HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Tahiti government and private sector unite to combat waste
President of Tahiti Nui, His Excellency Oscar Temaru was pleased to note that the Cook Islands Agricultural delegation was keen to learn the way in which waste is managed in his territory.
‘Nothing is left to waste’ is the theme of ‘Fenua Ma’ (a government enterprise taking care of all waste on Tahiti Nui and three outer islands). Cook Islands Agriculture delegation Hon. Turepu, Anthony Brown and Teava Iro took time out from official duty in Tahiti last week when Attending the organic farming conference, to relate to the management of waste in Tahiti and be exposed to recycling, land fill, medical waste and bio waste in the form of composting.
“Each of the sites visited were simple in concept. There are common grounds for us to learn from Tahiti given our close proximity, ethnic, cultural and climatic similarities,” said Turepu.
Brown commented “Tahiti has a clear and distinctive directive to keeping its islands clean for itself and its primary economic pillar, tourism.”
Fenua Ma handles around 10 tonnes of waste per day with the strong support of its government, municipal and grass root associations. Fenua Ma is not only a strong image of public-private partnership, but it also has a social responsibility that transcends to education, health and environmental obligations.
Visiting the land fill by the main road, it would not appear to be a land fill, since the surrounding area has been landscaped with traditional plants, floriculture and ornamentals to give the site the appeal of an eco-track. Iro was pleased to note the seriousness of Tahiti in ‘gaining returns from what is regarded as waste but in reality, opportunities of economic, social and heritage development’. Iro was pleased to visit the compost centre and to learn that his association’s compost site has similar and comparable setups with the end product being soil and liquid fertilizers for the farmers.
Much of the visit to the compost centre for Iro was reassuring and affirming given the low technology and simplicity of the setup. The delegation noted that a large part of the sorting out of waste has an onus responsibility from the pick- up points of each homes throughout the islands. Each household on Tahiti Nui has a yellow, grey and green wheel bin for dedicated purposes.
Fenua Ma runs a quarterly competition for waste management, the prizes of which captures the attention of society such as IPADS, IPHONES and IPODS as an incentive upon which there has been a notable increase in awareness resulting from better household sorting.
Brown shared that “It’s a paradigm shift in the way we need to draw public attention to some simple concepts of life and being mindful of our rubbish.” He added, “I am reminded of the launch by our Prime Minister in February of the public strategy ‘taau, taku tita’ as a strong awareness like Tahiti, that we can only fill so much garbage, before it overflows to each of our own boundaries, it’s all our business, accordingly, we now see an example of the common grounds where our respective leaders charges greater measure upon us citizens to care for our natural heritage by our Samaritan actions.”

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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