CI Times Weekly | Current Issue 254 | 09 June 2008

Saving Aitutaki

Amid the downturn in visitor numbers that is severely affecting Aitutaki’s economy comes an initiative to turn this around and it involves combining two major strategies, that of harmonizing efforts to improve local conservation and harmonizing the airline schedules of Air NZ and Air Rarotonga.
Aitutaki’s tourism industry, the accommodators and tourist activities providers have suffered since visitor numbers began falling in December 2007. As a consequence, the island’s economy has become stagnant and something needed to happen to save the situation, to turn it around.
Hence the wide ranging initiative designed to re-launch Aitutaki as a visitor destination, to strengthen Aitutaki in our key markets and enhance the experience for visitors.
Aitutaki MP and Tour operator Teina Bishop and Air Rarotonga’s Ewan Smith spoke to the media on Friday afternoon about the “rescue” plan.
Harmonizing local and government efforts to enhance four conservation related issues, was seen as providing a valuable tool to attract visitors. Firstly, local and central government needed to seriously tackle the major bug bear of all visitors, that of the reducing the number of mosquitoes and sand flies. Public health programmes were needed. Secondly, better efforts were needed to enforce the Raui to ensure marine conservation. Enforcement through respect was not working where the youth were concerned and maybe sterner measures were needed like Regulations. Thirdly, many visitors are attracted by native birds and consideration should be given to turning Motu Kitui into a bird sanctuary. Fourthly, Bone fishing should be promoted.
Harmonising Air NZ and Air Rarotonga schedules was not about crusading for Sunday flights but to enhance air access to Aitutaki seven days a week. It would also enable Air NZ to launch Aitutaki world wide as a fresh destination through its code share scheme.
If approved, there would be two flights on Sunday afternoon to connect with Air NZ. There would be a flight from Rarotonga at 12.30pm to Aitutaki returning to Rarotonga at 2.30pm to connect with Air NZ’s 5.30pm flight.
Smith said in the past two weeks, there had been wide consultation with interested parties including Tourism Corp, Air NZ and key wholesalers also Traditional Leaders, Ui Ariki, Oranga Mana, the Religious Advisory Council, the Island Council, MPs, and the public.
The DPM had been consulted last Monday and following that, the Leader of the Opposition Hon Tom Marsters was consulted as well as the following Aitutaki leaders on
Rarotonga, Kura Strickland, Pai Puna, Pastor Tutai Pere and Sir Geoffrey Henry. All expressed support said Smith.
Cabinet was consulted and approved Hon Robert Wigmore and the DPM address a public meeting in Aitutaki on Thursday. There was also a meeting with the Executive of the CICC including Bank Managers. On Thursday there was a public meeting in Aitutaki.
Following the meeting, the DPM will ask Cabinet to support the decision made by the leaders of Aitutaki for a Sunday trial. Smith said he hopes for a clearance next week to commence flights. If granted Smith said Air Rarotonga would avoid over flying the island and not provide services before midday.

Headlines : Times 254 09 June 2008
-PM wraps up in Rome – heads for home
-Report card on Takitumu Lagoon Day
- Aere ra, Krystina
-Former boxers invited to provide support
-$47 million to upgrade water supply

Headlines : Times 253 02 June 2008
-Saving Aitutaki
-Tepaki Group committed to Maeva Nui sponsorship
- Takitumu Lagoon Day will show what you can do to help
-Tropikana-a sweet inspiration
-Landowner opposes Taakoka Villas application for reinstatement

Headlines : Times 250 12 May 2008
-High Court ruling will decide if Company can compete with Telecom
-HTTC students get a taste for the good life
- Cook Islands Community Services of Victoria Incorporated launched in Australia
-Lagoon Field Day on 6 June 2008
-500 days to the Pacific Mini Games

Headlines : Times 249 05 May 2008
-‘Mr Bankruptcy’ seeks new partners
-The contracting out option
- Cook Islands to feature on TVNZ
-Candles in the wind
-Airport commercial spaces the other side of the story
-Aitutaki wedding for Helen Henry and Prof John Hay

Headlines : Times 239 25 February 2008
-Mitiaro identity recovers well
- Government team developing website
-Business Leaders told profits are green
-Award dinner for Woman of the Month for February
-After 5 Business Talk at Club Bana

Headlines : Times 234 21 January 2008
-“It’s not a nice day.” –Tapi Taio
-Freak storm takes Raro by surprise, causes havoc
DPM seeks inclusion in Alcatel cable network with Samoa and other Pacific nations
-Search on for promising young boxers
-Women’s activist, Lynnsay Francis on brief visit home
-SENZ education founders not sitting on their laurels

Headlines : Times 232 24 December 2007
-Response by DPM to ADB loan upgrade reveals concerns
-Tumutevarovaro Games declared a resounding success
-Italian Assists Cook Islands Climate Change Agenda
-Concept for new Te Aponga logo decided
-The woes of Pacific Engineering Standards!
-Koutu Nui visit to First Nations in Canada

Headlines : Times 231 17 December 2007
-Takitumu Basketball Gold contenders disqualified over wrong colour shorts
- Political reform: are we taking the right approach?
-Award of Contract for the Rehabilitation of Avatiu Harbour Marina
-The new face at the helm of Cook Islands Nursing
- Christmas presents from the Indian community to Creative Centre
-Former agriculture research station in Totokoitu under dispute

Headlines : Times 230 10 December 2007
-A travesty of personalities!
- Maine Tiare girls at Competition Finale at Auditorium
-What is happening at the Punanga Nui?
-Cook Islands World AIDS Day 2007
- We still owe $54.8 million
-Boxing: Club competition set for 18 December
- Youngsters urged to take up boxing
-A Cook Island experience in China Final

Headlines : Times 230 10 December 2007
-A travesty of personalities!
- Maine Tiare girls at Competition Finale at Auditorium
-What is happening at the Punanga Nui?
-Cook Islands World AIDS Day 2007
- We still owe $54.8 million
-Boxing: Club competition set for 18 December
- Youngsters urged to take up boxing
-A Cook Island experience in China Final

Headlines : Times 229 03 December 2007
-Over $50,000 raised for Hosking family
- Industry ushers in new media council
-USP Pro Vice Chancellor upbeat on proposed International Campus in Totokoitu
- Forever young – the new 60s social club
- Audit Office reports busy year
-Appeal in land partition case – Privy Council only recourse after Court of Appeal decision?

Headlines : Times 228 26 November 2007
-$3,500 super nest egg disappears
- Finance Secretary continues to comment on indoor sports complex
- Manganese fever, the new gold rush
- Cook Islands given tourism destination rating of 69
- Tepaki Group host netball team
-A Cook Island experience in China Part II
- Te Mire Tarai Vaka parade

Headlines : Times 224 29 October 2007
- Asbestos to go to watery grave
- CISNOC President thankful that decision on Sports Stadium made
- Cooks NGO to commit to conference goals
- Cost of bread increases as of November 4th
- Leaders call for immediate action to protect region’s fisheries
- Rarotonga scooter club
- CICC celebrate Gospel Day with Nuku Religious Pageants
- Letter to the Editor: Health Ministry recruitment process
- Boxing Association begins promotion
- Auckland East Win Roller Mills
- Party to celebrate opening of new Ocean & Earth store at Turtles
- Oasis Hydroponics set to expand

Headlines : Times 223 22 October 2007
- Fiji, RAMSI, Pacific Plan main issues for PM at Leaders meeting in Tonga
- Takuvaine bridges in need of attention
- Man remanded back in custody
- Clemency celebrates her Masters in Health Practice & Nursing
- Commemoration of Te Rua-o-Te-Tonga Meeting House
- Ten minutes with Krystina Kauvai
- Blue Light Day at Te Atukura ready for Saturday night
- Koutu Nui to attend Climate Change meeting
- Days away from the biggest Conservation Conference for the Pacific
- Conservation Conference casts a wide information net

Headlines : Times 222 15 October 2007
- The CPU saga- Lets get back to the central issue-Cowan
- Delay in Police investigation into Rakahanga case
- Government has lost its focus-Marsters
- Pacific countries discuss Tuna Fishing Management Options for region
- Graduation ceremony for Midwifery Graduates at Public Health
- Public Health conduct October Tutaka to fight dengue
- 2008 Pacific Year of the Reef
- Experts help to develop policies

Headlines : Times 221 08 October 2007
- The CPU saga-the other side of the story
- British Crown may have a duty to Cook Islanders following 1950s A bomb tests
- Fast ferry a step closer
- Financial Secretary recommends upgrade of facilities for Mini Games
- AOG Conference in October
- Cook Islands to attend Lawn Bowls World Singles Champion of Champions
- Business Toolkits workshop opens new pathways for participants
- World Cup next for Sam Pera Jnr
- Good rankings for Sam Pera Jnr
- Power prices set to increase again

Headlines : Times 220 30 September 2007
- Manihiki medical emergency details
- Stop Press: 60kg of donated drugs dumped by Ministry
- Surveyor in beach saga explains his role
- Staff flee MFEM-why?
- Exactly what is our population and ethnic mix?
- Reception for French Naval Officers at Te Atukura
- French helicopter lands at Tereora
- Historical trip reunites families
- Woman of the Month Award
- A Letter Home
- SPREP works to combat invasive species

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