HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 587: 10 November 2011

News in Brief

Seeking Leisurely Lifestyle – apply by email to touringministers@travellounge.com
Rarotonga’s charm is in the laid back lifestyle and leisurely pace. By contrast, our city dwelling cousins are hassled by traffic, mobiles and facebook. Yet, I can see our delicate balance is tipping in favour of technology as more services become accessible only to those Cook Islanders who are part of the communications age.
I visited again www.mfem.gov.ck this week to download the quarterly financial report. It’s great that we have one, and a credit to MFEM for raising the standard. But are others choosing to click?
When I was downloading the quarterly report I saw the 6 submissions commenting on the budget consultation. I thought more people cared about it, but I suppose it is not in our nature to send emails, but rather to talk about the government over the back fence to our MP or when we pop into the shop at the end of a hard day’s work.
On the face of it, the Government Quarterly financial report shows losses for the quarter were expected to be $(3.6 million) but are $(748,000)
This is positive because government revenues are up by 7% in the first quarter.
The problem is when we look into the detail we can see valued added tax (VAT) is up and company tax revenues are down due to the anticipated impact of the Brown Tax. It would be interesting to note the final count of the Brown Tax at the end of the financial year when Ministries and Government bank accounts get their credits back on the tax which should not have been taxed in the first place.
Healthy income tax collections (PAYE) are explained by MFEM as mostly increases from the Avatiu Harbour project. On the one hand, the Avatiu Harbour project taxes should have been included in the budget because the government borrowed the money for this project and should have estimated the flow on effect. On the other, it is positive that more taxes are collected, but this project has a finish date and local contractors are not seeing any new work to fill the gap when it is over.
In short, Government is not doing anything to stimulate the private sector.
Where is the CIP brains trust? Are they too busy arranging yet another travel itinerary to throw a lifeline to the private sector?
That’s right, the Touring Ministers have jetted off again. The PM “Elvis Puna” who hates travel is off again for three weeks. Perhaps they are attempting to match their first quarter civil list over spend of $69,000.
When I see this kind of overspending in the Civil List I think of the $126,000 CISNOC debacle and I can’t decide which example of financial mismanagement is the worst?
The Touring Ministers are shameful. To let the private sector flounder and struggle is a sign that the CIP have no interest in addressing the nation’s most pressing need to tackle the depopulation question.
In fact, with the amount of time the Touring Ministers spend out of the country, I am starting to think the leisurely laid back lifestyle is not for them. So, on December 1st this year, when the Statistics Office does a head count, that will be minus six to our resident population figures. - Leader of the Opposition, Robert Wigmore

The Peoples’ NSDP
I would like to thank those of you who have provided feedback to the the draft National Sustainable Development Plan 2011-2015 as the roadmap that will guide our development in the medium term. Your feedback shows that achieving sustainable development involves a different way of thinking and working. It requires:
• Looking after people
• Taking a long term view
• Taking account of the social, economic, environment and cultural effects of our decisions
• Encouraging participation and partnerships.
Therefore these themes will be woven through the principles, goals, strategies and actions of the NSDP 2011-2015. In developing NSDP 2011-2015, my team have taken into account the economic, social, environmental and cultural consequences of the goals, strategies and actions of the NSDP by:
• Considering long term implications of strategies and actions
• Seeking solutions that are mutually reinforcing rather than accepting that gain in one area will necessarily be achieved at the expense of another
• Looking at the risks and the uncertainty when making choices and taking a precautionary approach when choices may cause serious or irreversible damage
• Respecting our environmental limits
• Ensuring that the wellbeing of our people are at the centre of our development efforts.
Most importantly, NSDP 2011-2015 has been developed from the ideas, thoughts, dreams and aspirations of a broad cross section of our community both in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.
Your input has indicated that our goals for NSDP 2011-2015 are:
1. A vibrant Cook Islands economy
2. Opportunity for all people who reside in the Cook Islands
3. An environment for living
4. Infrastructure for economic growth and sustainable livelihoods
5. Good governance
6. A safe, secure, just and stable society
7. Resilient and sustainable communities
8. Sustainable energy
Depopulation continues to be the greatest challenge to the development of the Cook Islands by Cook Islanders. It is clear that we must curb the trend of depopulation. Our NSDP development goals, strategies and actions will focus on enhancing our ability as a nation to attract, retain and make best use of the skills and talent it needs for sustainable development.
This is not a CIP document. This is a national document, one that encompasses all people that have chosen to live in the Cook Islands and work towards establishing a sustainable future for our nation. Implementing a sustainable development approach cannot be achieved by government alone. It requires leadership from all other sectors of our community. Strong relationships and partnerships lie at the heart of this approach. Government is definitely committed to working closely with all other sectors.
I am extremely pleased that the Opposition is supportive of the NSDP. It is my hope that this marks the start to governance that converts the energy generated by competitive politics into nation building power. - Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna

Taking the hassle out of travel since 1999
Jetsave Travel has seen its fair share of foot traffic and rightly so, the travel centre, located in the hub of Avarua nestled between the Vonnias store and Mana Court, established in 1999 have been collating itineraries for travelers far and abroad, and with 12 years of experience the helpful staff at Jetsave Travel are gearing up for the celebrations of the nearing festive season.
Jetsave travel the one stop shop for all your travel needs specializes in travel between Rarotonga and her outer islands, and for those looking to visit the frequented Australasian region to the lesser traveled paths of the world Jetsave Travel also offer special packages.
In addition to their special packages, travelers can rest assured that sending and receiving money transfers to the most remote areas of the world can be done with their Western Union money transfer services that have “the best exchange rates on the island.”
Plan now. Travel later. For those who are already planning for next year’s festive season Jetsave Travel also has their lay by travel plan available, ideal for large groups and families who plan on traveling over holidays and Christmas. By opening a travel plan people can pay portions of their future travel off in advance taking the hassle out of your get away. -Maria Tanner

The Flame Tree
The Flame Tree Restaurant, in the heart of Muri, is an elegant setting for a Christmas party or function. The restaurant has been a feature of the Rarotongan dining scene for almost twenty years and has won numerous awards including Cuisine Magazine ‘Restaurant of the Year’. The Flame Tree is set in a secluded and private tropical garden, with a deck for outside dining. The garden also features a stream alive with prawns and eels – they even have a resident eel, Papa Tuna. While seafood is one of The Flame Tree Restaurant’s specialties, it is worth trying their mouth-watering slow roasted Pork Belly or Rib Eye steaks. For functions they cater for small groups all the way up to larger groups of up to 65 people and the premises offer many different settings from indoor to outdoor paved and decked areas. Furthermore, the selection of wines and beverages available at The Flame Tree is extensive so will satisfy everyone’s tastes! -Ngariki Ngatae

Coral Club Christmas Fun

Tuaine Fatiaki, manager of Aquarius Hotel and it’s restaurant The Coral Club, has been in the hospitality industry for many years, but is proud to be heading Aquarius Hotel’s dining establishment. The newly renovated Coral Club is now complete with a covered decking area, the “Coral Shed”, featuring a salad and grill bar, and they have added booth seating to their outdoor ocean-side area, the “Coral Hut”. The Coral Club is a perfect setting for Christmas functions and family reunions, as they welcome the whole family to dine. They have a pool available to guests and diners, so functions can even be held during the day with an added element of fun for the kids. Fatiaki commented that they have both set menu and buffet options for functions and there are specials on the buffet-style catering available. The proximity of Aquarius to the airport, as well as to town, makes it a great spot for family reunions and Fatiaki encouraged those thinking of hosting a family reunion there to speak with her regarding specials on accommodation group packages. The staff are warm and welcoming and it is this down to earth atmosphere - not to mention the picturesque ocean view - that make the Coral Club a fantastic venue for any festive occasion. -Ngariki Ngatae.

Cowboys Corner

Welcome to the last issue of “Cowboys Corner” - the international 7’s tournament is the final rugby event and brings the best of local Clubs and businesses up against teams from overseas. The three day tournament takes a lot out of anyone in terms of preparation but it is worth every minute as it gets better and better every year.
Last season the Cowboys exited at the semi’s for the shield (last level) after losing every game. This year we exited at the semi’s for the bowl (next level up). It was definitely enjoyable tangling with Tabusoro (2009 & 2011Plate winner) first up and then with College Rifles (2010 & 2011 Cup winner). We wanted to see improvement in our performance from last year’s International 7’s tournament...and this year – we have improved in our sevens. This is how Arorangi approached 15’s rugby all those years ago.
We thank our team sponsor...Island Car & Bike Hire for their support in getting us into the sevens tournament. We thank all the players...Pat Tuara, Robert Heather Jnr, Tama Heather, Augustine Heather, Team Captain Winton Porter, Coach Rob Heather Snr, Edwin Teraitua, Jean-Pierre Rongokea, Peter Kermode, Tiare Kura, Edwin Rea, Tomasi Cama and Team manager Geoff Tama. You did very well boys...you did very well.
Last weekend’s rugby also marked the end of the 2011 rugby season for the Cowboys. The season (for admin) started in April with Club and team admin preparation and ended last weekend...a good 8 months of rugby and boy are we looking forward to the Christmas break.
We the administration of the Arorangi Cowboys Rugby Club would like to acknowledge the following businesses, families and people for their tremendous assistance in 2011.
 Island Car & Bike Hire/ Islands Wholesale vehicles – Richard and Karyn Vinsen and Jarrett and Malo and their team,
 Prime Foods Ltd – Tia, Maire and Dan and their team,
 Cook Islands Building Supplies/ Arama & Associates – Arama and Vaine Wichman and their team
 Cook Islands Motor Centre – Papa Don and his team “The good guys”
 T&M Heather – Bud and the boys
 NR Builders – Nuku and Kathy Rangi and Family
 Turtles Tees – Chris & Nana McKinley
 Rob & Mairi Heather and family
 William & Angela Tuivaga and family
 Geoff Tama & Family
 Titi George and the clan
 Nga “Joey” Tarai & Family
 Honourable Teariki Heather
 Tent Hire – David & Isabelle Akanoa
 Simona Nicholas & Family
 The “Bar slingers”
 Honourable William Heather Jnr
 Nga & Joanne Emile
 Vaipo & Janice Mataroa
 Junior Nooroa & Family
 Henry Heather, Keu Mataroa and the U19’s team management
 D.J Stockfeed
 Fraser Nooroa & Family
We also acknowledge the support of Pitt Media Group for allowing us a corner in their paper. This allowed us to keep our rugby community and supporters updated with Club news. It also ensured our players and sponsors were acknowledged for their generous support to Cowboys Rugby. We thank Pitt Media Group for their support and look forward to again working with them in the 2012 season.
We acknowledge all the supporters of Cowboys rugby. These are the individuals and families that turned up on Saturday willing to help out practically anywhere. There are way too many of you to name...we thank you all for your support.
Our players...from the juniors to the seniors...thank you very much for your contribution to Cowboys rugby. Without you the players, the Club does not exist. We wish you all a safe festive season and a successful 2012. We look forward to seeing you all next year.

Sevens in Heaven
It was scorching hot when my aunty and I (along with my two “cuties” Mona and Talia) arrived at the BCI Stadium. We were having troubles trying to find a parking spot. Eventually, we had no choice but to park in front of some poor bugger’s truck, completely blocking his way out. “I mean, what egg would park there in the first place?” My aunty, Kat, said with complete confidence. I just shrugged it off, and put Talia back into the push chair. And off we went, hoping that the Sevens would be great entertainment.
We encountered some “security guards” on our way to the entrance. They actually suited the job, because they looked real menacing. The bike parking was filled to the max, which gave me an idea of how full the stadium was going to be. My aunty paid for our tickets (because she’s such an angel) and we went inside. Far out, it almost looked like the Rugby World Cup but in the Raro version. It was blazing hot as well. At first, I thought I was going to faint from all the “body heat”.
I strolled along with baby Talia in the push chair, trying to show her off. While I was walking, I was trying to keep a lookout for my friends, but I came too early. Man, I got depressed after I found out that no one I knew was there. Sucks! Anyway, I tried to make the best of it with my aunty and the two “brats”.lolz. We went for a walk around the whole stadium (and I was hoping that I wouldn’t get sunburnt in the process) and we passed the alcoholic area, where all the “cool” people were, having fun with their Heinekens’ and Steinies. “That should be us over there,” my aunty whispered to me. With three underage kids? I don’t think so.
The main reason I was there was to check out the guys and their skills. My favourite teams were the College Rifles (Men only), NZ Hastings Girls Team (even though they lost to the Rebels, they lost in style.), Avatiu Eels Girls Team and the Vikings. There were some pretty mean looking uniforms as well. A combination of blue and pink. I mean, who would have known? You guys rock. There were some awesome looking girls with their costumes, pointy Stilettos’’, purple fairy wings, stockings even. Ooh, go hard much. They were all “dolled” up for the occasion. The Dash for Cash was another spectacular event to watch. Three brave ladies were in it just for fun, while one eager girl wanted that money. I didn’t blame her. I’d run for it too (Hah, that’s if I could run). A round of applause for them.
There were some highlights for the evening, but not too many. I watched the games in anticipation for some fights, but unfortunately, the players were too well behaved. They were disciplined and courteous in every sense of the word. Then it was time to pack it up and leave. That was an evening worth going out. -Norma Ngatamariki

Week 31: Nutritional Program
Welcome back to another week of nutritional program updates. Last week saw the wrap-up of the Mind & Body Challenge which saw Team Determinators take out 3rd placing and Team G.A.S take out 2nd placing, but the $5000 cash prize went to Team Rip Dat Bodi lead by Tai Manavaroa who also took out the individual challenge and the most centimetres loss – congratulations to the top 2 teams but most of all congratz to all teams no matter if you lost 2kgs, or 5kgs – the main point here is you’ve started so lets hope it continues!
As for Team Determinators, its been a hard road ahead for our members, we’ve continued on with the workouts that’s left our bodies sore, but one thing we’ve noticed the most is despite the pain and the hardwork behind it, we manage to turn up every single working day for more and notice our recovery is much faster.
On Monday we did our legs, using the machines for the first time since we’ve now upgraded to ‘level 2’ after that we now waddle (not walk) then Tuesday it was to the Tupapa field where we’re now doing ‘suicides with a bit of press-up’s thrown in’ then Wednesday it was upper body – so now, our whole body will be feeling sore, people may think being sore is a yucky feeling’ but to us it means we’ve done it right and worked the right places which I’d say, the soreness is likely to stay around our bodies for the next 5-6 days, which most say is a good thing… but when you’ve got little ones like me/us to run around after – its not a good feeling at all!!!!
This Saturday is our weigh in day for Team Determinators and after multiple weeks of saying that, we’re finally gonna jump on the scale this Saturday – so we’ll definitely have an update for you next week.
Till then, take care and keep up the hard work – with Xmas around the corner, you’re hard work will definitely pay off!

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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