Salamo 116:12: Eaa ra taku e apai at una Iehova i te au takinga – meitaki katoa nana iaku nei [What can I offer the Lord for all his goodness to me]
Kia Orana, I was born in the Beautiful Vaka Puaikura, of Rarotonga, to Kamo Tavitai of Arorangi and Moearoa Tarurongo of Areora Atiu (Te Ngati Ingaatu).
I am always inspired by this land of ours, and the people who lead this organisation. With a group of community leaders, I started at the Ta’okotai’anga Charitable Trust in 1999; in 2001 the Trust was formerly established. The turning point of this place really came during 2008 with a newer generation coming through to pick up the work. Although we struggled back then, with steady, strong and smart leadership, we moved forward together, challenged by our community to create a strong home for Cook Islands development. As we continue to move forward, I’ve seen the organisation change to keep up with the demands of our people. Now with a younger team and help from those who’ve become our life-long friends, we’re achieving so much that back in 1999, had only been a dream.
Today I’m still here because I believe in this organisation and continue to love this place and the people in it. I’m so proud to see that in New Zealand, our Cook Islands people have a place to call home. I love this place and hope that our CIDANZ and land continues to flourish. But most of all I look forward to when our oneVILLAGE and oneCHILD centre stands tall in this community, and with it I hope, our people too.
I close by quoting the words of Tinomana Enuarurutini: “Te akaranei au ki Maungaroa te mato i, ‘pao’ia mai au” [I look upon Maungaroa the core to my heritage]