HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

News Briefs

Spiritual foundations carry us into the future
Just two months after the most hectic time of the year on Rarotonga, it’s pleasing to see how busy and active the island is in keeping up the momentum of work.
Government has achieved a lot in this year alone, and as it draws nearer to an end, we have much to be thankful for. Cyclone Season and the Festive Season are our traditional end-of-year ‘partners’ so we need to build awareness as well as gratitude for what we have.
Last Sunday, I was happy and honoured to join the Special Thanksgiving Prayer Service as a guest of the Religious Advisory Council. At the National Auditorium, I spoke in remembrance of the pioneering work of our earliest missionaries, who embarked on spreading the Gospel throughout the Pacific, in 1839.
These sturdy men – and also the women who stood with them – built strong relations through Christ, and in the process forged links and ties that make up the rich fabric of our Pacific nations.
I’m thankful for that spiritual foundation provided by our Takamoa Theological College graduates. They’ve actually provided the model for modern governments to build strong bridges with each other – a kinship that allows warm and close working relationships to develop.
Those Church Leaders of our past were strongly supported by our community – especially through prayer. And that spiritual encouragement is what we all need today, no matter what our chosen field or specialty.
A good example of these ties is those between the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea – the Pacific’s largest country and a good friend, thanks partly to the early years of missionary work and family ties. Our efforts today – by Government – are supported by the closeness of our historical ties and we look forward to developing those further in the coming months. We can learn a great deal from Papua New Guinea, which is abundant in resources and investment opportunity.
The experiences and knowledge of others in the region have value to our own work programmes and we shall endeavour to gain from our diplomatic efforts in the region.
Among those areas of cooperative exchange is renewable energy, which of course is sweeping across the entire Pacific. While many countries have set ambitious targets, we all face similar constraints of technological application, and investment opportunity. We’re all doing what we can to pursue greater levels of Energy Security and it’s pleasing that we, as a region, intend to promote stronger cooperation.
On Rarotonga, the renewable energy installation projects are proceeding with new systems coming on stream by the end of this week. Te Aponga Uira in particular, has established solar PV panel systems at Head Office and the Power Station – an NZAID-assisted project I was able to inspect this week.
As we look ahead at the ongoing work, we must remain mindful that our ability to succeed will take not just sound planning and implementation but be guided by the strength of our faith and confidence – a spiritual foundation for the future. -Prime Minister Henry Puna

Political Reform - Dead horse with government

Just when everybody thought it had been forgotten – political reform again rears its head and poses questions to the Government about what to do. The death of Tamarua Member of Parliament (MP) Pukeiti Pukeiti more than a week ago serves as the poignant reminder to all about the declining population of the outer islands and the sustainability of MP’s in some of their constituencies. Tamarua is the smallest of the three constituencies in Mangaia holding a roll of 69 voters and will probably be less than that once the new roll is compiled. The question is should Mangaia hold three seats with two of the seats having less than 100 voters and the third one just over 200? Is that sustainable?
Well, I read from the media the President of the Cook Islands Party (CIP) making clear that the Cook Islands Party will not do anything about it. Just because the statement was made by Papa Rau Nga does not absolve the Government or the Prime Minister. In other words we, the public can attribute that view to Mr Puna and indeed to his Cabinet. By virtue of that clear and absolute statement, we take it there will be no debate about it, no public discussion or no consideration for the Political Reform Report tabled in Parliament some years by the Political Reform Commission set up by the late Sir Geoffrey Henry, former CIP Prime Minister. Therefore Sir Geoff’s vision for progress has been halted dead in its tracks by his protégé, Henry Puna.
Let’s rewind the clock back and re-examine the reasons why there was then a critical need for reform. By 1993, the Cook Islands economy was in tatters, the public service had ballooned and the Cook Islands Government had a huge debt to its name. This was due to poor governance by the then CIP Government. The problem was so grave that the New Zealand Government, who we are “in free association with”, initiated some measures to reform the Cook Islands economic and political base. Several people were deployed to the Cooks; one in particular was Lloyd Powell who became known as the “hatchet man”. The public service was slashed and more than 3,000 Cook Islanders left for greener pastures overseas. As all this was taking place, the CIP Government of the day was standing by, watching the mass exodus of our people to New Zealand and Australia.
My point is here we are again in a very similar situation. A situation presents itself for some serious consideration and the PM, Cabinet and now the CIP President won’t have a bar of it – not even a public airing of the issue. Therefore one thing is very clear, this is not a consultative Government, nor is it a brave one. It is very, very clear then that political reform as far as this Government is concerned is a dead horse but I believe it will come back to haunt them in future days.
However, because there will be a by-election for the Tamarua seat, the Democratic Party will contest it and win it this time. We will give all we’ve got and regain that seat and maintain the long history of Mangaia as being a Democratic Party island. -Leader of the Opposition, Wilkie Rasmussen

Donating Kikau Kai
Men’s Cricket Teams, the Arorangi Red Hot Chicks and the Puaikura Reef Lodges, donated Kikau Kai baskets to the Te Vaerua Rehabilitation Centre at the training nets at Raemaru Park on Tuesday evening.
This was supposed to be a fundraising initiative for the Arorangi Red Hot Chicks but then it was decided that these baskets be given to a worthy cause. Pat from TVRC said they have just started a service where they visit people and take goods for them. Hopefully this will help brighten up their day. -Stephanie Vaiimene

Teaching appointments announced

The Ministry of Education is pleased to confirm that it has been successful in recruiting six Cook Islanders to return from overseas and teach in our schools from January 2013. This has been a very successful recruitment round for us this year and, in addition to the large number of Cook Islands teachers recruited from abroad, we also expect to graduate seven of our locally trained teachers with a Teaching Diploma in December. This will enable us to fill vacant positions in our schools with local qualified and well trained teachers – a goal we have been striving to achieve.
Cook Islanders appointed for 2013 from Abroad:
Mr Harry Neale (Sydney, Australia)
Head of English, Titikaveka College
Mrs Tungane Ivitu (Rotorua, NZ)
Head of English, Enuamanu School, Atiu
Mr Karl Payne (Wellington, NZ)
Teacher in Charge of Performing Arts, Tereora College
Ms Samantha Puati (Auckland, NZ)
Teacher of Physical Education & Performing Arts – returning scholarship student , Tereora College
Ms Maya Gilmour (Auckland, NZ)
Teacher of Visual Arts, Tereora College
Ms Kimberly Ngatuakana (Hamilton, NZ)
Teacher of English, Tereora College
Other overseas appointments include:
Mrs Joyce Kirkham (Carterton, NZ)
English Teacher, Tereora College
Mrs Brenda Rudolph (Whangarei, NZ)
Head of English, Tereora College
Ms Natasha Simpson (Levin, NZ)
Head of Physical Education & Health, Tereora College
Mrs Janine Southey (Masterton, NZ)
Teacher in Charge of Visual Arts, Tereora College
Mrs Sheryl Bell (Whangarei, NZ)
Digital Technology Teacher, Tereora College
Local Appointments:
Mr Teina Tearii Principal, Arorangi School
Mr Vae Unuka Deputy Principal, Tereora College
Mr Barry Ross Principal, Rakahanga School
Mr Retire Puapii Reappointed Principal of Tauhunu School
Ms Keri Lazaro Reappointed Teacher at Tauhunu School
Contract Extension:
Mrs Andrea Panther has had her current contract extended for a further year to lead the new Business School being established at Tereora College.
Current Vacancies Yet to be Filled:
Science Teacher, Titikaveka College (appointment pending) Principal, Tetautua School, Penrhyn – re-advertised Accounting/Economics Teacher, Tereora College – re-advertised Te Kakaia Advisor – currently being advertised
Teacher and Tutor – Rakei Toa (re-advertised)
We also bid farewell to contracted teachers who are returning home at the end of this year and thank them for the excellent service they have provided during the terms of their contracts.
Tereora College:
Mr Guy Savage English Teacher
Mr Jason Green TIC Visual Arts
Ms Claire Waldron TIC Performing Arts
Mr Donald Beer Accounting/Economics Teacher
Mrs Jessica Le Bas Head of English
Mr Alan Syme Head of Physical Education & Health
Titikaveka College:
Ms Elayne McKenzie Head of English
Ministry of Education:
Mrs Anna Savage Te Kakaia Advisor
Mr Brendon Fiebig Learning and Teaching Advisor
The Ministry of Education is also very keen to hear from Cook Islanders with a passion for education and teaching who would be interested in undertaking teacher training from January 2013. Contact the HR Division of the Ministry of Education for more information.

Third shipping license granted
UMA Shipping C I Limited, a local Cook Islands company, is pleased to announce that it has secured an international and national shipping licence from the Cook Islands Government. UMA is grateful to the Cook Islands Government for providing the licence and for supporting the vision of UMA shareholders in linking our Northern Cook Islands people with a regular scheduled shipping service from Rarotonga and the world. UMA believes that this service is a stimulus for economic activity and an opportunity for all Cook Islanders.
UMA has engaged Pacific Direct Line (PDL) to secure and manage the vessel Tiare Moana. PDL is a large shipping company with vast international resources, experience, and a proven track record in the Asia-Pacific region. UMA is indebted to PDL who have come on board and embraced our vision.
This is a momentous occasion for the people of the Cook Islands, as this voyage encompasses not only Rarotonga and Aitutaki, but continues on to the Northern Group islands of Tongareva (Penrhyn), Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka and Nassau. The service to the Northern Cooks will be provided bi-monthly as scheduled.
The Tiare Moana can handle both containerised (general, refrigerated, bulk fuel) and breakbulk cargo. She has a container capacity of 224 TEU and is ideally sized for the Cook Islands service.
The MV Tiare Moana will depart on its maiden voyage from Auckland, New Zealand on 28th November 2012.
A shipping schedule is attached for your information.
UMA Shipping C I Ltd, have engaged the following agents:
Cook Islands: International Services
Transam C I Limited
Tekau Anguna
Email: ship@transam.co.ck
Phone: 55 674
National (Domestic) Services
Helena Mitchell
Email: helena@hpm.co.ck
Phone: 27185 / 55048

New Zealand: Pacific Direct Line
Vicki Williams
Trade Manager Cook Islands
Email: vickiw@pdl123.co.nz
Phone: + 649 308 3914

Education heads meet in Fiji
On 22 and 23 October 2012, the Secretary of Education, Sharyn Paio attended the Association of Heads of Tertiary Institutions in the Pacific Islands (AHTIPI) Conference in Nadi, Fiji. She was accompanied by Mr Jim Matheson who is currently drafting the Tertiary Education strategy for the Cook Islands Ministry of Education. Both participants’ travel costs were funded by AusAID through the University of the South Pacific.
The conference focused on a range of issues and emphasised the need for the Pacific Region as a whole to address issues of low participation and limited provision at tertiary level. An address by the Vice Chancellor USP, Professor Rajesh reinforced the need for rethinking tertiary provision in light of the rapid changes occurring in e-learning throughout the world.
Considerable discussion at the conference centred on the development of the Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards. It was noted that some of the larger Pacific Islands countries have already established their own Qualifications Authorities. The growth of new universities throughout the region raised debate on the issues of quality, viability and recognition of qualifications through accreditation.
AusAID presented their soon to be confirmed proposed Tertiary Education Strategy. This strategy will provide considerable financial support to tertiary education provision throughout the Pacific Region. We are optimistic that some benefits will accrue to the Cook Islands.
As a follow up to this meeting and subsequent meetings with USP, the Cook Islands Ministry of Education will be investigating further USP’s Regional Centre for Continuing and Community Education programmes to select suitable courses for delivery in country; working with representatives from USP to develop a Pacific Course on Renewable Energy which will provide certification for design and installation; further enhancing its teacher training programme; and look to strengthen its partnership with USP for the delivery of vocational education.
Sharyn Paio
Secretary of Education

Contempt of court?

One interesting aspect about the damages claim lodged recently by local lawyer Norman George in the Civil Court over the cartoon published in the CI News on 16 December 2011, is whether the comments regarding jury members, constitute a contempt of court.
The cartoon caption says, ”We will get you off with a trial by jury. The members are usually too simple to understand the evidence and will believe anything I tell them! Even if you’re guilty as sin!” Norman George alleges he is the person in the cartoon making this statement.
The jury system, where an accused is subject to a decision by his peers, is a system which society on the whole regards as important, takes seriously and is therefore one which must be defended if it is to be retained.
Any person who has given up their time to serve on a jury, would and ought to be concerned at this statement and is entitled to know that someone within the Justice system will speak up for them and ensure their integrity.
It is therefore a concern that no enquiries appear to have been conducted by the Ministry for Justice, the Law Society or the Chief Justice into these comments. -Charles Pitt

BTIB Puaikura jetty markets
The commencement of the $2 million dollar Arorangi Jetty project that took place earlier this year will finally draw to a close this Friday, and to mark this historic event BTIB and Minister of Infrastructure and Planning Teariki Heather have banded together to hold the Puaikura Sunset Markets.
The official opening of the jetty will take place on Friday morning with invited guest including the likes of Prime Minister Henry Puna, New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter and Puaikura’s Tinomana Ariki to herald in the new establishment. The sunset market is a promotional event “to bring the community together” says BTIB’s Mana Etches. Beginning from 5pm in the afternoon till 9pm Friday evening 2 November. Crowds attending the Sunset markets can look forward to a range of cultural entertainment featuring fire dancing, arts and crafts and a smorgasbord of local cuisine to try from.

Giant crayfish blocking water pipe

MOIP staff digging up a section of water pipe in Avana last week to investigate a blockage, have discovered what they think is the reason for the lack of water which has dogged residents for weeks.
Lodged in the large pipe was a giant freshwater crayfish nearly three feet long. Experts from the Ministry for Marine Resources have identified the monster as a Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Astacopsis gouldi) the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world.
The species was long thought to be found only in Tasmania, Australia and is listed as an endangered species due partly to overfishing and habitat loss.
The species is very long lived and can survive for up to 40 years.
It is a mystery as to how the crayfish came to be in a water pipe in Avana. It may have been brought in accidentally while quite small, by a yacht from Tasmania in its freshwater ballast in the hull of the boat.
Port Authority staff are checking their records for any yacht that may have come from Tasmania and been brought ashore at Avana harbour for repairs.

Boring Exam Preparation

Now I know, dear reader, that I’ve dragged on and on about this particular topic for the past two articles, but honestly, there really is nothing else to write about until next week, when the Sevens are on. So, until then, please bear with me. This past week, I’ve been shut up in my cold, lonely room studying (or making a feeble attempt to study) Accounting, Math, English and Media Studies, all in that order (It ranks from hardest to easiest) I have had absolutely NO SOCIAL LIFE since the beginning of last week, because I want to pass Level One with flying colors.
Accounting has to be the hardest subject EVER (Well, besides Science) There are just so many things to remember and so many numbers to juggle. I knew it was going to be hard, but not this hard! My teacher advised me to stick up the Accounting definitions on my walls, so that we could read them whenever I could (Because, apparently, I am a visual learner) I don’t know if it’s working or not (Maybe because I stuck the notes in a really bad place where I can’t read them properly? I’m so smart) but I sure hope they are working, because I need all the help I can get with this subject.
Math is another challenge that I find difficult, even though I try my best to understand and spend more than two hours on the stupid thing. We’re doing these linear and quadratics patterns/graphs thingys and I don’t even get half of it. What do these dumb graphs have to do with my future career? But I should stop complaining, because I need Math if I want to make it to University. But even so!
I reckon English won’t be that much of a challenge for me (Nek minnit) because I did pretty well in the End of Year Exams (I managed to score an Excellence and a High Merit, which is almost an Excellence he he) All I need to do is memorize some quotes from my short story and dust up on my writing skills, especially writing formal essays, which I hate. I’m so used to writing in a conversational style that I accidentally write stuff like OMG in my formal essays. Blah! But anyway, if I managed to scrape an Excellence in the last Exams, I’m pretty sure that I can do it again. Well, I hope that I can.
Oh, thank goodness I have at least ONE subject that’s easy! I find that I can breeze through Media Studies, so I don’t have to worry about it too much. All you have to do is write up an essay describing the different characteristics and conventions of a sitcom. Easy enough. I SHOULD be able to get through this without any mishap. So all I’ll do is brush up on my definitions and descriptive language and I should be sweet. -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

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.