HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

News Briefs

Forum fan-fare does not hide domestic woes
While the region and international contingencies wash upon our beaches and shore up hopes and aspirations, nothing much has changed on the domestic front. The interest rates at the banks are still very high. My daughter and her husband for example have taken out a personal loan secured on their ¼ acre land for a 16.95% interest rate. The other two banks are slightly higher. It is almost criminal when you compare the rates in the Cook Islands to others in the Pacific and developed neighbouring countries.
No wonder people are still leaving for New Zealand and Australia. Well, for one the Government has not lifted a helping hand. It instigated a review of the banking system and a report which looked more like it is an inside job said, the high interest rates are fine and therefore the Government is bound by that report. Excuse me, we go all out for the Forum, grand umukai for over 1000 people but government does not even attempt to stem the life being sucked out of our people.
While we are impressed with the motorcades, the salutations and self praises, crime in the Cook Islands continues to soar. Thugs continue to roam free after beating the young, hard working innocent Zeb Autaua at an entertainment night spot on Rarotonga. His Good Samaritan act of helping a tourist being beaten up ended in him being smashed to a pulp and nursing a broken jaw. Zeb is now in New Zealand receiving emergency medical treatment. The police have not been able to solve such crimes and many more. Juveniles and unemployed adults continue to make up the queue at the courts for burglary and theft.
To be honest I don’t really know anymore about what’s going on with the Cook Islands Police. Its supporters say that the Police force lacks resources and I tend to agree. For a number of years the Police have been asking for more money to pay for its operations and to hire more staff but these requests fell on deaf ears. The current Government continues to ignore these pleas. It might explain why the Prime Minister as former Minister of Police dumped the portfolio and gave it to Teariki Heather, the so called “action man”. What action? The PM saw a nest of grave problems and typically of his “Peter Pan” approach – he skimmed over it, preferring to sing rather than wrestle.
While many hear and marvel at the announcements of marine parks, shark sanctuaries, green energy and climate change initiatives – this country still turns because of the hard work of the private sector slaving away to make a buck to pay for their taxes that continues to be increased by the Minister of Finance. That’s the reality of everyday life here in Rarotonga and in the outer islands. I have been helping a Manihiki pearl farmer deal with heavy-handed tax officials whose demands would put this hardworking man and his wife out of business. Fortunately, common sense has prevailed but it’s still pretty tough.
Finally, while the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will roll in and out of our country to flex US muscle to other political and economic players in the Pacific – the people of the Outer Islands still struggle with lack of shipping and high freight charges to their respective islands. The Mayor of Penrhyn, in jest, said that he wants to meet Ms Clinton and tell her of the neglect this Government have of our island. Very unlikely of course but his point is that perhaps someone of such high standing could help but it’s more damning when one sees this as a gesture confirming the ineptitude of the Government. -Leader of the Opposition, Wilkie Rasmussen

Turou, Turou no te kiriti’anga maro tai Ia orana, Kia orana
I te ora 11 i te pōpōngi Ruirua ra 28 o Aukute, kua tangi o te pū `ē kua tangi o te pa`u i roto `iā Kavera i runga i te Marumaru o te Ui Ariki.
Kua tūorooro `ia atu e te nga toa-tiaki o teia paepae te tere no Tahiti mai, koia oki ko te Peretiteni ko Oscar Temaru, te au kauono o te Kavamani o Tahiti Nui`ē pērā katoa te au tumu-karere `ē te au turuturu tei aru mai i tēia tere.
I runga i te paepae o te Marumaru o te Ui Ariki, no te āriki mai i te tere, ko nga tu`anga e toru i runga i te `enua nei, mei te orometua i iki `ia, nga mema parimani ngāteitei ko Teariki Heather raua ko Teina Bishop, tēta`i au mema o te Koutu Nui `ē tēta`i au tu`anga turuturu o te `enua.
`Ē i runga i te marae ko `Atu Pare Marae, no te `āriki mai i te Peretiteni Temaru, ko te Kau ma-iti, ko Tou Ariki, ko Makea Karika Ariki, ko Makea Vakatini Ariki ko Kainuku Kapiri-te-rangi Ariki `ē pērā katoa te ta`unga ko Nganganoa ta`unga.
I runga katoa oki i te `Atu Pare Marae, kua `ārikiriki`ia te Peretiteni, e te Kau ma-iti `ē te ta`unga na roto i te akaoti`anga i te tu`anga peu o te
1 Kiriti`anga maro-tai
2 Kura tūorooro
3 Pa`u`anga i te Kura tūoro ma te `ōronga atu i te Rākau, no te akamou`anga i te pito i rotopū i te Kūki `Airani `ē Tahiti.
No reira, Tūrou, tūrou e te Peretiteni Temaru `ē Kia Orāna. -Rutera Taripo

My last week

NOOOO! It’s my last week in Raro! I don’t know what to do! I have heaps of stuff to finish! Like I have to give my list of books that I want to my uncle so he can download them for me! Finish of the books that I have from the library! (That’s going to be EASY!) But still I have to finish everything! Oh and I have to go on more bike rides because my last bike got stolen in Samoa oh and by this I mean a bicycle. Dude! I’m only 11! I can’t drive yet! So anyway I also need to spend more time with my family at the same time of everything else! I’m going back to Samoa with my mum on Sunday but the bright side is, is that when my dad comes he will bring my nephew Charles-Trevor with him and he will stay with us until December! I’ve told all of my friends in Samoa! They can’t wait to see him! I can show them him when my dad comes to pick me up from my school! I can pretend I forgot my homework book in the car and need to give it to my teacher after school! -Mareva Cameron

Helping hand from TVNZ for Clinton visit

Cook Islands Television will be able to cover one of the Pacific’s biggest news stories this year with current technology, courtesy of donated equipment from TVNZ.
The year’s most important political regional meeting – the Pacific Islands Forum – opened in Rarotonga with a welcome ceremony at the National Auditorium on Tuesday evening. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to arrive late on Thursday night.
TVNZ Pacific specialist Barbara Dreaver donated gear including a camera when she and her camera operator arrived in Rarotonga on Tuesday afternoon to cover the meeting.
Up until now, Cook Islands Television had been producing its entire half hour daily news bulletin with one handicam.
The TVNZ crew will give some operational training on Wednesday before the forum begins.
The donation came about after Barbara Dreaver visited the CITV newsroom and discovered they were running their news with the barest of essentials in terms of equipment.
“I got my journalism start in the Cook Islands and worked there for eight years so it’s very close to my heart,” she said.
TVNZ News Operations Manager Lindsay Chalmers says the company has had a very long-standing relationship with Cook Islands Television - they were one of the first Pacific broadcasters to begin sending files over the internet at a time when this was still considered cutting edge.
“They’ve provided us with excellent vision over the years so we are delighted to be in a position to help them out in time to get coverage for such an important news story.”

Pacific Leader’s spouses visit market
On Wednesday, the spouses of the Pacific Forum Leaders were hosted by First lady Akaiti Puna to a special programme of events at the Punanga Nui Market. Besides meeting local women, there was entertainment by Avarua Primary School and a fashion show by TAV together with a display of locally made garments and pearl jewellery. It was the third day of the hosting programme which began on Saturday. - By Maria Tanner

Niuean Premier attends Sunday service

The New Hope Church was full on Sunday when it held its morning service at the Parekura Conference Centre.
Attending was the Premier of Niue Toki Talagi accompanied by his wife Fifita and his delegation to the Pacific Forum Leader’s meeting commencing this week.
During the service, Senior Pastor John Tangi invited the Premier to address the congregation.
In a speech full of humour, he remarked how his delegation comprised all women and introduced them. They were; his Minister for Health Joan Viliamu, his PA Pat Sione Tama, Senior Crown Counsel Toepenina Hekau, Senior External Affairs Officer Felicia Talagi and Mona Ainuu from the Niue Broadcasting Corporation.
The Premier thanked everyone present for the warm welcome and spoke of three main items he wished to raise at the Forum. These were; to maximize the returns on Niue’s fishing resource, to halt depopulation and to create employment for young people. He said ten per cent of Niue’s most promising young people left to study and work overseas while the rest struggled to gain employment in the limited work opportunities that existed.
The Premier said he started out as an Agricultural Scientist trained at Massey University in NZ. He first entered parliament in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011. He previously served as Deputy Premier and Finance Minister. He is President of the Niue Rugby Union.
Following the service he and his wife were guests at a function in Arorangi hosted by the local Niuean community. -Charles Pitt

ADB office solidifies partnership with the Cook Islands
On Wednesday 28 August 2012 Asia Development Bank’s Vice President Stephen Groff in conjunction with Minister of Finance Hon Mark Brown officially opened the new Development Coordination Office for the Cook Islands within the Ministry of Finance.
With a long and productive history of engagement with the Cook Islands the ADB , that is based in Manila, has provided a range of progressive support predominantly in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance.
The Cook Islands Office along with ADB Development Coordination offices from within the region are boosting the impact of ADB’s field presence and facilitating aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the Pacific. A $2 million has been sanctioned from AUSAID to support select ADB Development Coordination Offices in the region, of which said funds were issued over the span of 2 years commencing in July 2012.
“ADB has been a long time partner for development assistance for the Cook Islands and this (opening) is just a progression,” says Finance Minister Mark Brown, “as development needs mature and the presence of ADB will be Vital for us.”
ADB Vice President Groff stated the presence of an ADB office in the Cook Islands will allow better focus on issues of policy discussions, infrastructure planning and services, renewable energy, public financial management and public sector reform.
“The opening of this office will help in supporting the Cook Islands Government in its efforts to move the country forward faster.” -Maria Tanner

It was the last day of the school week and every kid seemed to be that anxious to rush out of that door and cause mayhem. I, on the other hand, was struggling to contain my excitement about going to this media thingy (wasn’t too sure of its formal name) that CITV was hosting. People who worked in the media industry all over the Pacific were attending this little event, just so that we can get to know each other better, what with all the fuss about the arrival of Hilary Clinton (so excited about her arriving here, on Rarotonga, a dot on the World Map!)
Now, I’m a girl who isn’t too fussy on what to wear (since this wasn’t really a formal function) but I didn’t want to look as if I just threw something on either. Simple was the word to follow and that’s exactly what I did. My good friend Dante was there to pick me up and then we went off on a little “adventure” (if you can call driving to Oasis and back an adventure). We bought a few snacks, just a few, because we were saving our appetites for the “real meal”.
We came back to CITV a little bit late, because these things start on “island time”. The staff were still preparing for the feed, so Dante and I felt obliged to help out (even if it was just to carry out a few things and put them on the table) The buffet table was looking a bit empty, so we had to do something to kill time. Taking random, vain photos ourselves is a great way to pass the time, let me tell you. Mareva (that’s another friend of mine), Dante and I were going crazy with that camera (I honestly thought that it was going to break)
It was time to mix and mingle with the other media representatives. I got to know a few interesting people who presented the news for their island, people who researched and collected the news for other people to present because they’re really camera-shy (like me) and freelance writers (also like me) It was great opportunity to make strong bonds with others, but me and Dante were kinda of brief with our introductions. We kept on smiling, making polite comments on how everything was going and yada yada.
The food smelled absolutely delicious and it was bothering my stomach. All that rumbling and grumbling was telling me that it was time to EAT, but people had other ideas. So Mareva, Dante and I waited around for a bit, hoping that the food would miraculously cook faster in the spit. The atmosphere was jovial and it was nice, making conversation with the other reporters and news presenters. I learnt a trick or two about writing articles, so I could probably touch up on my reporting skills (Pfft, as if I’m not professional enough already). Apart from some grave circumstances, it was a good night. -Norma Ngatamariki

The Opening Ceremony!
The whole island is buzzing about the Pacific Island Leaders Forum! How the famous HILARY CLINTON is coming to our little home island of Rarotonga! I hear that she will have mountain loads of security and bulletproof vehicles, and a navy ship of somewhat? Quite a huge chaos for a little island of only 32km in circumference! But it’s an amazing opportunity to have it being held here and having the schools involved and the Opening Ceremony being open to the public so everyone can witness their excellences up close! (I was inches away from the Prime Minister of Samoa!)
What I thought was the most adorable part of the Opening Ceremony, and I guess so did everyone else due to the loud screaming and cheering that I could hear, was the little boy I believe from the Manihikian Constitution Group, who did the Turou for our Prime Minister as he was ushered to his seat! (You might remember the young guy from the float parade!) Such a huge voice for a little person! And as our Prime Minister swept him up in his arms and held him up high letting him wave to the audience, you just couldn’t help but melt at the love and pride you see our PM showing within our country!
The highlight of the night though would have been when he sung! Not every country has a Prime Minister that will sing to open his speech! I’m quite proud of that!
Then there were a few speeches as expected, and then the entertainment!
Seeing Tereora divide themselves and then part their way to the different sides of the stage at the end of their performance, and letting Avatea Primary School make their way onto the middle of the stage and into the spotlight, you kind of feel this warmth inside of you, because it looks like our senior college is stepping aside and making way for our younger generation of the Cook Islands to come through and shine! (That’s how I felt anyway)
Still, hearing the Prime Minister sing was very unexpected, I knew of his musical history but hearing him really sing in front of the leaders of our Pacific Islands was quiet an experience!
And I spotted the News Reporter Barbara Dreaver from One News and kind of freaked out. Took like a hundred unnecessary photos of her! That was awesome!
So despite the cold, and the very long speeches, and the squealing little kid behind me, the Opening Ceremony for the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum was great! Something you won’t see everyday, and will maybe only be a part of a few times in your life! -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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