HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

News Briefs

Rakanui appointed as new Clerk of Parliament

Tupuna Rakanui has been appointed the new Clerk of Parliament. The official announcement was made today (Wednesday 23rd January). This follows the resignation of former Clerk of Parliament, Nga Valoa, after 39 years of service to Parliament. Speaker of the House, Nikki Rattle, said that three applications were received after the position was advertised for a period of two weeks. Rakanui’s skills, combined with years of parliamentary experience, made him the best possible candidate for the position. Rattle added that the recommendation was made by a panel of “suitably qualified persons.” Rakanui began his service to the Parliament in August of 1987, as Second Clerk of Parliament. He was later appointed to the position of Clerk of Committees, then Assistant Clerk where he served for over a decade.

Farewelling Bruce and Dids

Seven years ago, Bruce French arrived in Rarotonga from Australia to take on the job of network supervisor for Te Aponga Uira.
Bruce was only supposed to stay in the Cook Islands for two years but his lovely wife Dids (Darrel) forced him to stay another four years.
At least that’s the way it was explained during a farewell barbecue held in honour of the couple at Tutakimoa. They returned to Tasmania last week.
According to MC John Fortes, Bruce “Blew in from Tassy, a young stocky solid build of a man with a love for Aussie Rules and not that sissy game rugby or rugby league.”
“But,” said John, “he became a beloved team leader, organiser, administrator and mentor for us.”
Bruce and Dids were overcome by the occasion. Dids thanked Te Aponga staff “for making us and me feel part of the Aponga team.”
“I have enjoyed all the fun times we have had on the deck and all the other activities we have had throughout the years, especially the paddling.”
Judging from the fond tributes paid by several staff and gifts presented Bruce and Dids, they will be missed.

Go Local outlet for airport proposed

In addition to the ‘Go Local, Buy Local’ campaign, BTIB have proposed the setup of a ‘Go Local’ outlet at the Rarotonga airport. The intention behind the ‘Go Local” outlet is to sell locally grown root crops in retail packs such as taro, maniota, tarua & nu, chestnuts, chillies, jams, chutneys and other value added commodities. These will be designed to be taken by passengers as checked in luggage. There is also an opportunity to take 20kg packs and pay for the extra baggage. These will be designed to be taken by passengers as checked luggage. CEO of BTIB, Terry Rangi is also hoping to give passengers the opportunity to purchase 23kg packs, and pay for the extra baggage through their associated airline. Rangi said the proposal will go through the Airport Authority Board for approval next week. Although the outlet has been built, no definite date as to when it will operate can be released, until receipt of an approval. The initiative is part of BTIB’s push to encourage local suppliers to continue to be productive. BTIB is keen to talk to local and outer island based growers who may be interested in supplying the outlet.

New Association for holiday home owners

Some major decisions were reached at the second public meeting on Tuesday evening organized by Tourism Corporation and BTIB for locals who let their homes out as holiday homes for overseas visitors.
Speaking to the Herald immediately following the meeting, Metua Vaiimene, Tourism Corp’s Director of Destination Development, said the main decision reached at the meeting held in the Parekura Conference Centre next to CITV, was to form a Holiday Homes Association (HHA) to represent the collective voice of holiday home owners and managers.
Other decisions were;
-to hold a series of workshops to help holiday home owners with pre-planning and finance, reservations, accounting and marketing such as marketing on line.
-That the workshops to be promoted by Tourism Corp, BTIB and the HHA.
-That the committee consist of Mii Kauvai, Karen Johnston, Heather Aitu, Wayne Robati and Sisi Short.
-That a meeting between the HHA and Tourism Corp be held at the Staircase Restaurant within a fortnight to get the ball rolling.
Metua said some of the issues raised at the meeting were;
-need to improve communication with Tourism Corporation,
-finding the right kind of tools such as use of websites, and
-the cost of marketing.
Metua said the issue of “sub-letting by tenants did not arise although he had heard some stories about sub-letting. He said membership of the Association would help overcome such problems as the Association will assist members with proper contracts and management of their homes. Members will also learn from their peers, get helpful tips and get to know the various tricks visitors get up to.

Youth of the Future

Tereora College students Nadia George and Dean Tangata are looking forward to a promising future, as they prepare themselves for yet another school year. They are both planning on completing their NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) for Level Two, “With a Merit or even an Excellent Endorsement,” says Nadia. She would also like to attain first placing in Year 12 Media Studies and Drama, as she received second placing for Year 11 Media Studies for 2012. Because of this, it has encouraged Nadia to improve her skills even further so that she can pursue a career in the entertaining industry. “In the later future, which isn’t too far away, I would like to receive a scholarship to complete a Bachelor in Communications and Media Arts, which will hopefully lead to a career in the Media industry, like editing movies,” she says. “You know, big dreams for little people.”
That quote most certainly stands true for Dean as well. “This year, I am dedicated to my schoolwork alone,” the former Nukutere student says. Dean wishes to follow up on tertiary education to study medicine, so that he can assist our people in maintaining good health. “It’s a matter of giving back to the community, for all they’ve done for me.”

Troubled youth programme blossoms

Efforts to secure financial support from the community for the Tuimanava programme, have attracted a large number of positive responses. The Tuimanava programme provides farming work opportunities for troubled youth. It was initiated by Teava Iro of the Titikaveka Growers Association in September last year, with the hope that it will bring about a more positive and productive standpoint on life. Seven young men planted crops such as bok choy, lettuce and taro – which were harvested and sold at the Punanga Nui Market. Although market sales were successful, Iro said that funds provided by NZ AID had run out, and that it was difficult to cater for the growing number of youth in the programme. New Zealand High Commissioner, John Carter, said that a large number of community organizations – including the Koutu Nui and Religious Advisory Council - have confirmed their part in the initiative, by offering financial and moral support. Carter is looking to hold a number of meetings in the coming months, to discuss how they can pilot the scheme, as well as effective ways in which the community can address youth issues.

Janet Milne to run peer support programme

Janet Milne has arrived from Rosehill College in Auckland New Zealand to lead the Peer Support Programme at Tereora College. She says the programme has been running successfully in New Zealand and Australia since the 1970’s, and is looking forward to it being piloted for the first time at Tereora College. The programme - which is jointly supported by Rotary New Zealand and Rotary Cook Islands-will run for one hour a week, for the whole of the first term. The practical sessions will see 30-35 senior students from years 12 and 13 get involved with organizing a series of activities aimed at helping year 9 students adapt to the new learning environment, and provide both educational and personal support when needed.

Dogs attacking lifestock an issue for police

Four motor vehicle accidents were reported to Police at the weekend. According to Constable Martin Iro, two of those accidents were alcohol related. Police also received three reports of unlawful takings of a motorbike. Two of these vehicles have been recovered, leaving one vehicle outstanding. Iro said that apart from motor vehicle related incidents, police received several calls regarding dogs attacking life stock. Iro is urging residents with dogs, to please have them tied up.

Misuse of disability parking spaces still a concern

President of the National Council of Disability, Tuki Wright, says concerns at undeterred motorists misusing limited disabled parking spots, still remain. This is the second announcement she has made this month. Wright says she has been asking the public to be respectful of these areas for the past decade. She is most concerned about the parking spaces situated in front of Foodland Supermarket, and the Punanga Nui market. Wright is stressing that only disabled people with parking permits can park in these spaces.

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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