HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

News Briefs

Dr Rongo appointed Climate Change Advisor

This week, the Office of the Prime Minister appointed locally based Cook-Islander, Dr Teina Rongo as the new Advisor in their Cook Islands Climate Change Division which is headed by Anna Tiraa.
Dr Rongo, among the many other responsibilities he now has under his belt, is in charge of the country’s Response Strategies, the marine quality of the lagoon, and his main role being to support climate change activities within the Cook Islands, by helping the country access climate change related funds.
Dr Rongo earned his Doctorate from the Florida Institute of Technology, USA, in the field of Marine Science with his intriguing thesis on Ciguatera in the Cook Islands, his theory being based on archaeological evidence, and modern reports of ciguatera poisoning.
With such an extensive knowledge in marine biology and Ciguatera, Dr Rongo will in no doubt prove useful in aiding our small country in issues to do with Climate Change and fish poisoning.

Making Maori stronger

The Ministry of Education is exploring ways to strengthen the Maori language throughout the Cook Islands. The Ministry’s Maori advisor, Henrika Marona, said that stories written in the local language will undergo its final phase of editing this week. She said the Ministry hopes to have the stories published by next week, and distributed to schools around the island before the start of the academic year. Marona said that this is one of many projects initiated by the Ministry of Education, to help reduce dependence on the English language, and strengthen the Maori language in schools. She added that the Ministry hopes that students will strive to achieve excellence in Maori literacy, by making it compulsory at Primary and Secondary schools, and available for study at NCEA levels.

Water project set to flow

The $8million dollar ‘Project City’ development is scheduled to commence in the coming weeks. The project will see that the main water carrying pipelines around the whole island are replaced, and that the back and main roads are upgraded. This will grant all residents access to fresh and clean drinking water from their pipes. It is understood that the offloading of materials began today. The project was initially set to begin last August; however issues faced by the Ministry of Infrastructure and planning, forced the project to be postponed. ‘Project City’ is part of the bigger project to upgrade Rarotonga’s water network. The entire project is expected to be completed within the next 3-5 years at an estimated cost of $60 million. Other components of the project such as work to replace intakes, install treatment, improve storage and water management arrangements will be complete in partnership by the Government with the support from governments of China and New Zealand.

Workshop Held for Tereora Students

A workshop aimed at introducing year 13 students of Tereora College, to Flight Attending courses, was held today. The seminar was hosted by former Air Raro flight attendant, Helena Turua, at the Ministry of Education. It was initiated after more than 20 students expressed an interest in joining the Tourism Industry. Although majority was unable to attend, Turua says that more information about the course, and how to apply, will be available through the Careers Advisor, or the Tourism Teacher within the College. Turua is visiting from ‘Travel Careers and Training’ at Wellington campus. She said that one student conducted a pre-test, which would enable her to enroll into the course before the start of the academic year. She added that interested persons will need to have 60 credits at NCEA level 2, be no less than 17years of age, and must conduct a pre-test. The course will include one week of work experience within the industry. Turua has been tutoring with the institute since 2009, and says that the course is perfect for Pacific Islanders, who prefer to learn practically and visually. She added that the institute is renowned for successfully achieving a 90% pass rate and students can be assured that they will be given the tools and skills required by the workforce.

Police roundup

Excessive noise, burglaries, thefts, and several call outs kept police busy at the weekend. Constable Martin Iro added that a number of people were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, and were disqualified from driving a motor-vehicle for a period of 12months. Police received several reports from the districts of Takitumu, Te-Au-O-Tonga, and Puaikura – of people speeding with noisy mufflers. Iro said that although there were no reported incidents of fatal accidents over the festive period, he is warning the public that those who are found speeding with noisy mufflers, or driving under the influence of alcohol, will be forced to pay the penalty.

Last stop Vegas

Musical sensations, Miha and Rima Mitchell have landed on our shores to launch their first ever album with a Cook Islands twist. The pair arrived three weeks ago, after a recent performance in Las Vegas and are looking forward to releasing their album, named ‘Te Tiare’, at the Punanga Nui Market this Saturday. The couple is based in Perth, Western Australia and has been in the music industry for 30 years. During that time, they have had the opportunity to perform worldwide and have also made appearances on Australian talk shows such as Hey Hey it’s Saturday. Along with their four children, Miha and Rima have created a family production with their music and are also part of a Polynesian band and dance group.
While here on the island, they have performed at local resorts and dining places, such as Palm Grove, Edgewater Resort and Spa and Staircase Restaurant and Bar (for the Samoan Cyclone Appeal), all of which have had a pleasant turn out. Miha, being a Director/Producer in theatre, music and dance has been awarded for his efforts in promoting Cook Islands culture in areas such as choreography and also, broadcasting on radio.
The album, ‘Te Tiare’ was composed by Papa Nooroa (Rima’s father) in dedication to his late wife with the actual music background created by Miha and Rima. “We’d like to encourage the local music producers to rise up and meet the challenge,” says Miha.
If you would like to pre-order an album, you can contact them on 79334 or pop around at the Punanga Nui Market this Saturday.

The “can do” Salon

Anna Crocombe, owner and operator of the prestigious clothing/tailor shop now-turned beauty salon La Boutique, has certainly had a fresh start to the year. The idea of a beauty salon was intriguing, so it was decided that she would establish her very own beauty salon, which will incorporate everything from massages to hair dressing. The salon first went into business three weeks ago, with customers flocking in by the numbers. Anna, who has been recently qualified for therapeutic massages, is pleased with the unexpected turn of events. “I approach our customers with a can-do attitude,” she says, “as it makes them settle in more comfortably.” Professional beauty services is one of the priorities that La Boutique can offer to its customers, as Anna likes to satisfy her clients for what they’ve paid for.
Although, a great move like this does have its expenses, with the purchasing of approximately $5000 worth of equipment for the salon. Anna expects the return on investment to be a much larger amount, so she isn’t too worried about it. The salon aims to improve the skills of the beauticians with practical work and also, to earn the trust of their customers, as people have a tendency to follow the good services.
Anna’s main target for the salon is the young, beautiful girls of the island and the possibility of attending to tourists has never strayed far. La Boutique also offer make-up sessions for weddings or any other special occasions, as well as hair re-bonding/straightening (which is a lengthy process that takes about five to six hours),hair extensions, highlights, haircuts, manicure etc . Like any other business owner, Anna wishes to expand the beauty salon with the necessary modifications in order to attract more customers. “I’ll have to make some money first before making any renovations,” she laughs.
One form of advertising that Anna finds useful is word of mouth. “If you’ve done a good job, then your customers will tell others,” she states. La Boutique is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, so head down there for your beauty fix.

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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