HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Expert advice from strong women
On Monday the Herald spoke with former Tourism Corporation CEO Carmel Beattie, who has recently established a new business of which she is Managing Director.
Beattie, originally from Australia, has decided to make the Cook Islands her home and the new business, “Te Vaine Toa Enterprises (The strong/warrior women),” aims to provide expert consultancy services, advice and strategic planning to businesses and the Government within the Cook Islands. The company will specialize in marketing, developing destinations and the expansion of tourism in our country.
“The most important thing for me,” says Beattie, “was that I remain in the Cook Islands and that I still have the opportunity to work with Cook Island people.” Beattie contemplated her strengths and weaknesses, her passions, her inspirations and finally came up with the idea to create a new beginning; her own business. “To be a woman in business,” she states, “it is a must that you have a strong mindset.”
According to Beattie, there are a tremendous number of strong women who characterize the Cook Islands, which is an admirable feat unto itself. From there, she decided to form her business name, which signifies the undeniable strength and capability of the Cook Islands women. It also symbolizes the country itself. “I think Cook Islands Maori does it more beautifully,” she laughs.
There are quite a few elements to Te Vaine Toa; they offer expertise in tourism, project management on such a range, which includes the involvement of Government as well as building projects. Beattie must look at the Cook Islands with the perspective of a visitor and address issues as a visitor might do, to sustain the profitability and the value of our country. “If we do not take steps in improving the development of our destination,” Beattie says, “it could affect our economy and therefore our value will plummet.” There are certain aspects that an entrepreneur must take into further consideration: There is no point in having a product if the location doesn’t suit the user. Te Vaine Toa Enterprises works with other businesses to improve this feature.
“Another thing I realised is that there are so many opportunities to search for local artisans,” she continues, “and their products, for which we can offer our services.” The prospect for the outer islands to export their products domestically to Rarotonga still exists, so that a ready market can be created for them, with the assistance of Te Vaine Toa Enterprises. “Not just domestically,” Beattie comments,” but perhaps internationally as well.”
Te Vaine Toa Enterprises has its own website (still in the process of being further developed) which will, over time, feature key information about the business in certain areas.
“One thing that I realised is missing from our country, especially since tourism is growing, is the opportunity to host a speaker’s bureau,” Beattie says, The more conferences that are held, the better the understanding of the situation. Businesses may gather and share their thoughts and opinions, which are then interpreted and conveyed by a speaker, who will represent that particular business.
Beattie would like to acknowledge all of those who have assisted her with the developing of her business, friends, colleagues as they have made her more determined to carry on with her work. -Norma Ngatamariki

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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