HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

News Briefs

Trainee priest to spend a year on Rarotonga

Vincent Peters, a former news presenter at CITV, has returned home for a year to continue with his studies in becoming a Catholic priest. Vincent had worked at CITV for almost eight years (2000-2008). Many of you may remember him as the news reporter who appeared on your television screens, way back.
Vincent is currently undertaking his studies at the Pacific Regional Catholic Seminary in Suva, Fiji. He is in his fourth year of study, leading on to his fifth year (also known as the pastoral year), which is a crucial part of his learning as he begins his practical training. This involves assisting the parish priests, visiting communities and preparing church services for Mass. The past four years have been based mainly on theoretical study, such as psychology, philosophy, theology and scriptures. “There are so many –ologies involved,” he laughs. Out of all the Pacific Island students who attend the Seminary, Vincent is the only Cook Islander.
The Herald asked what Vincent’s inspiration was in becoming a Catholic Priest. “It was a calling,” he answered. “It was something I knew that I wanted to do.” Vincent also hopes to work alongside the parish and, when he has completed his studies, will be based in Rarotonga.
Even though he has not earned the title of Priest just yet (he is currently known as a seminarian, that is, a novice still continuing with his training), he hopes that his seven years of intense studying will give him the knowledge and skills to become a competent priest.

Hand-over of Energy Audit Equipment

On Wednesday morning, there was a hand-over of the Energy Audit Kit and various equipment valued at US$12,000 to the Renewable Energy Division (REDD) of OPM under the ADB’s PEEP2 (Pacific Energy Efficiency Program phase 2).
The National Energy Efficiency Expert Terekino (Tino) Vaireka told the Herald the energy audit equipment donated by the ADB under PEEP2 is part of a tool kit to assist in the training of local electricians and REDD staff. The training will be timed to take place towards the 2nd quarter of 2013. After the completion of PEEP2 project, the equipment will become the property of Government and be housed at the REDD.
Some 11 different items make up the kit, including Data Loggers, Energy Monitors and a portable Thermo-Anemometer (measures wind speed).
The key central item said Tino, is the data logger which records voltage levels.

Westpac awards granted

Two of the successful applicants of the Westpac Women’s Educational Grant were revealed on Tuesday.
Aleyna Tatuava Taripo, of the tertiary division, receiving $1000 and Deborah Mataio, of the secondary division, receiving $500, were among the 7 applicants across all three of the categories to be successfully named.
For Westpac this marks the third run of the Women’s Educational Grant and is allocated for Cook Islands women who are either currently studying or about to enter studies.
Judges awarded grants based on responses to the question: “What one opportunity would you provide for women in your country if you could? Receiving some varied and great responses the panel felt that applicants understood Cook Islands issues and had a tough time culling numbers down.
For successful applicant Alyena Tatuava Taripo she scoured the papers for current affairs before deciding to submit an essay based around the issue of domestic violence in the Cook Islands and ultimately catching the Judge’s eyes.

Foreshore reclamation project signed

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning has awarded the contracts for the supply and delivery of rocks for the Punanga Nui foreshore development at a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning on Thursday 6 December 2012.
The successful contractors are George Rere of G&S Contractors Ltd, Henry Ariihee of S&T Contractors Ltd and Joseph Heather of T&M Heather Ltd.
Acting Secretary, Mac Mokoroa said the Ministry is mindful that the revetment work will be carried out in the festive season and into the cyclone season. However, time is of the essence to get the project going as soon as possible and the Ministry is very thankful that all the contractors have agreed to work throughout the festive season.
The two other components of the project are the laying of the drainage culvert awarded to Mike Rennie Builders Ltd; and the construction of the rock revetment walls awarded to T&M Heather Ltd.
Funding for the foreshore development is from ADB and work on the project is due for completion by the end of February 2013. -MOIP Media release

New barge on way to the island of Penrhyn

A brand new barge intended for Penrhyn Island Administration has been shipped to Tongareva on the maiden voyage of the Tiare Moana in the new shipping service to the outer islands. The barge is expected to have reached Tongareva on 12 December.
Prior to the voyage, the barge was put through a series of sea trials over a few days in order to test the seaworthiness of the barge in different conditions in the open sea.
Also to be delivered are spare parts for the outboards motors and propellers as well as an oil change for the engine. MOIP has also arranged for an operator from the island of Penrhyn to receive training from Herman in the proper maintenance programme and operation of the barge.
The barge has been fitted with two outboard motors and was made in the Cook Islands by Aitutaki contractor, Tai Herman, the former mayor of Aitutaki. Herman won the tender for the $143,000 project which called for design, build and delivery of the 9.1x3.1 barge for the Penrhyn Island Administration.
Terms of the contract were that all materials including outboard motors were to be brand new, and that the barge once constructed was to be delivered free from any damage to the harbour at the island of Penrhyn. The contractor is also responsible for arranging and paying for all shipping costs, insurance, and delivery costs for the barge.
MOIP release

Education awards presented

On Tuesday afternoon at Education House, the Ministry of Education presented Certificates and Special Awards to teachers, trainee teachers and principals.
Honored guests included New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter, Secretary of Education Sharyn Paio, Representative of Edgewater Resort and Spa Emile Kairua and Turi Mataiapo of the Koutu Nui, Maria Henderson. Minister of Education Hon Teina Bishop, was engaged in Parliament.
Master of Ceremonies, Strickland Upu led the presentation, introducing the first speaker Papa Orometua Aratangi of the Nikao CICC (Cook Islands Christian Church), who blessed the event with an opening prayer.
“The awards presented to the graduates today are a mark of their achievements,” he said.
The graduates consisted of teacher trainees and teacher aides who have received their Cook Islands Diploma in Teaching. School Principals have also taken part and completed a specialized program that aims to improve their current leadership skills and create new strategies on how to approach school children with the importance of education. These Principals have completed their qualifications through the University of Auckland, which solidifies their academic credibility.
“Another aspect that concerns us is that we are not educating our own people,” says Secretary of Education, Sharyn Paio. She also commented on how there have been people who have been partially trained or taken an interest in teaching but work in other professions.
A new initiative called the Fast Track Teacher Aid Program has been set up to assist those who want to complete a new standard in their training.
One of the recipients of the awards included Senior Management Team member, Tania Morgan, who is based at the national secondary school, Tereora College. She received the award for Excellence in Teaching (Rarotonga Schools), as she had demonstrated a passion for teaching her students.

Young Entrepreneurs Scheme introduced

As of 2013, Tereora College will be pilots of the newly established, Young Entrepreneurs Scheme.
Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce, met with Tereora College Principal, Mr. Bali Haque to discuss the introduction of this plan.
The scheme will invite students to set-up their own business.
“It’s not play way stuff,” explained Mr. Haque. “They’ve got to go through the process of market research, get a product, sell the product, market it and then do the wrap up in terms of the accounting for it, profits they’ve made, lost they’ve made, dividends they pay – absolutely running a business,” he said.
A new business faculty was established this year to facilitate the initiative. The program, which is scheduled to commence next year, will be offered to year 13 students as part of their curriculum. It will offer achievement standard credits that will contribute to their NCEA results.
“Shorter versions of this program have been offered in previous years,” said Mr. Haque. “What we will see is a big leap forward in terms of the development of business studies.”
Regional Coordinator, Te Tuhi Kelly, was present on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to offer support by way of seeking sponsorship, and ensuring that students will receive mentoring from members of the local business community. This will enable students to engage with real life situations, and develop their skills in accounting, marketing, and human resource management – skills that are deemed vital to the business sector.
The course is funded by NZAID. According to Enterprise Curriculum Developer, Johanna Simiona Gifford, locating funds to support projects of this sort have always proven difficult.
Robyn Borne, member Young Enterprise Trust, is currently on Rarotonga on behalf of NZAID to introduce the scheme for 2013, and to ensure that it meets the curriculum outcomes. The charitable organization has been operating since 1981, and is responsible for conducting enterprise and financial programs in New Zealand. They also support Pacific neighbours to grow future generations of enterprising young people in the Pacific region.
“We’re very excited because we’ve seen the outcome of the students through experiential learning, authentic learning – and it’s exciting that we’ve got the opportunity to introduce this here,” she said.
Borne urges the community at large to support students and their efforts, and looks forward to this opportunity as being a long-term partnership.


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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