HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 595: 21 December2011

Exporting Pawpaws and Limes to New Zealand in 2012
The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) expect exports of Cook Islands pawpaws to New Zealand to commence within the first half of 2012.
An extensive pawpaw planting program supported by Cook Islands Government has been underway under the direction of the MoA for a number of months which is expected will culminate in the export of pawpaws to New Zealand as early as February or March 2012. The outstanding matter to facilitate pawpaw exports include completion of renovations to the facility housing the Heat Treatment Force Air (HTFA) at Rarotonga Airport and a commercial audit of the HTFA by New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
“With the support of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC –PHAMA Project) we have managed to secure the remaining funding of $10,000 to complete the renovations to the facility to house the HTFA,” said Ngatoko Ngatoko, Director, Biosecurity Service with the MoA. “We expect to complete the renovations by mid January and have scheduled a visit by MAF to perform a commercial audit of the HTFA mid to end-February”. A successful commercial audit of the HTFA will enable treatment of Cook Islands pawpaws for export into New Zealand.
MoA also expect to finalise a lime protocol with MAF in early 2012 which will facilitate the export of Cook Islands limes to New Zealand. “We are in the final stages of finalising the market access arrangements for limes into New Zealand with MAF and expect to complete this process in early 2012,” said Ngatoko. “This is an exciting development for the Cook Islands, particularly our sister islands like Mitiaro where there is potential for lime production and export which will have an immediate positive effect on the livelihoods of our people there.”
Ngatoko was attending a FAO/WHO Training on National Food Control Systems in the Pacific in Wellington last week and took the opportunity to meet jointly with Nacanieli Waqa, Senior Adviser, Pacific Market Access Fresh Produce with MAF and Tepaeru Herrmann, Deputy High Commissioner of the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington.
“MAF is pleased to support the Cook Islands aspirations for the export of pawpaws, limes and other produce to New Zealand and we look forward to this program coming to fruition in early 2012,’ said Waqa.
“The position currently held by Mr Waqa with New Zealand MAF is a consequence of a decision by Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM) a few years ago to address market access constraints faced by Pacific Island exports into Australia and New Zealand,” said Herrmann. “It is very encouraging to see tangible opportunities for the Cook Islands emanate from regional initiatives such as the FTMM and subsequent collaboration between Cook Islands and New Zealand agencies. The High Commission will continue to be available to support these initiatives and the efforts of our line Ministries to create pathways and open opportunities for Cook Islands exports in the years and months ahead,” said Herrmann.

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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