HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 591: 23 November 2011

News Brifes

As a leader I ask myself “what can I do to lead prosperity in our country.” Every day, every moment, is an opportunity to move closer to Te Kaveinga Nui, our vision of a happy and vibrant society that has what it needs to fulfill the dreams of its citizens.
The role of politicians is to provide tools to the people to help fulfill their dreams. Those tools can be education for an academic, health for a sick person, or roads for a bus company.
Our current government is not doing the right things to provide for the people. The 1st December census will back up my claims. The population is voting with its feet.
Many of our people have chosen to follow their dreams to other countries. This is understandable when you hear of the prosperity in places like Western Australia and Northern Queensland. Fifty years ago our people were leaving in great numbers to new lives in Wellington and Invercargill.
We have been able to travel freely into New Zealand and Australia, both blessing and blight. There are many reasons why this is so.
Firstly, our population of indigenous people is dwindling. For generations our tupuna protected the land and sea to hand over to us. We are caretakers. We protect and pass on to the new generations. Along with the physical bounty comes our responsibility to protect our taunga and hand that to the new generations.
Secondly, we are a small nation that has to compete against bigger countries such as Australia and New Zealand. We pride ourselves on how much better off our people are compared to many the Pacific nations but the truth is, that when our people make decisions about where we will live to fulfill our dreams for ourselves and our families we rarely include Pacific nations, including our own, in our choices.
Thirdly, there is so much pressure on the few that remain to take care of the country. Our overseas families return from time to time. Often they are critical of the way we are taking care of the country and heritage. This places an even greater burden on those of us that remain.
Lastly, to keep our country going we have had to invest heavily in infrastructure to support business which can then support the local community. The dwindling population has meant we have had to import foreign investment, foreign labour, and foreign goods. While many of our people, both here and overseas want our country to remain largely indigenous we are at a crossroads, and the road we take will determine the landscape that our dreams will fill.
With the Touring Ministers as role models for our citizens it is no surprise that more of our people choose to travel abroad than to stay home.
For those of us who share the dream of Te Kaveinga Nui we are tasked with a great challenge. It involves making sacrifices, transforming our habits and putting faith in ourselves to make our dreams real. -Robert Wigmore, Leader of the Opposition

Lets be counted
Wherever you are in the Cook Islands - on 1 December 2011 you have to be counted in the Census.
The Census of Population and Dwellings 2011 is a chance to find out a lot of information about who we are as a nation, and where and how we live.
For example we know from the last Census in 2006 that 19,569 people lived in the Islands 72% of people lived on Rarotonga, and 20% in the rest of the Southern Group of islands. Just 7% lived on the six Northern Group islands.
The highest proportion of our young people lived on Palmerston and the lowest lived here on Rarotonga. Mangaia had the highest proportion of those aged 60 and over while Nassau had the lowest.
There were also 4,308 occupied private homes in the Islands, nearly three quarters of them on Rarotonga. Nassau had the fewest with just 15, closely followed by Palmerston with 18.
The information people give for the Census is used to plan for things we need like education, health, housing and transport.
Two types of questionnaires are used in the 2011 Census – the Dwelling Form – one to be filled out for each household - and the Personal Form to be completed by every man, woman and child in a household.
Enumerators will deliver the questionnaires to homes over the next two weeks and will help provide any information and answer any questions you may have about the Census.
There are some new questions in the Census including one on historical objects in your household. This is to give the Ministry of Culture data on surviving historical and cultural artefacts in the Cook Islands and will contribute to the knowledge of our creative traditional history and help provide assistance to preserve and care for these objects.
Households will also be asked about their energy use and demand to help with our renewable energy policy. You will be asked about the types of light bulbs you use, the energy rating of appliances, and types of electrical appliances you have in the home.
Another first time question in the Personal Form relates to the language(s) such you use to have a conversation about a lot of everyday things. For example this will tell us what the most commonly used languages are and how many people for example speak Cook Islands Maori.
For the second time the Census asks about smoking, but for the first time it asks about drinking. These questions are included by the Ministry of Health to give information that will help address health related issues.
I would like to assure everyone that all information you supply during the Census remains confidential. The law protects the information you provide. It must be used only for statistical purposes.
By 20 December 2011 we should know the provisional population count of the Cook Islands with ongoing population statistics released throughout next year.
Thanks to all the enumerators, statistics staff and census teams who have worked so diligently and contributed to this very important initiative. Finally thank you all for participating in the Census 2011 so we get a clearer and more up to date picture of our nation and where and how we live. -Prime Minister, Hon Henry Puna

Letter to the Editor

TAU smart meters
Dear Editor
Will TAU be bringing in the smart meters to consumers with solar power units as it has done with some of their consumers $30 per kW max demand for power used between 5-9pm for the month or will they want those with solar units to supply batteries for use between this time of day?
The max demand time 5-9pm, is the time when costs are the highest to generate power, the reason for the extra charge.
A little extra : back in 1972, engineers from Wellington PWD reported to the Cook Islands government that a central sewerage plant next to the new power station would save 25 per cent of the fuel needed to run the generators and would also save our water and lagoons.
This unit was to have been installed on the Golf Club grounds at Blackrock.

Caught on Camera!

Helen Henry, Island Secretary for Mangaia, is pictured here with her daughter Te Upoko Rau Alyxia Metua Epi Mana, born on Wednesday 12 October, 2011 weighing 7lb 7oz at birth. She is the only baby born on Mangaia so far in 2011. -Ngariki Ngatae

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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