HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

News Briefs

The Democratic Party Conference 2012
On Tuesday the 14th of August, the Democratic Party will hold its annual conference at the AOG Hall in Takuvaine. It will be a gathering of delegates and MP’s of the Democratic Party to discuss and crystallize the vision that the Demo has for the next three years. It will in some way be putting into place a new image for a political party that has had issues of fragmentation in the past especially when such divisions brings to an end good solid work by previous Democratic Party Governments. It brings to mind the question therefore of whereto in the future for the Demos?
In some ways it is sad that the outer islands will have left Rarotonga for their home islands before the conference but that does not deter the support base of the Democratic Party and its strength which is building up day by day. I am of the firm view that come election time, the Demo’s will give this Government a good run for their money. However, the outer islands people here for the Maeva Nui have boosted the Rarotonga economy triple-fold in the last few weeks since they have been here. I see them at the banks, at shops, at markets and almost everywhere-else in Avarua buying goods in bulk to take home. The Northern Group Islands have an allocated 70 tonnes per island for the cargo to take home on the Lady Naomi. That’s a lot of freight for small isolated communities such as Rakahanga or Pukapuka.
Please excuse my digression but I think it is important to share that scenario of the outer islands so that readers will understand the context by which the Democratic Party is having its conference and is aiming to wrestle away the Treasury from the Cook Islands Party. In other words let’s strategize what will be best for our brothers and sisters from the outer islands while their impact during the last few days is fresh in our minds. I know that what is best for them will also be of great benefit to the country – after all, tourists pour into the country at this time of the year to watch the dances and listen to the beautiful songs of our people.
The Democratic Party is at a critical time in its rebuilding and its members needs to appreciate that the opportunity is nigh to develop good policies and have the public know of such policies well before the election instead of last minute preparations of the Party Manifesto. The Demo’s must also ask the question as to who is it appealing to, for re-election?
A number of pundits feel that the current Government is on a sliding road to oblivion and it would be difficult to reverse that trend. They also felt that a revitalized and non-tainted Demo Party free of troublemakers will go a long way and will see our party reinstated back into the Treasury. That is what we want because we are the natural builders, the developers of the country, the thinking and careful in its spending party instead of the current lot who are travel crazy and reckless with their expenses.
The upcoming conference by the Demo’s is also about electing a new leader for the party and as I have stated last week, the integrity of the party is an important consideration here. Commitment, loyalty and dedication to the causes of the Democratic Party are absolutely essential and I pray for a productive and great conference. -Leader of the Opposition, Wilkie Rasmussen

Carpenters return for repeat performance
They’re back! No, not the famous American singing duo, but that persistent insect, the Carpenter ant! Those giant ants featured in last week’s Herald as being found happily at home in an office photocopier have now been discovered inside the new photocopier purchased to replace the other one. How the Carpenter ant managed to enter the photocopier is a mystery to everyone including local entomologist Dr Maja Poeschko (aka ‘ the Bug Lady’). To recap, according to Dr Poeschko, the Carpenter ant is not considered a pest with the potential to cause agricultural or environmental damage. Carpenters however, can obviously cause disruption to electronic equipment. Dr Poeschko says these ants are commonly known to nest in computers. The queen ants get up to more than 10mm. What did Dr Poeschko do with the ants found last week? She placed the photocopier in a deep freeze. The rest is history.- Charles Pitt

$2M a second: what the gold is worth to Usain Bolt

Less than 10 seconds on the track and more than $19 million in sponsorships ... and that was before the 100-metre final. Track star Usain Bolt is set to race ahead of many of his fellow Olympians with new endorsement deals, after cementing his position as the world’s fastest man with back-to-back gold medals in the premier track and field event. Only American sprinter Carl Lewis had previously achieved such a feat.
“That 10 seconds is worth $2 million a second, for the next 12 months easy,” said Australian celebrity agent Max Markson, who believes the Jamaican will double his sponsorship earnings after the winning the 100m sprint at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 25-year-old is already the highest-paid Olympian - outside of basketball and tennis - at this year’s Games with estimated earnings of $US20.3 million ($19.2 million) over the past year, according to US business magazine Forbes in a report last month.
Bolt’s biggest sponsor, Puma, forks out $US9 million annually for the track star. But it was his 2008 triumph in Beijing that saw many other sponsors outside the field of athletics, such as watchmaker Hublot, communications company Virgin Media, car manufacturer Nissan, credit card giant Visa and Soul Electronic jump on the Bolt bandwagon, Forbes reported.
In the pool, history’s most decorated Olympian - US swimmer Michael Phelps, 27 - did not even make Forbes’ Top 20 highest-paid Olympic athletes with his estimated $US7 million of endorsement deals from 11 sponsors such as Omega, Visa and Speedo. While Bolt’s repeated success on the track and field stage will “propel him to another level”, Markson said he did not think “globally amongst the general public he has the presence of say a Michael Jordan, a Mike Tyson or a Tiger Woods”.
“Track and field is not as big a sport as basketball in America, boxing worldwide and golf worldwide. He’s not on the same scale as a Tiger Woods or Jordan, who literally earned hundreds of million of dollars.”
Sydney Morning Herald

Hillary Clinton is going to the Cook Islands as part of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum
United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will visit the Cook Islands as part of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to be held in Rarotonga.
Clinton will represent the US at PIF as one of the post-forum dialogue partners – a timely trip as this will be her first ever visit to the small South Pacific nation.
The trip is touted as a sign of America’s growing interest in the Pacific region and it is believed to be highly likely that Clinton will show in attendance.
Security will be of a major concern, however, with one Official saying that things can change with certain issues being taken into account such as finding appropriate accommodation for Clinton and her delegation.

New facility presents rare opportunity for Mauke farmers
The new extraction facility built for the production of TeTika Bioactive Cook Islands Oils on Rarotonga will provide a rare opportunity for a new agricultural venture on Mauke.
MoringaOleifera, a ‘super-plant’ currently being grown on Mauke, initially as a feedstock for animals has another, richer output that requires extraction facilities. However moringa fresh leaves added to many favourite Cook Islands dishes has proven a hit with locals and tourists alike. In addition the dried moringaoleifera leaves are being used as a herbal tea.
Hugh Graham and landowners on Mauke are currently growing MoringaOleifera to produce high quality fresh, dried and feedstock but the plant also produces a seed that can be processed into Oil of Ben that is highly valued in cosmetics and industrial applications.
With the new TeTika extraction facility on Rarotonga, plans are underway to develop a method for extracting and refining the oil from the MoringaOleifera seeds.
Hugh Graham says it would not have been economical to develop the means of extracting the oil just for Oil of Ben, but with the facilities already built and the quality control laboratory in place, it presents a great opportunity to add extra value to the plants.
MoringaOleifera, is known as a super-plant because its leaves are high in protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and potassium.
The oil produced from its seeds, Oil of Ben, can retail for up to $500 per litre.
For further information: Hugh Graham, email:uniquely_hughs@yahoo.com

Mixed Media arts revival receives good reception
In conjunction with the Te Maeva Nui Celebrations the Akaora ‘Reveive Cook Islands Contemporary Arts’ exhibition supported by the recently formed Arts Council, was launched at the National Museum with works from both contributing local and expatriate artists. Curated by local artist and contributor Ian George, the exhibition ‘Revive’ is a return to the Cook Islands contemporary arts movement that has seen it fall to the “wayside” said George, over the years. While this year’s show has been limited specifically to two dimensional works, it gained the inclusion of 17 participating artists throughout the Rarotonga community.
With a mixed media show of digital print, photography, block print and textiles, George explains that the Akaora exhibition is about showcasing the art practices happening today in the Cook Islands “ It’s all mixed media with a really good variety,” ensures George, “so the reception so far has been very good.”
The Akaora ‘Revive Contemporary Cook Islands Visual Arts’ will run till the 30th August at the National Museum. -Maria Tanner

First day back!
I woke up with mixed emotions. Dread, excitement, anticipation. I couldn’t believe that it was the end of the school holidays and that I was going back to Tereora College. It didn’t really feel like a holiday because I was working all the time (You may have seen me and my partner in crime on TV) But now it was back to catching the bus, listening to teachers (Which is the part I really dreaded) and basically, just picking up where we left off last term. Hooray for that, at least.
I’ll admit I wasn’t ready to go back to school. Even though we had an extra public holiday, I felt like I had been robbed of the opportunity to actually ENJOY myself, because all I did was work (But it was a cool experience) I figured if I stopped whinging on about it, I could get used to the idea of heading back to school. I was kinda hoping that nobody would take notice of the fact that I was on TV (alongside my good friend Dante, of course) but I should’ve known better. The episode that seemed really popular was the ending for the Te Maeva Nui 2012, especially the part when Dante and I had to taste an eel. It wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t pleasant either.
I stepped on to Tereora grounds and felt relieved. I had made it this far and I wasn’t about to turn back (Not like I could anyway). First subject to tackle was Maths. I think I had an assessment due in or something, but the teacher didn’t seem to notice and personally, I felt glad. So far, so good. I was hoping that all my other teachers would be like that.
The interval and lunch breaks are always the highlights of my day. My mates and I caught up with what we all did during our holiday (and, of course, everybody knew what I did) and it was nice to hear all the commotion. The only bad thing about it is that I’m back on a canteen diet. While I was working, me and Dante would just rock on up to the nearest shop or fast food outlet and grab a quick bite-to-eat. I was planning on going healthier on my return to school, but as usual, I always manage to deviate from what I’m meant to do.
The last subject I had was Commerce, which is where all the gossip occurs (since our class only consists of 12 girls and one boy (Sad, eh?). I was really looking forward to making the most of that period because I had to leave early for a training workshop (Even though the holidays are over, work seems to find itself a place on my schedule) While we were working, we were whispering all the “undercover” stuff that happened during the holidays (Things I cannot reveal in this article) and whether or not we managed to study for an upcoming test, yada-yada. I really enjoyed my first day back. Kinda tells you how long I’ve missed school, even though I complain a lot about it. -Norma Ngatamriki

Just yesterday I went to a workshop that gave us an insight into the Media Industry and information on how to use equipment and how to edit and all that, and the speaker from Fiji TV said something that has kind of stuck in my head.
He told us, ‘We don’t have problems. We have challenges!’ IS THAT MOTIVATING OR WHAT!? It tells us that nothing can stop us! That whatever steps in our way should be seen as a challenge that you can accept and defeat, not a problem that should stop you in your path and cause you to turn back!
For example, you’ll probably meet someone along the way who will try to be that big ugly troll who doesn’t let those goats cross the bridge, these people will throw hurdles at you and you may think you can’t dodge them, but don’t see them as a problem and turn around and give up! See them as a challenge and become those Billy goats who intelligently told that stupid troll that the goat behind them was much bigger and that he’d enjoy them more, and those goats made it across!
Turns out in the end the bigger goat just beat the troll up and I didn’t really see any point to the story, but it shows that if you think about how you can overcome the situation, and not instantly give up, you will succeed, and once again, NO ONE CAN STOP YOU! Think about it, if a silly little goat can make it past a big scary ugly troll on a bridge in some ridiculous fairytale, you can make it through anything! It’s just a matter of seeing it as a challenge and not a problem, and only then will you be able to power through it and carry on with your journey (or eat the grass on the other side of the bridge). Ok enough with the pointless fairytales.
Being able to see your ‘problems’ as your challenges, depending on your situation can take a great deal of determination, ambition, passion, and strength!
Seeing dirt on your shoe thinking it’s a problem, trying to realize it’s a challenge and then sitting down to think real hard about how you can overcome it, isn’t an example of a difficult situation where my advice is in need, I mean, it’s common sense to just wash it off.
It’s situations like people putting you down or never having the opportunity to do something, is when you try to see it as just another challenge that’s been thrown your way. Sometimes people throw challenges at you from every angle, and it’s at this point where the words, ‘DON’T GIVE UP’ come in handy.
Our speaker also mentioned that, ‘We can make mistakes, just don’t make them again’ It’s common sense when you think about it, and I’m sure you already know that if you crash your car, you don’t go and do it again. You crash your car, learn that that was pretty stupid, and then you don’t do it again.
So say it with me, ‘I don’t have problems, I have CHALLENGES!’ now go and overcome them! -Dante Numa

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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