Opposition Party Leader Hon Tina Browne said they will not support the To Tatou Vai Bill

Written by Florence Syme-Buchanan – Opposition Media Release

Cook Islands Opposition leader Tina Browne has said they will not support the passage of the To Tatou Vai Authority Bill through Parliament if it remains in its current form.

“There is no way that the Democratic Party Opposition will support the bill the way it is at present, there are too many flaws and areas of widespread public concern. It really needs to be carefully redrafted with a lot more consideration vested in our culture and traditions. At the moment there are too many contentious areas in the bill and these need to be changed with the interest of our people being kept at the forefront, not the interest of government or the To Tatou Vai Authority,” says Browne.

Leader Browne added that there is no justification on government’s part to give so little time for public and landowners’ consultations and rush the bill through for the next sitting of Parliament in September. “This will have a disastrous result, and we are already seeing the growing public dissatisfaction with the bill – landowners, growers, NGO’s are all speaking out about it. The government needs to have genuine and fair consultations with our people.”

“The bill has significant implications for our people, landowners, growers, our village communities in Rarotonga and Aitutaki – our people need to understand what those implications are and this won’t be possible in three vaka consultations allocating two hours per vaka consultation on Rarotonga.”

“The landowners should have been given the opportunity to meet separately with the Select Committee appointed to hear submissions on the To Tatou Vai Authority Bill and it is very disappointing that this request has been turned down by the Committee chairman DPM Mark Brown. Landowners have significant issues they wish to address and they should rightly have been given every opportunity to do that before the Committee.”

Official Launch of the Cook Islands Language Commission NZ – “Are Taunga”

Saturday 2nd August 2020, saw the launching of the Are Taunga as part of the Opening to the Cook Islands Language Week. The Are Taunga forms the head of a proposed structure to oversee the development of a holistic approach to reviving Cook Islands language in New Zealand.

CIDANZ Language & Cultural Lead Tauraki Rongo said that the approach has to take into consideration the main pillars that builds the passion for language. This includes the development of new words to keep up with technology and science, and the establishment of a working relationship with the language Commission in Rarotonga.  The other part of this structure looks at resource and curriculum development and the teaching of teachers who are fluent with the Reo to teach the language.  The third pillar is to do with Culture and Heritage. This does not only focus on performing arts, but will also look at putting together a database of family trees, traditional customs and practices and so forth. Rongo said that literature reviews will have to be undertaken immediately to identify what’s available and what needs to be collected. The launching of the Are Taunga signals the beginning of the work in bringing this structure to life. He said it’s a lot of work, but if the focus stays on our connection to the land of our ancestors, language will easily flow on to the next generation.

The Are Taunga brings together a lot of skills but at this stage its heavy with research capacity.

Tha language Commision are as follows:

MamaTupou Manapori

An advocate of Cook Islands language and Cook islands culture in New Zealand. Born in Manihiki she grew up in Rarotonga and attended teachers training College there before moving to New Zealand. Before moving to Aotearoa, Mama Tupou is one of those lucky enough to be mentored by great teachers such as Taira Rere, and Mana Strickland.

She taught in New Zealand for over 37 years with most of those years at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. Tupou served eleven years (1983-1992) on the Mankau Council. Her passion to see Cook islands language blossom in New Zealand have kept her in the classroom till now where she teaches Cook Islands language at MIT Pasifika Languages.

Her work with the community at large have earned her New Zealand Queens Award NZMN and QSM.

………………………………………………………….

Teremoana Hodges

Teremoana Hodges moved to New Zealand  at the tender age of 7. Most if not all of her working life in New Zealand was spent in the classroom teaching at Primary and intermediate schools before going back into studies. She spent a couple of years as principal of the Cook islands Teachers Training College in Rarotonga around twenty years ago.

She holds a Masters degree in Professional Education with her Masters based on “How to teach Cook islands Maori language to adults in New Zealand”.  A highlight in her study was the use of the Tivaevae methodology as a model of building and developing strategies.

………………………………………………

Charlie Teariki Turia

Born and raised in Tokoroa, New Zealand and of Aitutaki and Rarotonga descent. The 7th Child of 11 children to the late Turia Turia (QSM) and late Nooroa Turia the first Cook Island family to settle in Tokoroa.  Cook Islands Community (NZ) Representative on the parliamentary select committee for the Children & Youth Persons Act 1989. Currently Employed as Area Manager for Go Bus Transport managing Bus Depots in Putaruru, Tokoroa, Reporoa, Rotorua, Taupo and Turangi.  He is the Chairman of the Cook Islands Community Society Tokoroa (Inc) since 2004.  He is the Parish Clerk for St Luke’s Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church Tokoroa since 2008.  He Facilitates the Men’s Focus Group dealing with Men’s Health under the umbrella of the South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services (Inc), Tokoroa.  He also the producer of the Cook Islands Radio Te Taura Vananga – Raukawa FM Show held every Sunday 6:00-12:00 midnight. He is also a registered New Zealand Marriage Celebrant (55374).

………………………………………………

Lester Dean

Lester Dean spent 34 years of his life teaching at primary schools in Invercargill. He was School Pricipal for some time before the establishment of the New River Primary School where he continued to be Principle until 2006.

In 2010 he worked in Dunedin to set up the PIACT there.

Lesters interest in Cook islands language was triggered again when his son started making progress on an app to teach the reo maori. At this stage and time he is looking for a name for this app..It will most like be called Reo Kapua – and will involve Fluent Cook Islands Maori language speakers of all ages in 7 mins segments teaching conversational Cook islands  maori

………………………………………………

Karika Turua

Kariaka ia one of the Cultural Leader amongst the Puakpukan Community in New Zealand. He is based in Auckland  and brings to the Are Taunga Cook Islands view and perspectives from a Pukapukan viewpoint.

……………………………………………………..

Tokerau Joseph

Reverend Tokerau Joseph brings to the Area Taunga Phd in Theology with First Class Honours. Born in Rarotonga, but grew up in Auckland. Reverend Tokerau is well engraved into the Manihiki and Cook islands Culture being involved in community, Church and School events throughout his life.

………………………………………………

Frances Topa Fariu

Kua tupu mai a Frances mei te Enua Nukuroa.  Kua tangoia tona tupuanga ki roto i tona reo e tana peu maori.  E ngakauparau ana aia i tetai ua atu tika’anga kia akaari ma te akaepaepa aia i tona reo e tana peu maori.  No tona inangaro e te umuumu kia ruperupe e kia vai ua atu rai to tatou reo e ta tatou peu maori, kua  piri atu ana aia ki roto i te au angaanga o te Temaevanui i te Kuki Airani e pera to Nutireni nei, tetai au putuputu’anga e te au uipaanga e manganui no runga i te akamatutu i te reo maori, te uri i tetai au pepa puapinga ki roto i te reo maori Kuki Airani e te vai atura.

E ta-angaanga katoa ana aia i tona parau i tona reo maori na roto i tetai au tikaanga kia  akamarama meitaki aia i tetai au angaanga e rave ia nei ki roto i to tatou iti tangata Kuki Airani i tera ngai e tera ngai me anoanoia mai aia.

Toku reo e taku peu maori kia ora ua atu rai, Taku Ipukarea kia rangatira.

…………………………………………………………

Maara Maeva

Ma`ara Maeva is a Learning Specialist at Auckland War Memorial Museum Auckland New Zealand where he develops and delivers schools and community programs based on museum collections. He is trained in the field of archaeology and he holds a Master`s degree in archaeology from the University of Auckland. He comes from the island of Ma`uke and is steeped in the cultural traditions and knowledge of his heritage

……………………………………………………………………

Eliza Puna

Eliza Tohoa Puna is a daughter of the Cook Islands born and raised on the island of Rarotonga with papa’anga to the islands of Aitutaki and Manihiki. Currently, a Teaching Fellow and PhD Candidate at Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. She has a Pacific Studies, Public and Community Health background. Her research interests are centred around Cook Islands, Pacific and youth positive mental wellbeing, mental health, suicide prevention, youth development and our reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani.

Education before a House – Meet Tumai Tumutoa

Written by Tauraki Rongo

This week Kura Ora caught up with Tumai Tumutoa. She is a mother of two happily married to a Fijian husband. Since the Covid-19 Lockdown, she’s been working from home, doing accounts for her trucking firm. She is currently working for the Les Harrison Transport firms Tauranga branch.

 

Pictured: John Tumutoa center with grandson and Tumai on his left

With a degree in Accounting Tumai has no problems working from home especially with the two children.

Tumai’s development from Primary school is very interesting as they already knew they were headed for University. “Our dads have always drummed it into our heads that we will be going to University.”

Like her other siblings, they all travelled from Rarotonga privately to attend Waikato University.

When asked about funding to see them through University, she said that their dad was committed to this task, so instead of making a loan to build a house, he prepared himself to be in a position to support his children’s study.

John Tumutoa started of his career as a Customs Officer in Rarotonga before moving in, to work at the Inland revenues department. While the girls were just starting high school, John attended the University of the South pacific in Fiji to complete his degree in accounting. He then returned to Rarotonga and worked with an Accounting Firm Wood and Co, before starting up his own Accounting Firm J&J Tumutoa.

Tumai and her Sisters are currently helping out with private Cook Islands students from Rarotonga attending Waikato University. According to Tumai, they have been helping students with student loans and other requirement around the University. She said when they arrived at Waikato, they were fortunate to have the help of a former and late Waikato University colleague Mii Matamaki. She helped them settle in around the assistance that’s available. Mii showed them the way the system works enabling them to help students today.

Today the girls all have degrees in accounting with one in Tourism.

Pa Marie Upokotini Ariki – Torunga’uru Mataiti ki runga I te Ta’onga

Written by Tauraki Rongo (Tutu – nenei’ia e Lisa Williams)

‘I te Ma’anaka ‘i topa, kua rave ‘ia atu te ‘akama’ara’anga ‘i te torunga’uru’anga mata’iti ō te Pa Te Ariki Upoko O Te Tinitini Marie ki runga ‘i te tā’onga ō Pā. ‘I teia ngā mata’iti ‘i topa, nō Aotearoa ‘ua nei ‘a Pā Ariki ‘i te ngā’i ‘i no’o ei nō teta’i au tūranga ō te ora’anga kōpapa.

Ko teia ‘anga’anga tikāi ‘oki ka rave ‘ia atu ki te Ipukarea, ‘inārā, nō te maki ē ‘aere nei, kua mārō rai teta’i ōna ngā Rangatira ē kia rave ‘ia atu teia ‘anga’anga. Mē kāre ki te Ipukarea, ki Aotearoa nei.

Ko Rautea Rangatira (Rosie Blake) ‘ē ‘Iro Rangatira (Joe Ngatae) ngā Rangatira ō Pa Ariki tei ‘akauruuru katoa ‘ia atu ‘i te mata’iti ‘i kake atu ei ‘a Marie Pa ki runga ‘i te tā’onga. Kua turuturu ‘ia atu te ‘akateretere’anga ē te ‘akano’ono’o’anga ō teia ‘anga’anga ‘i te Maanakai e, Pikiare Mataiapo ma te ‘iti tangata Takitumu ‘i Akarana.

Kua tae katoa atu te ‘iti tangata Maori nō teia ‘akakoro’anga. Kua ‘akakite ‘ia ‘oki ‘i roto ‘i te au taratara’anga ē ko te piri’anga ō te Pa Ariki ki te ‘iti tangata Maori, ‘e mea mātūtū te reira. Ko teta’i teina ō Marie Pa kua ‘āngai’ia atu e te kōpu Ariki Tuheitia Paki.

‘I roto ‘i tāna ‘akameitaki’anga ‘i teia ‘anga’anga tei rave ‘ia atu, kua ‘akakite a Pa Marie ē, tē tāpapa atu nei aia nō te ‘oki atu ki te Ipukarea tāvini atu ei ‘i tōna Vaka tangata ‘i Takitumu. Kua ‘akakite katoa ‘a Pa Ariki e, ‘i roto ‘i tana au ‘anga’anga teia rave atu, ko tāna ‘anga’anga ‘openga tei rave ‘ua ‘ia ake nei ko te ’ōronga atu’anga ‘i tetai potonga ‘enua ‘āriki tā’onga ō Pa, ‘ei ‘akaū ‘i teta’i ngutu’are nō te aronga pakari ē te makimaki ‘i te Ipukarea.

Kua puta mai ‘oki teia anoano ‘i muri ake ‘i te kitena’anga ‘ia atu teta’i au metua ē no’o ra ki roto ‘iI tetai au ngutu’are kāre ‘ē tau kia no’o ‘ia ē te tangata.

Terepai Maoate urges all MPs to take the lead and accept a pay-cut

Written by Florence Tia Syme-Buchanan

[Democratic Party Opposition Release]

Cook Islands Deputy Opposition leader Terepai Maoate has urged all MPs to take the lead and accept a pay-cut. Maoate made the recommendation in Parliament today Monday 20 June. MP Maoate has voluntarily had his salary reduced and redirected into his Ureia community on Aitutaki to help with agricultural projects he has initiated.

Pictured: Hon Terepai Maoate Jnr with wife Paula [Photo by Gerardus Verspeek] 

Speaking outside Parliament Maoate says he believes people will appreciate MPs showing solidarity with workers and the community who have been affected by the economic downturn. “I also urge public servants who are on the same salary band as MPs to follow suit. As Democratic Party opposition leader Tina Browne has already stated when she publicly encouraged MPs and high earning public servants to take a pay cut – “we’re all in the same storm together.”

Four Opposition MPs have taken salary cuts. In a front-page article last week Cook Islands News misreported that MPs were seeking allowance top-ups during the downturn and demanding spousal allowances. The newspaper has not published a correction despite being asked to do so by the Democratic Party Opposition.

Tina Browne has explained the question put to Parliament by MP Terepai Maoate was clarification of s5(2) of the Remuneration Order. “It was not about me or MP Maoate asking for entitlements to be paid.” “My point was that all MPs should be treated the same in that travel entitlements for Pa Enua MPs residing in Rarotonga should be the same as those residing in their constituencies. That was what the questions were.”

Speaking on the CINews article headed “MPs seek allowance top-ups in downturn” PM Henry Puna said the media has a responsibility of reporting the proceedings of the House without sensationalising anything they report. “That headline certainly achieved that”

PM Puna described the newspaper article written by Rashneel Kumar as inaccurate and unfair. Parliament has ruled that Cook Islands News reporter Rashneel Kumar be barred from Parliament for a period of time yet to be determined.

Puna said Parliament might be accused of attempting to silence the media and he certainly expected that stance to be taken by Cook Islands News. However, Parliament proceedings are broadcast live on radio and television and accessible to the public. PM Puna said it was a move to hold media to account.

MP Maoate says he’s relieved that Parliament has condemned the Cook Islands News article which portrayed him and all other MPs in a very negative light.

Ko’ai Tikāi te Aronga Mana

Written by Tauraki Rongo

‘I roto ‘i te au ‘ākarakara’anga matatio ē rave’ia nei ‘i teia tuātau nō runga ‘i te Papa Ture Tāmanako no te au tika’anga ō te manu’iri ki roto ‘i te Basileia, kua ‘akakite ‘a Terea Mataiapo (Paul Allsworth) ē, tē tā’ī’’ī nei teta’i ma’ata’anga tangata ‘i tetai au ‘akamāramarama’anga.

Pictured: Terea Mataiapo with Te Ikamata Toru Ariki (Center)

Kua ‘akakite ‘oki ‘aia ē kua rave atu te Koutu Nui ‘i teta’i ‘iri’iri Kāpua nō runga ‘i teia Papa ture tāmanako. Ko teta’i ‘apinga ‘oki tei matara mai koia ko te ‘akataka’anga tikāi ō te aronga mana. Ko’ai tikāi te aronga mana?

Kua ō mai ‘oki ‘i nāna ei te ‘akataka’anga ‘i te aronga mana ki roto ‘i tā rātou ‘uri’uri’anga ‘i te mea ‘oki ē kua tāuru atu teta’i aronga ‘i te au ‘aka’aere ‘anga’anga ki roto ‘i tā rātou taratara’anga manako ē, ‘e aronga mana.

Kua ‘akakite ‘oki ‘a Terea ē, ko te Aronga Mana ko te aronga tā’onga ‘ua ‘i roto ‘i te au matakeinanga ō te au Ariki. Ko teia aronga ko te au Ariki, te au Mata’iapo, Rangatira ‘ē te au Kāvana. Ko te au tangata tei ‘akarangatira’ia ē te Evangelia ‘ē pērā rātou tei ‘akarangatira’ia e te ‘akateretere’anga ā te papa’ā, kāre rātou ‘i te aronga mana. Kua ‘akakite ‘oki ‘a Terea ē, tē ‘irinaki nei rātou ē kāre te Kavamani ē rapurapu ‘i te ‘akamana ‘i teia ture māri rā kia ‘ākarakara meitaki ‘ia rāi, ‘ē kia mārama katoa ‘oki te ‘iti tangata ‘i tē reira.

 

Pictured: Te Aronga Mana o Nukuroa

Kua ‘akakite katoa ‘oki ‘a Terea ē ‘i tāna ‘ākara’anga ka anoano’ia teia ture tāmanako, kia tātā’ia ki roto ‘I te reo maori ‘ē pēra ‘i roto ‘i te tātā’anga kia mārama te ma’ata’anga ō te ‘iti tangata. Kua ‘akakaite ‘aia ē, ko teia ture ‘ē ‘aka’ōu’ia nei ‘i teia tuātau, kā riro tē reira ‘i te tuku ‘i te kaveinga ‘ē tiratiratū ei te toketoke ‘enua, mē tārevakē ‘i nānā ei te ‘akano’o’anga ‘i teia ture ‘i teia tuātau kā peke te tika’anga ō te toketoke ‘enua riro atu ei tātou ‘e ‘utu paunu ‘i runga rāi ‘i tō tatou ‘enua.

CIDANZ Annual General Meeting – 30 June 2020, 6.30pm

ZOOM MEETING LINK

 

It’s that time of the year again where we invite you all to attend CIDANZ Annual General Meeting via Zoom.

Hosted by our Board of Trustees, this years AGM is another chance for you to hear about CIDANZ’s developments from the past 12 months.

The 2012-2015 Cook Islands Development Action Plan [NZ] has been reviewed, aligned and focused for 2020-2030. A clear vision, priority areas and actions were identified, feedback was sought from all regions across NZ, which informed the final Cook Islands Strategic Action Plan 2020 – 2030 (CIDSAP NZ).

Meet with us via Zoom on Tuesday 30th June, 2020 at 6.30pm.

Zoom link: shorturl.at/csvDV

Ture Tamanako no te Tikaanga o te Tangata ki Roto I to tatou basileia

Translated by Tauraki Rongo

‘I teia ngā rā tē kimikimi atu nei teta’i Kumiti tei ‘akano’o ‘ia ē te Pāramani ō te Kūki ‘Ᾱirani ‘i te Manako ō te ‘iti tangata nō runga ‘i teta’i Ture Tāmanako ē ‘akate’ate’amamao ‘ia nei nō te tuku atu ki mua ‘i te Pāramani.

Ko teia ture Tāmanako ‘oki nō te Tika’anga ō teta’i tangata ki roto ‘i teta’i Basileia (Immigration)nā te Kūki ‘Ᾱirani.

Ko te ture ‘oki ē mana nei ‘i teia tuātau ko te “Residence and Departure Act 1971-72” inārā ‘i teia tuātau, ‘e ngatā te tā’anga’anga ‘i teia nō teta’i au ‘akataka’anga kāre ‘ē taka meitaki ana.

Ko teia ture tāmanako ‘oki, kua ‘ākara katoa atu tē reira ‘i te tika’anga ō teta’i manu’iri kia no’o tinamou ki te Ipukarea. ‘I teia Marama ‘i topa ake nei kua māro atu teta’i tangata papa’a ē ka ‘inangaro ‘aia kia riro mai ‘aia ‘e tangata Kūki ‘Ᾱirani tikāi. ‘I teia tuātau ‘e tika’anga tōna ‘i te no’o tinamou ki te Ipukarea, kāre rā ‘oki te reira ‘ē rava kiaia. Kua ‘akakite ‘aia ē, ‘e ma’ata ‘uātu rāi tāna ‘i oake atu ki te Kūki ‘Ᾱirani nā roto ‘i te pu’apinga ō tāna Pitinīti, ‘e tau ē ‘i nāna ei kia rauka teta’i tūranga ē, ‘e tangata Kūki ‘Ᾱirani ‘aia, noātu ‘oki ‘i nana ei ē kāre ona tika’anga ki runga ‘i teta’i potonga ‘enua.

Kua riro te māro’anga ā teia tangata ‘ei ‘akaaraara mai ‘i te manako ō teta’i ma’ata’anga tangata Kūki ‘Ᾱirani nō te tika’anga no’o tinamou  ki te Ipukarea e ngō’ie ‘ua nei ‘i te ‘oakena’ia ki te au manu’iri. Ko te ma’ata’anga ō te au manu’iri ‘i te Ipukarea ‘ē  kimi tika’anga tinamou nei, ‘e aronga ‘anga’anga nā te au ‘Ōtēra.

Ko teta’i ē ui’ia nei ‘i teia tuātau ko te tika’anga no’o tinamou ō te tamariki ā teia au manu’iri ‘e tika’anga tinamou tō ratou ‘i teia tuātau.

Ko teta’i tu’anga ‘oki ō teia Ture Tāmanako, ē akarakara matatio ‘ia atu nei koia ko te ‘akataka’anga ‘i te tūranga ō teta’i tangata Kūki ‘Ᾱirani. Ko tā teta’i ma’ata’anga tangata turanga e turu nei koia ko te piri’anga toto. ‘Ei toto Kūki ‘Ᾱirani ‘oki e riro mai ei teta’i tangata ‘ei tangata Kūki ‘Ᾱirani.

Te vai atūra ‘oki teta’i au tu’anga ō teia ture, ē te ‘akakite nei teta’i metua ē, ‘e mea tau kia pati atu te au metua ki tā rātou au tamariki kia ‘ākara atu ‘i teia ture tāmanako ‘i runga ‘i te Kupe roro uira https://parliament.gov.ck  ‘ei reira tuku atu ei ‘i tā rātou tāmanako’anga ki te:

Committee Secretary

Immigration Bill Select Committee
Parliament of the Cook Islands
Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Ka anoano ‘ia ‘oki teia au manako ‘i mua ake kā tukuna ‘iātu ei teia ki mua ‘i te Paramani ‘i roto ‘ia Tepetema.

Consultation on the way for the Cook Islands Immigration Bill 2020

Written by the Cook Islands Parliament

Consultations are currently on the way for one of the most important Bills of today as Cook Islanders fight to hold on to their heritage. Consultations for Rarotonga were completed during the last week of May and now the Select Committee is turning their attention to the Outer Islands before a report on the Consultations is tabled in Parliament September.

The Immigration Bill Select Committee 2020 was established by Parliament on 25 March 2020, to review and consider the Immigration Bill 2020 and report its recommendations back to Parliament by 30 September 2020.

The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Pictured: Immigration Bill 2020 Select Committee Members (photo Cook Islands Parliament)

Chairperson: Hon Min Mac Mokoroa
Deputy Chairperson: Hon MP Vaitoti Tupa
Members:
Hon MP Tai Tura
Hon MP Tina Browne
Hon MP Tehani Brown
Hon MP Patrick Arioka
Hon MP Tamaiva Tuavera

The purpose of the Bill is to manage immigration in a way that balances the national interest, as determined by the Crown, and the rights of individuals. The present Act (the Entry, Residence and Departure Act 1971-72) is outdated and difficult to read and apply.

This Bill reforms and modernizes immigration law in the Cook Islands and takes account of extensive consultation in the Cook Islands about how to change the immigration system in a way which best suits the needs of the Cook Islands.

Immigration Bill Select Committee (IBSC) invites public feedback into the review of the new Immigration Bill 2020

A copy of the bill can be accessed online and is available for download from the Parliament of the Cook Islands website – https://parliament.gov.ck  and Parliament Facebook Page. In addition, copies will be made available at all the Puna stations on Rarotonga beginning Monday 11 May 2020, for public reading and awareness.

Expression of interest for submissions on the Immigration bill can be emailed or delivered to the Committee Secretary, Margret Numanga, email contact – margret@cookislands.gov.ck or Address your submission to:

Committee Secretary

Immigration Bill Select Committee
Parliament of the Cook Islands
Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Call to Support Volunteer Firefighters in Puaikura

Written by Florence Tia Syme-Buchanan

The Ruaau MP of Puaikura is shocked and dismayed over the treatment of firefighters attending a house fire this week by drunken bystanders and that the volunteer village service had a critical piece of equipment stolen.

Pictured: Puaikura volunteer Firefighters in the Arorangi School grounds checking equipments (Photo Puaikura Volunteer firefighters)

MP William (Smiley) Heather says it is unacceptable that while the brave volunteers were trying to save a home from a fire a group of drunks verbally abused them and interefered with their water hoses.

“It makes me very upset that here are our unpaid firefighters doing their best carry out their duties and some thieves thought to take advantage of them being away from the Puaikura Fire Station and to steal the compressor they need to do their job to help our community.”

Pictured: Hon William (Smiley) Heather

“I am calling our community to come together and support our Puaikura firefighters, who do this very important job voluntarily, to inform Police who those abusive and interfering drunks were and to give any information they might have about the stolen compressor to Police.”

“Our Puaikura Fire Service doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. No firefighting service deserves to be treated so badly by heartless people.”

“I am so shocked this happened. I would never have thought our voluntary fire service would get this kind of treatment.”

Meanwhile, Titikaveka MP Sel Napa says she and the Temurimotia Fire Service, another voluntary unit are also saddened and stunned at how the Puaikura Fire Service has been treated. “All the voluntary firefighters have trained hard to be part of two dedicated and committed teams on Rarotonga. They support each other. All the equipment in each of the two fire stations have been obtained through overseas grants. It took a long time for the fire stations to become established. Our volunteer fire fighting service doesn’t deserve this.”

“I am asking whoever the person or persons are who took the compressor from the Puaikura station to please return it. The Puaikura fire service needs this compressor to be able to do the job it does of putting out fires. If you don’t return it, it could be  your house or that of your loved ones that catches fire and they won’t be able to attend to it because you have the compressor. Please do the right thing for our community and safety.” Democratic Party Opposition release.