Cook Islands Youth Network

Ko'onga Mapu

"Tarai'anga 'i te au Māpū 'ei arataki no āpõpõ"

About Ko'onga Mapu

Ko’onga Mapu, when translated means “Youth Nest”. It is a virtual hub created for Cook Islands young people across Aotearoa, to use as a tool to connect with one another, share and access resources, information and keep updated with topics that affect them.  

Following the Cook Islands National Forum in 2020, CIDANZ recognised that it needed to change inorder to grow youth capacity in its 10 affiliated regions through a strategy that was created and led by young Cook Islands people. This led to the formation of CIDANZ’s Cook Islands Youth Division (CYD). 

Ko’onga Mapu was birthed out of CYD, a Division that seeks to establish, improve, and encourage young people to identify and create solutions to problems they may be facing in their respective communities.

Ko’onga Mapu supports the vision of CYD  by helping young people access resources and opportunities such as government funding, digital resources, and tools to deliver youth projects in their communities. However, there is a desire for Ko’onga Mapu to become a physical department that will roll out these services – a vision we are working towards achieving. 

About the National Cook Islands
Youth Conference 2022

At the end of the National Conference of February 2020, we received feedback from young people who attended: 

  • Youth attendee: “What would happen if we had our own conference? It was cool in the beginning with the Tokoroa students, and the three youth facilitators who led the ice breaker sessions, but the rest was full  mainly for our old people. 
  • Youth attendee: “I read the plan, but it didn’t seem like it was for mapu. Even though it had a youth section, I didn’t hear or get the impression of a ‘youth voice’ in it. We need our own plan, one that’s informed by us!” 

That feedback encouraged the youth facilitators to challenge the CIDANZ Chair and Board to hold a youth-only conference with the outcome of a Cook Islands youth development action plan. Two years later, our CIDANZ Youth Team, with the support of our regional board, are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the first National Cook Islands Youth (17yrs-35yrs) Conference in September. 

It is a conference that has been designed by young people, for young people, with the outcome of developing a Strategic Action Plan that informed by Cook Islands young people living across Aotearoa.