grant, may include water reticulation work and airport sealing in one of the outer islands. It would also mean that most, if not all, outer islands could have their own machinery on their islands but subject to their ensuring that there is adequate maintenance of any such machinery. An unexpected obstacle is that the trucks in China are right hand drive whereas our vehicles are left hand drive. However, one of the leading brands in China is already being used in New Zealand and Australia, which also means that spare parts would not be an issue in the future.
The Minister returned from his trip to China last Thursday 29 September.

High Commissioner happy with progress

New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter is happy with progress to date regarding the proposed new jetty at Arorangi for cruise ships.
The jetty project which provides an alternative landing site for cruise ships in the event of bad weather, is funded by NZAid.
On Tuesday afternoon the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Hon Teariki Heather and the NZ High Commissioner, John Carter met in Arorangi at the site of the proposed new jetty for Cruise ships to discuss the project.
The main topic for discussion was the project’s time table.
It is envisaged that the work on the project will commence at the end of the school year being mid December since the jetty is to be constructed at the site of Arorangi Primary School.
The Minister and the NZ High Commissioner expressed their support for the project management team led by Bim Tou, the CEO of the ports authority.
One of the features of the management of the project has been that all involved have been included, and that necessary discussions have taken place at appropriate times rather than at sectors working in silos and not advising each other of their activities.
It has been important that sectors have been talking to each other to facilitate the progress of the project and not to have unnecessary delays.
“To this end we are very appreciative of the support provided by National Environment Service (NES) to include Joe Brider as an advisor to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) team.” said John Carter.
As recommended at the meeting with the Prime Minister, Miro consultants have been providing each section of the EIA as it has been completed. This gives NES a chance to review it while the EIA team continues to work on the other sections.
“We are both satisfied that we will see the completion of this project at the planned and scheduled time” concluded the Minister and the NZ High Commissioner. -Tiare Ponini

Island Administration supports games

Tangi Ke Tatou Katoatoa i Te Aroa Maanaana o Iehovah,
The Mangaia Island Administration (MIA), at the direction of Government Authority, has accorded much support to the development and preparations of the sports event renown to the Southern Group as the Manea Games. Government is the main financier in terms of support towards raising the standards of the sports facilities for long term development and the basic beautification of the island to support the event. This is the Anniversary of the hosting of this event and could potentially be the last, given the burden it bears on the host island, participating members and sports officials. Mangaia expects to be in a position to host future sports events including the Mangaia Tri-Nation Tournaments and other higher level events that will benefit the community both socially and economically. Meitaki ngao rava to all those that have contributed in any way and the people would like to thank all those that have made the efforts to come to our beautiful island to enjoy the Mangaia Experience.

Helen Marion Henry

Games Director conveys sincere thanks
Tangi Ke! Tangi Ke! Tangi ke rava! Ua matau ua tatou!
Mangaia is hosting the 6th Manea Games on the 3rd - 13th October 2011. Manea Games was first held here on Mangaia July 1997, and every three years after that travelled around the southern group that is Akatokamanava aka Mauke, Nukuroa aka Mitiaro, Enuamanu aka Atiu, Araura enua aka Aitutaki, held last in October of 2008.
Manea stands for M - Mangaia, A - Akatokamanava, N - Nukuroa, E - Enuamanu, A - Aitutaki. The name Manea was named by Tangimokopuna Tangatakino during a meeting held by the southern group deciding what the best name for the games.
The presence of the Prime Minister Henry Puna and Lady Puna and also his delegation will be at the opening ceremony and also the Queen’s Representative Sir Fedrick Goodwin, and will spend sometime here on the island. CISNOC officials will also be present, and our sister islands. The Manea games program is flexible as we the organising committee will try and cater the games to best of our ability due to our limited budget. This Monday the 3rd October the games will be officially declared opened by the Minister of sports Mark Brown with traditional sports, Table tennis and Miss Manea in the evening.
I convey my sincere thanks to all sponsors who helped make this games happen. I also like to thank my committee for the hard work they committed, the Aronga Mana of Mangaia, the Mayor and his councilors the Island Secretary and the people of Mangaia. I wish all athletes the best through out the games.
Finally, the aim and wish of the Manea Games is to develop athletes to go further and represent the Cook Islands in the Pacific games, the Commonwealth, Oceania and the Olympics.
Poroa Arokapiti
Games Director for the 2011 Manea games.

Cowboys Corner
Welcome to “Cowboys Corner”, last Saturday evening the Cowboys held their end of season wrap-up for 15’s rugby 2011.
The day started with the U13’s/ U16’s amazing race competition in which teams were given clues in the form of riddles to locate the local business that they must visit to complete the activity and collect or earn their next clue. The activities ranged from safely sorting plastics from glass bottles at Road House bar, folding sheets and towels at Snowbird Laundry, washing a rental bike at Island Car & Bike Hire to singing the National anthem at the Rite Price in front of local shoppers who applauded their efforts after finding out what was happening. Cowboy’s administration thanks all the local business owners/ managers and workers that assisted in making this a fun event. It must have being hard to keep a straight face during the novelty challenge activities. After a visit to various businesses in Arorangi including a walk/run up hospital hill a winner was determined in less than two hours.
The U11’s started their novelty activities at 12:00 noon with the sack and tyre race and tug-o-war. When the rain set in, indoor activities took over and so the weather did not prevent anyone from simply having fun.
The U11/ U13 and U16’s program ended with their Club barbecue and trophies presentation. Cowboy’s administration thanks all the businesses and families that have supported our 3 junior grades in 2011.
In the U11’s and U13’s grades these included;
• Cook Islands Building Supplies – Arama & Vaine Wichman
• Angela Tuivaga & family
• Lara & Karla
• Titi “Fitzy” George & Clan
• Mongoose Club – Rose & the gang and
• the parents of players that contributed on the side-line to the management of this team
In the U16’s grades these included;
• Motor Centre – Papa Don, Ollie and the team
• T&M Heather – Teariki, Bud and the team
• Arorangi Bar – Si and his team “the slingers”
• Rob & Mairi Heather & family
• Tent Hire – David and Isabelle Akanoa
• the parents of players that contributed on the side-line to the management of this team
This weekend...post season 7’s starts and this is a preparation tournament for local teams that will enter the International sevens tournament on the 3rd, 4th and 5th November. This is when we re-adjust player’s mindset and introduce younger players to the 7’s discipline after a long 15’s season. Team administration is also “put on the mark” as well for timeliness and preparation. It is also a time for match referees and assistant referee’s to adjust from 15’s to the faster 7’s...well, that’s the tournaments intention anyway...whether it works or not remains to be seen (sounds good though).
This weekend’s post-season 7’s is hosted by the Titikaveka Bulls Rugby Club. Games will kick off at 2:00pm and we have provided you with the draw for this weekend’s matches.
Next week, we will bring more rugby news from the Cowboys Rugby Club 2011 campaign which will end in November after the International 7’s. Good luck to our 7’s team this weekend.

20 years service by Tinomana Ariki
On Tuesday the 4th of October the Cook Islands National Museum held an exhibition to mark the 20th year that Tinomana Ariki has held the Ariki title.
Justina Nicholas, manager of the National Museum Anthropology, told the Herald that she was contacted by a family member of Tinomana Ariki to do a showing of her life.
“We conducted an interview with Tinomana Ariki two weeks before we started to set everything up in here for this day so that we could have a video archive on show along with some of her possessions and photo’s that held great significance to her,” said Nicholas.
The exhibition started at 10 am in the morning with family and friends pouring into the National Museum to sit alongside the Ariki and experience what the museum archive team created.
Tinomana felt very happy and blessed for what everyone had done for as this was the first time that an exhibition had been dedicated to her at the museum.
Nicholas told the Herald that the National Museum will be keeping the display on the walls for future generations to see.
The Herald congratulates Tinomama Ariki on her achievement and wishes her well. -Tiare Ponini

Grease Lightning!
I wake up. It’s a bright Thursday morning, the mynah birds are singing (I hear my mum screaming at them to shut up) and my alarm rings at its loudest (I chuck my pillow at my phone and hit my reading lamp instead). Then I realize what day it is. Yes, I know it’s a Thursday, but there was something special about this particular Thursday. Mufti! And it wasn’t just any mufti day. The theme was “Grease Lightning”. John Travolta (Danny) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) were the main people. To be honest, I didn’t dress up as anybody. I mean, I’m famous enough already. I left the dressing up part to my friends.
I get on the bus and all I see is gray. I don’t think anybody made an attempt to dress up as a character. It was kind of awkward, me in this colour-colour outfit and the rest looking casual. I felt out of place. I was relieved when we arrived at school. I was hoping that there would be others like me and I wasn’t disappointed. Of course, I could trust my friends to dress up.
There was this one group, who consisted of May, Jessica, Mami, Jesse, Stephanie and Tara, who were dressed up as the “Pink Ladies”. Eeewy. They brought everything. Face paint, costumes, and classy scarves. They would have done the Grease cast proud. One friend of mine, Nadia, had dressed up as Rizzle. She was suppose to be Frenchie, but due to “unforeseen circumstances”, the plans had changed. So “Rizzle” was wearing these chique-y as sunglasses and a dotty scarf. It looked like something straight out of a 70’s movie scene. Totally Grease. And then there was Cha-Cha a.k.a the “Black Widow” Ngatokorima.
Anyway, the crew went walking around the school, shameless in their efforts of trying to impress everybody. There was this one guy ( I ain’t gonna mention his name, because it doesn’t deserve to be in my article) and he was dressed up as the modern version of Danny. I have to admit it, he looked pretty skuxx. Anyway, moving on, the group made their entrance into Maths. I had to get changed into a less colouful outfit, and that’s when I spotted my friend’s (Robyn) pink top. It was calling out to me, telling me to wear it. So I did.
It was a really sticky day, so I felt especially sorry for Cha-Cha. She even did her hair up in a nice, sort of messy way, you know what I mean. She just looked so…how do you say…classical in that outfit. And it totally suited her personality. As for Rizzle, she was as carefree as can be, with her scarf floating in the air and all. We also had our Danny, who was Michael. He had the jacket, the sunglasses, the whole package. He actually looked good, compared to other Mufti days. Hardout! That was a cool day and it was worth the two dollar fee. -Norma Ngatamariki

Week 26: Nutritional Program
We’re nearly part way through our nutritional program.. and after 25-weeks we’ve noticed a huge difference to our lifestyle in terms of fitness levels and healthier eating habits, gone are the days where we would pile on all the fat from burgers, fries and pizza’s, these are now replaced with salads and loads of protein being, meat, chicken, fish and eggs…. And the fizzy’s are now replaced with ‘water for life’, our new healthier lifestyle has now rubbed off our families who too have chosen to take on the nutritional program. My kids were forever getting what-ever they wanted from their dad, now they haven’t had takeaways for a while and is only on our menu on special occasions like their birthday’s!
Harriet’s now back from China, after eating all that Chinese food she managed to maintain her weight, as for me, I’m back from my weekend world cup experience, I’ve still yet to weigh in here, but after I weighed myself in Wellington, the fritters & chips from the shop across the road (not good) and the bakery buns and pies have shown through, so now its back to try and work all that off before Saturday’s weigh-in, I felt all that food at training on Tuesday and didn’t feel good at all.
As for the Mind & Body Challenge, Team Determinators placed 1st last week which is an awesome experience seeming we’ve all been working hard for the past 4 weeks and finally we made it back to the number 1 spot.
So with all the travelling out of the way its back to normal for the 4 of us on the program and we’re now only a few kilo’s off from our goal weight.. so till next week, we’ll give you more updates on our new healthier and fitter lifestyle and a new photo as our friend Miimama has now jumped back on the band-wagon and is now into her 3rd week.. till then ka kite!

World Cup Experience – Wellington, 6 October: Tonga vs. France
Pitt Media Group staff jumped at the opportunity to attend the Rugby World Cup match between Tonga and France last Saturday. Moana Tetauru, Tereapii Turepu and Nane Moetaua left for Wellington last week for the once in a lifetime trip after CITV offered free tickets to staff to attend various matches in New Zealand.
We left for Wellington last Friday morning for Auckland then transited to Wellington where we met up with Tofiga from the Laughing Samoan’s who was too on his way to Wellington to support his neighbouring nation. On arrival into the Capital City and typical Wellingtonian 10deg weather, we then made our way to Porirua where we were stayed with my family for the weekend. Around about 4pm, we left for the train station where we met up with more Tongan supporters then finally arrived into the city and where we waited for Antonina Browne to whom the other ticket was for. After meeting up with her we made our way to the ramp where we joined a sea of red and white supporters all waving their Tongan flag, we then joined the supporters and waved our Tongan flag which was borrowed from Aunty Kafo who asked us to wave the flag on behalf of her. On arriving at Aisle 10, we walked onto the stadium and we stood in awe and amazement as we looked around, our bodies tingled in excitement that caused goose-bumps, a feeling knowing we’ve made it to a World Cup game. We had the best seats in the house in category A which was selling at $155 each. As we took our seats behind the Tongan supporters, we sat back and sucked it all in and joined thousands of others singing, dancing and cheering for our Pacific Island brothers and waving our Cookie flag, we tried everything to get on TV but we only caught the attention of the French TV. We had planned to dress for the occasion and make us a banner but the tired-ness sunk in and so did the cold. So thank you CITV for an amazing experience and thanks also to Aunty Kafo, we waved the Tongan flag for you with pride!

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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