HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 587: 10 November 2011

Building awareness about deep sea mining
After taking over my role as Minister for Minerals and Natural Resources, there still remained a lack of good DSM information in the community, at all levels, on what the previous government had done and this government intends to do in the DSM sector now and in the future. This lack of information has led to people taking on a suspicious and negative view of DSM. I believe this is unwarranted and needs clarity brought on to this issue.
For this reason, I have formed an awareness building team of myself and my experienced support officials being-
• Ben Ponia, Secretary for Marine Resources and Taskforce Chairman;
• Patrick Arioka, my Chief Executive Officer and
• Paul Lynch, local lawyer and adviser to the DSM Taskforce and Minister.
Our team give comprehensive, fact based verbal and Powerpoint presentations in Maori and English.
We proactively continue to seek out opportunities to share the latest good news and hard facts that we have on DSM.
I am undertaking a two part approach to awareness building consultations across our community-
1. Initially taking a “Top down” approach, where myself and my team proactively meet with leaders in our community from Cabinet down. I also take every opportunity to discuss DSM with visiting dignitaries and ambassadors who are all very interested in supporting our national progress on DSM.
2. And at the same time, A “wide and proactive” approach, where we take every opportunity that presents itself and can be undertaken at low cost to raise DSM awareness in community consultations and awareness building to all levels on the DSM issue.
We have now had DSM consultations with-
• Cabinet, three times;
• House of Ariki, at its Annual General Meeting, 2 November;
• Koutu Nui, Annual General Meeting in Ngatangiia, earlier this year;
• Outer Islands leaders at a meeting at the National Auditorium, August;
• CICC leaders at the CICC Assembly meeting in Aitutaki, October.
• Local environmental NGOs and experts, August 2011;
• Community leaders and spokespersons, at various times.
It is proposed that the next meetings will take place with-

• The Religious Advisory Council;
• The Opposition;
• Secondary schools;
• Community meetings;
• Outer Islands (request made through House of Ariki)
• New Zealand Cook Islands communities (request through Wellington church leaders).
So far, all DSM presentations with the community have been positive and supportive of government’s steady efforts in the development of DSM in the Cook Islands.
It is anticipated that we will continue to take the necessary steps in our national progress to develop our Deep Sea Mineral resources for the benefit of all Cook Islanders. - DPM Office 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

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.