HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

News Briefs

Queen of Hearts steals the show

Described as a “combustion of three planets exploding on stage” seasoned performers Cindy of Samoa, Henzart and Mika are set to rock the Staircase Restaurant and Bar performing the highly anticipated Queen of Hearts show on Friday evening. The show which has set many mouths wagging will be jammed packed with performances from hula, haka and cabaret to film performed by the trio topped with hip hop grooves from up and coming New Zealand hip hop dancer Eddie Elliot.
Although they have three friends have worked with each other in previous productions for them this will be their first time performing together in the Cook Islands. Together the artists bring a whirlwind of experience to the stage; Cindy of Samoa who cut her teeth in the performance industry at the young age of 15 has over the years built up her career and reputation as one of Samoa’s star attractions in the self titled ‘Cindy Show”. For our very own Henzart, Henry Ah Foo Taripo, growing up in an environment watching his mother choreograph Cook Islands dance routines had a huge impact on who he is today. As a seasonal performer Henzart at one point featured in the film “Talk of the Town” in the highly coveted role based on performer and good friend Cindy of Samoa and with Mika on a number of occasions.
Having performed for the likes of Prince Charles, open for Grace Jones, stage seven Edinburgh Festivals and have performed across “every single continent other than Antarctica,” entertainer and persona Mika of New Zealand needs little introduction.
With a portion of the proceeds from the Queen of Hearts show being donated to Te Kainga Mental Health performers Cindy, Henzart and Mika are grateful for the help they have received to bring Friday’s show to the Cook Islands from Staircase Restaurant and Bar, Polynesian Rental Cars, Thomas Wynne for graphics and Maxine Kokaua for posters, Tatiana Burns of IDCK and music by Ina George.

Assembly of God spreads vision of hope

The Assembly of God (AOG) Churches around Rarotonga will be spreading their vision of “HOPE” beyond the four walls of their church this festive season.
Four months of preparation resulted in the gathering of volunteers at the Avarua AOG grounds this morning (Wednesday 19 December 2012) to begin the distribution of 500 boxes of food to families in need.
Volunteers including Bank of the Cook Islands CEO, Vaine Arioka, ANZ Bank Representative, Martin Burr, and Mama Peyroux of Joyce Peyroux Garments, was present to join in with the spirit of giving.
Treasurer of the Christmas in the Box Committee, Helen Tatuava, said that the hardest part of the project was identifying these families.
“We did have a criteria, and we are targeting big families that have a lot of children and would not be able to have these goodies, as well as the old aged pensioners who live on their own, and disabled communities,” said Tatuava.
The initiative originated with Life Church New Zealand, who has already delivered 2000 boxes throughout the country. An additional two hundred boxes were donated and shipped to Rarotonga, and three hundred more were purchased.
“We knew that 200 wouldn’t be enough. We felt that we wanted to reach more of a community so we raised funds to get that,” she said.
The Churches collaborated with prominent businesses including Air New Zealand, Life Church New Zealand, The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa, Bank of the Cook Islands, Westpac, ANZ Bank, Manea Foods, Telecom, Cook Island News, The Edgewater Resort and Spa, and The Bond Store.
“It’s been an awesome project! We are trying our very best not to be commercial because then we lose the essence of what Christmas is all about. We want to remember the reason for the season – the gift of Jesus, and this year, we decided that this was one way to go out and connect Jesus with the people,” she said.
Chairperson of the Christmas in the Box Committee, Derek Peyroux, said that 50 vehicles have been assigned to deliver 500 boxes throughout the whole island.

Tobacco action plan launched

On Wednesday the 19th, the launching of the Cook Islands Tobacco Control Action Plan (2012-2016) took place at the Public Health Facility, with Minister of Health Nandi Glassie doing the honors of officially marking the event with a memorable speech. The Action Plan was created with the assistance of other government agencies, non-government agencies and the community. It has been taken into effect from the 1st Of July 2012 to 30 June 2016, with a mid-term review being conducted in October 2014.
The plan aims to achieve the following objectives:
• To improve infrastructure and coordination for tobacco control activities
• To increase awareness and empower the community to discourage tobacco use and encourage protection from exposure to second-hand smoke
• To promote cessation of tobacco use
• To reduce the accessibility of tobacco products
• To further reduce tobacco promotion and regulate tobacco production
• To reduce exposure to second-hand smoke
• To strengthen tobacco monitoring, evaluation and surveillance programmes
The overall goal for this plan of action is to improve the health of people in the Cook Islands by reducing harm from tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke.
Representatives from various sections of the Health department were present to witness the discussion of the implementation of the Tobacco Plan of Action and the positive effects it will have in the communities. It ensures the government as well as non-government agencies are active participants in contributing to the control of tobacco activities and to make sure that regulations in regards to tobacco control are enforced.
The plan also covers the training and educating of future and current health personnel, community leaders (church, youth etc) sports groups, media and other persons who have a position of leadership in their respective community. It also states that it will expand its anti-smoking media campaign, so that it will raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco to the public, which includes the reviewing of the current school curriculum.
Health personnel will also have the duty of monitoring the average use of tobacco within the community, as well as providing workshop sessions and Quit Line phone-in service for those who wish to discard the habit of smoking.
“I am very pleased with the implementation of this Plan of Action,” says Minister Glassie. “It will help discourage and suppress the use of tobacco within the community, as well as securing the health of our future generation.”
The Ministry of Health will continue to make progress in improving the health of the general public.

HTTC to Aitutaki

The Hospitality and Tourism Training Corporation (HTTC) spent two weeks with students of Araura College, introducing the first unit standard cooking course. Students spent majority of their days learning intense cooking techniques, which included the demanding skills required for patisserie and baking. They were also introduced to food safety handling practices, by HTTC’s head chef Sam Timoka, and Administrator Pam Solomona. The course outline, which is unit based, meant that 17 students, aged between 16 and 17 years, could gain the opportunity not only to train with professionals, but also 13 NCEA level 2 and 3 credits. The highlight for both staff and students was the intensive omelet competition that saw teachers and industry chefs joining in the fun, however there were only three winners. Pauline Esamaira took out first place, followed by Mereana Bishop and Puna Kitai in second and third place respectively.

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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