Cook Islands shadow health minister supports helmets for all

Written by Florence Tia Syme-Buchanan

Cook Islands shadow Health minister Sel Napa says she has always been in favour of compulsory helmets for all and stands by her decision to vote in support of the Transport Amendment Act that will see this come into effect later this month.

“I made a vote that my conscience told me to, I made a vote as a mother, aunty and member of a vibrant community and Parliament who wants our people to be safer driving on the roads, there are more arguments supporting compulsory helmets than there are against, so I stand by that decision.”

“I have looked into the weeping eyes of a mother who has lost her only daughter and seen the terrible anguish and loss. I have heard the eulogy presented by another mother for her only child, a son killed in a motorbike accident and felt her incredible loss. Over the years I’ve seen couples weep, families in anguish for their loved ones who have died on the roads, most of them from head trauma. I stand by the vote I made in favour of helmets for all. I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Pictured: Hon. Selina Napa/Rarotonga main road pass the Avatiu Harbour

It has been reported that Rarotonga has the second highest road traffic deaths per capita in the world. Motorcycle accidents is the most common cause. Most have died from head trauma.

“The helmet issue has been around since 2007, the fatalities from motorcycle accidents in that time should be enough to tell us all that we can’t go backwards to the previous situation where helmets were only compulsory for those aged 16 to 25, it simply didn’t work,” says Napa.

“I am also reassured by the support of many in my constituency who support the compulsory helmet law, sadly we have all been touched in some way by the loss of a loved one on our roads and believe in making our motorcyclists safer.”

“I agree with our Cook Islands Democratic Party leader Tina Browne that alcohol and speeding are also huge factors that need to be urgently addressed.”

Earlier this year Leader Browne stated that the reducing the alcohol limit is a good idea, for instance New Zealand has a zero-alcohol limit for drivers under 20 and is something which should also implemented here.

Pictured: Leader of the Opposition Hon. Tina Browne

Browne said defensive driving courses and establishing progressive licensing stages such as learners, restricted and finally a full license should all be considered as well. Learners and restricted license holders have night time driving curfews and strict laws about driving passengers. “The night time motorbike curfew could apply to learners and restricted license holders.”

“But this is only part of the solution. Enforcement and implementation are other aspects that we need to address.  The Police department needs to be honestly and proactively looking at its operations and staffing and asking whether there is a capacity problem in the Police force,” said Browne.

She pointed out that is little point in passing laws if Police don’t have the capacity to enforce the laws meant to make our roads safer.

Nikao Social Center becomes the home for the Nikao Market

Written by Tauraki Rongo

After the Nikao Social Center was destroyed by cyclone Sally in 1987, the name carried on. People including locals continue to ask why it was called the Social centre. At least for some people the concrete floor was there as solid evidence where they can begin telling their own version of the story.

The solid concrete floor of the Social Center is still being used today. It is now the floor for  the Nikao Market

Last Thursday however, the place became the location for the first ever Nikao Market.  The committee chaired by former Cook Islands radio and television broadcasting head Emile Kairua says the new market provides a revenue stream for the Mamas and Papas of the Village who were heavily impacted by the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic like many others in the country. While the country is Covid-19 free, the economy is still down due to the borders being closed. Therefore says Kairua, people need income, and this is one way to hit back at the pandemic.

First time vendors setting up the first ever Nikao Market

According to one of the committee members Pa Matapo, the day was a real success as the food was sold out and the market attracted passersby. They have taken away some learning from this first day says Matapo, and look to grow the market for next week. He says they see a lot of potential at this location which basically caters for the town and the western side of the island.

The Punanganui market opens on Saturday Morning while the Ngatangiia night market opens a few nights a week. Taking on the challenge Matapo says they have a simple motto in Nikao “Bring it on, Slow and steady




Kāre ē ko te Pare kumete te pa’u’anga

Written by Tauraki Rongo

‘I te Ma’anakai ‘i topa, kua rave ‘ia atu teta’i ‘akaari’anga manako nō te ture ‘ōu ē kia ‘a’ao teta’i ‘ua atu tangata te kā nā runga ‘i te pātikara matīni ‘i te pare kumete. Kua ‘aere pupu atu teta’i ma’ata’anga tangata nā runga ‘i te mataara ‘i Rarotonga nā runga ‘i tō rātou au pātikara.


Te ‘akate’ate’amamao nei te au ‘ona pātikara nō te ‘aka’oro atu nā roto ‘ia Avarua nō te ‘akaari atu’anga ‘i tō rātou marekakore nō teia ture ‘ōu (Tutu na Takau Moekaa)


‘E mānganui ‘ua atu rāi te tumu ē pāto’i ‘ia nei teia ture.

Nō te ma’ata ‘oki ‘i te tangata, te māpū tamariki tikāi ē matemate nei ‘i runga ‘i te mataara ‘i Rarotonga, kua ‘ōpara atu te Kavamani ‘i teia ture ‘ōu kia ‘akamana’ia.  ‘I raro ake ‘i teia ture, ka anoano ‘ia teta’i ‘ua atu kia ‘a’ao ‘i te pare kumete, mē nā runga ‘i te pātikara.

Kua ‘akakite ‘oki te tangata nāna ‘i kapiki ‘i teia ‘akakoro’anga ‘a Moana Moekaa ē, kua rapu ‘ua ‘ia teia ture ‘i te tuātau ē ‘aere ra te ‘akamatakite’anga ō te maki Covid-19 ‘ē kāre ‘i ‘uri’uri meitaki, me kore ra ‘i ‘ātoro ‘ia atu ana te ‘iti tangata nō tō rātou manako. ‘E ngā mea tangata rāi ‘oki teta’i teia uiui atu ki aia ē “’akapē’ea teia, ‘akapē’ea terā” kua ‘āriki rāi ‘aia ē te vai nei teta’i au ‘apinga kāre ‘i ‘ākarakara meitaki ‘ia ana ‘i mua ake ka ‘ōpara rapurapu ‘ia atu ei teia ture kia ‘akamana’ia.


Tē ‘aere nei te pupu turu ē kia ‘ākara ‘akaou ‘ia te ture nō te pare kumete; Meitaki maata Cook Islands News nō te tūtū.


‘I runga ‘oki ‘i te pukamata, kua ‘akakite ‘a Pa Matapo ē, ko te pare kumete, kāre tē reira ‘ē tauturu ‘i te ū ‘i runga ‘i te mataara. Te vai atura ‘i nāna ei teta’i au ‘apinga kē atu te kā tau kia ‘ākarakara matatio’ia. Ko teta’i ē ‘akatupu nei ‘i teia manamanata, ko te kaikava ‘ē ko teta’i ko te ‘aka’oro viviki ā te au tamariki māpū.

Kua ‘akakite ‘oki teta’i au tangata ē, kā tau teia ngā manamanata kia ‘ākarakara matatio’ia. ‘Ea’a rāi ē ma’ata nei te tamariki ‘i te ‘aka’oro viviki ma te kore ‘e vī ana ‘i te au ū mate ‘i runga ‘i te mataara. Mē tē rave ai nei te ‘akava ‘i tā rātou tu’anga.

Ko te kaikava ‘oki ‘i nā teta’i au tangata ei, ko teta’i ‘anga’anga ma’ata roa atu tē reira ‘i te ipukarea, ‘ea’a rā ‘i ngō’ie ‘ua ei teia peu ‘i te rave ‘ī te ipukarea?

Kāre katoa te au māmā ē mataora ana ē, ka ‘a’ao rātou ‘i te pare kumete ki te pure, ma tō rātou pare nō te pure ‘i roto ‘i te rima. Kua ‘akakite ‘oki teta’i pae ē, ka tū kaui teia tu’anga ‘i te ‘aere’anga ki te pure ma te pare ‘i roto ‘i teta’i rima.

Kua tāmanako katoa ‘ia mai ‘oki ē pēnei ē ko te au tangata ‘ua ‘i raro ake ‘i te 30 mata’iti ka anoano’ia kia ‘a’ao ‘i te pare kumete. Tē ‘akakite nei rā ‘oki ‘a Moekaa ē, ka anoano’ia teia au ‘apinga kātoatoa kia ‘uri’uri ‘ia atu ki te ‘iti tangata.

‘Ᾱ te rā 26 ō Tiunu kua ‘akamata te ‘akava ‘i te āru ‘aere ‘i te au tangata kāre ‘ē kauraro atu ki teia au ture.

Democratic Party Supports China but only on the Virus Stigmatization Issue

Written by Florence Syme-Buchanan

Democratic Party Opposition leader Tina Browne says she will stand by the statement issued by the Republic of China ministry of Foreign Affairs that countries, including the Cook Islands agree to “…oppose any attempt at stigmatization, politicizing or labeling the virus, support the leading role of the World Health Organization in promoting global cooperation against COVID-19, and strive for an early victory in the fight against the disease.”

“But at the same time, I don’t believe that in joining that agreement, necessarily means we support the one-China principle. That China wants partnerships with Pacific Island countries elevated to a new height post Covid-19 by “exploring new ways and tapping new potentials of cooperation to bring about greater progress in China-Pacific Island countries relations” should be approached and handled with utmost caution,” says Browne.

“We need to protect what few resources we have, our ocean fisheries, our seabed minerals to absolutely benefit our own people, not some other country with its own vast and diverse resources.”

Pictured: Purse in Protest lead by the Aronga Mana in Rarotonga and the late Dame Margaret Karika Ariki (Photo curtesy of Cook Islands News)

[Photo Credit: Cook Islands News] 

Browne who was not part of the video-link meeting between China and 10 Pacific Island countries including the Cook Islands says the Cook Islands should support a thorough investigation into how, where and why Covid-19 originated.

“I don’t believe that the time to be talking about and possible elevation of relations with China is now when we are fighting to keep our paradise free of Covid-19 and the rest of the globe is battling the virus and suffering its effects on populations the world over.”

“I also don’t want to think that China has chosen this time to hold talks with Pacific Island countries when we are all very vulnerable and our economies are in recession. But it would appear that China is attempting an ill-timed public relations exercise and trying to drum up support from Pacific Island countries in readiness for its future plans in the region.”

Keeping Active and Keeping Young with Papa Tai Lindsay

Written by Kathleen Lindsay

Cook Island born Papa Vaine-Tutai-O-Noo Lindsay known to family and friends as ‘Papa’ is enjoying life at 80 years old. Living in his home in Orakei Auckland for close to 45 years that he shared with his late wife Kathleen Lindsay (née Ioaba-Tamarua) whom are very well known locals. Papa is always on the go and still continues part-time employment for a local community led network called Resource Rescue a Social Enterprise in Tamaki. Since arriving here in 1964 he still enjoys doing what he loves best, being around his family and friends and always keeping physically busy. His secret he vows at keeping young.

Pictured: Papa (centre) with younger Brother Tere and nephew John Lindsay (his right)

Raised knowing how to fix cars a teaching passed down from his late father papa Moo Lindsay of Ruatonga in Rarotonga who himself was a capable man around the 1940s was well known on the island as a self born car mechanic, fisherman and musician a trait papa Moo travelled with from his homeland of Tahiti.

Papa Tai working as a young boy in the fields of the taro patch, living off the land and sea was his upbringing. Therefore, family is everything so the future to him is of upmost important for generations to come.

Papa a devoted family man sought a way in finding something to do in his spare time so joined the team at Resource Rescue in 2018. Physically fit and still sharp in his golden age found an opportunity through his daughter Josephine who works for The Glen Innes Family Centre a community support group who rightfully own Resource Rescue. The initiative around this is a response to the large number of appliances and machinery being recovered through Auckland Council’s inorganic collection.

The aim is to give appliances another chance at life by reducing waste to landfill and recycling of items, whilst also creating local led volunteer training opportunities and providing low-cost appliances for low income households. Items are brought back to the warehouse in Pt England (which is the border area between Glen Innes and Panmure) where the Zero Waste network team are responsible for distributing the items for community benefit. We are not a walk-in facility like a shop all our items are sold on trade me. Resource Rescue became official around the 2nd Nov 2015. We currently have a small team of volunteer service technicians which include his youngest daughter Kathleen who manages the team and administration duties. Papa has assisted in training youth and volunteers at fixing and dismantling mainly lawn mowers and weedeaters. He hopes to see more of our Cook island people encouraged in assisting with what he says as ‘taking care of our enua’. Papa Tai known for his humble nature but certain wiff of cheek and wit has adapted a favourite saying; ‘you people cant buy another one in the shop’ (in this instance meaning the land, our Mother Earth). He believes minimizing waste and adapting this as a new norm to everyones daily life assists in keeping our earth from further deterioration. ‘Caring for the land is our last hope especially when times get hard’ something that come to surface during this covid19 shutdown period, so we must take care of what we have been given for the future of our mokopuna.

He gives thanks to GIFC (Glen Innes Family Centre) for the work opportunity and Zerowaste Network for their general support. Also Waste Management for providing the team with operational space.

Akatu’anga’anga no te Akamatutu

Written by Tauraki Rongo

Kua ‘akakite ‘oki te Minita ō te ‘iti Tangata patipika te Mema Ngāteitei Aupito William Sio ē, ko te au ngā’i ‘anga’anga ā te ‘iti tangata Patipika teta’i ‘i tā’ī’ī meitaki ki te tū kaui tei ‘akatupu’ia ē teia maki.

Nō teia tū kaui, ‘ē 80 Mirioni Tārā tei ‘akano’o’ia ‘ei ‘akamātūtū atu ‘i te tūranga mārama ō te ‘iti tangata tei rūti ‘i tā rātou au ngā’i ‘anga’anga ‘ē pērā nō te ‘anga atu’anga ‘i tetai au rāvenga nō te reira. ‘Ē 30 Mirioni Tārā ka tauru ‘ia atu ki roto ‘i te pae ‘apii nō te au rāvenga kia ‘āriu ē kia mārama te ‘iti tangata ‘i te pu’apinga ō te ‘apii. ‘Ē 40 Mirioni Tārā ka ‘akapou ‘ia ki runga ‘i te tūranga ngutu’are ē te ngutu’are ‘o te ‘iti tangata.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Akapapa’anga Moni o Aotearoa nei

Written by Tauraki Rongo

I roto i te akapapa’anga moni a te Kavamani no teia mataiti 2020, kua akatu’anga ia tetai 195 Mirioni tara no te kimi ravenga atu’anga i te tauturu i te au tangata tei tamanamanata’ia atu ta ratou ngai angaanga e te raui o te maki Civid-19.

Pictured: NZ Minister of Finance Grant Robertson

Kua akakite te Minita o te moni a Grant Robertson e, ko te apinga ma’ata kia ratou koia ko te tauturu atu’anga ‘i te iti tangata Patipika kia o atu ki roto i te au ngai anga’anga na roto ‘i te tereni e te akamatūtū atu’anga i to ratou turanga marama.

Ko te moni ‘oki tā te Kavamani ‘i tuku atu ‘ei tauturu ‘i te au kamupani, kua tā’anga’anga’ia tē reira ‘ei tūtaki atu ‘i tā rātou aronga anga’anga ‘i te tuātau ‘i raro ake ‘i te tūranga ‘akateretere’anga 4. Kua riro tē reira ‘ei tauturu atu ‘i  te ora’anga ngutu’are ō te aronga ‘anga’anaga ‘i te mea ‘oki ē kāre ā te au kamupani moni ‘i tē reira tuātau, kāre ratou e ‘anga’anga ana, ē kare ‘e moni ‘ē rauka atu ana ‘i te au kamupani. ‘I teia nei ‘oki ē tei roto te Basileia ‘i te tūranga 2 ō te ‘akateretere’anga ō teia raui, kua topa roa te au tūranga o te au Kamupani ki raro. Ko te rāvenga teia a te Kavamani ‘i te tauturu atu ‘ia rātou (te au kamupani) kua ‘ōronga ‘akaou atu rātou ‘i teta’i ‘akatu’anga’anga moni kia rauka ‘i te tūtaki ‘uātu rāi ‘i te aronga ‘anga’anga nō teta’i 8 ‘epetoma. Tē ‘irinaki nei ‘oki te Kavamani ē, ‘i roto ‘i tē reira tuātau ka mātūtū ‘aka’ou mai te au Kamupani ki te tūranga ē ka rauka rāi ‘ia rātou ‘i te tūtaki ‘i tā rātou aronga ‘anga’anga.

Kua ‘akatu’anga ‘ia atu mei teta’i 3.2 Pirioni Tārā ‘ei tauturu atu ‘i te au Kamupani tei rūti atu mei teta’i 50% ō te pu’apinga tā rātou ‘i mātau.

‘E āka rūti ‘oki tō te tu’anga ‘akapu’apinga ō te basileia ‘i teia tuātau no reira ‘i roto ‘i te ‘akapapa’anga moni ō teia mata’iti 2020, ‘e ‘aka’ātinga’anga ma’ata tā te kavamani ‘i rave atu ma te ‘irinaki ē mē mātūtū ‘aka’ou mai te tu’anga ‘akapu’apinga kā ‘oki atu tē reira tu’anga moni tei ‘ōronga ‘ia atu ‘ei tauturu ‘i te tu’anga pu’apinga ki roto ‘i te putē ā te kātoatoa.

Tē ‘aere nei rāi ‘oki te ‘aka’apa’anga ā teta’i au tangata ‘e te tua pāto’i, inārā tē ‘ākara nei rāi tet’ai ma’ata’anga tangata ki runga ‘i te pu’apinga ō te rā’ui ē kāre ‘i ma’ata te tangata ‘i matemate atu me ‘aka’aite ‘ia atu ki teta’i au basileia ‘i va’o mai.

Sacked Pukapukan Workers back to work

Written by Florence Syme-Buchanan

The reinstatement of six Pukapuka government workers will come as a huge relief for them and their families, says Public Service Commission shadow minister William Heather.

Pictured: Public Service Commission shadow Minister Hon. William Heather

“I’m really pleased that after bringing the unfair sacking of these workers to public attention at the beginning of the year, the Public Service Commission office got involved and now the issue has finally been resolved and they have all been reinstated.”

Heather says he will be following up to ensure that the workers, who he says were unjustly sacked by the Pukapuka Executive officer, are fairly treated and back paid any wages they are owed.

“With the majority of Pa Enua income earners being public servants, anything that will affect the government’s ability to get funds in six months’ time to continue operations is going to have a huge impact on our outer islands families.”

“So, the resolution of the Pukapuka sackings by the Public Service Commissioners office is a welcomed result because it removes financial worries from the affected families for this time.”

He explained that as a country that’s governed by laws, the rights of every government employee is protected under the Constitution regardless of their political beliefs. Heads of Government departments should be aware that they are subject to those laws as well and should tread carefully in dealing with employee issues.

“As the shadow minister for PSC, I will be keeping a look out that government workers are treated fairly by their superiors,” says Heather

Heather says he believes keeping Pa Enua public servants on government wages for as long as possible, even on reduced hours, will work as a lifeline during these and future uncertain times.

Pictured: Pukapuka which lies 1,322 kilometres north of Rarotonga

He pointed to a New Zealand government scheme where ministries feeling the impact of Covid-19 and faced with the possibility of laying off staff are instead redeploying them to work on projects; — 160 forestry workers have been able to pick up jobs in 55 government projects in the north island. The projects involve getting rid of wilding pines, an invasive weed that is a threat to farmland, waterways and ecosystems.

Heather feels the same could be done here, with government divisions such as customs, quarantine, airport workers being utilised at the ministry of Agriculture which is under pressure to provide more vegetable seedlings for Rarotonga and the Pa Enua

CIDSAP NZ – Tuku Te Manako: Invitation to ‘Have Your Say’ in structuring our journey forward

We are approaching the final updates to be added into the 2020-2030 National Cook Islands Development Strategic Action Plan New Zealand (CIDSAP NZ).

We will be finalising all feedback and comments by Friday 15 May 2020. If you have not put in your thoughts, now is the opportunity to do so before the close date. Click HERE to download the full CIDSAP NZ document, and email your thoughts to Henry Herman, Chairman at

We look forward to receiving your collective thoughts.

Catching up with Maria Tanner

Written by Tauraki Rongo

“After four years and a bit I came to realise that my career and what I wanted to do could not progress any further in Rarotonga”. These were the words of Maria Tanner when she was asked why she moved back to New Zealand.

Maria Tanner is one of many New Zealand born Cook Islanders who have gone against the grain to try and settle in the Islands, a place they have never lived in, although they are very much aware of their connection to the place.

“ I’ve always had this feeling of connection to the place in me” says Maria,  so with the qualifications and the freedom she had, she went across to Rarotonga in 2010.

Pictured: Maria Tanner with Mum

Hailing from the Teava Taru family of Enuamanu on dad’s side and the Cowan and Amoa clan of Takitumu on mum’s side, Maria followed her heart beat to the islands. She packed up to move home ready for the long haul.

She joined the team at Cook Islands Herald where she did the rounds with print, radio and television news before moving on to take up a position with Ministry of Education (MOE).

At Cook Islands Herald, she said she really enjoyed the face to face interaction with the community. She said that she was able to discover herself in an environment she was already spiritually connected to. Being a journalist in that space was the perfect platform to facilitate her introduction into the community of her roots.

Working with MOE provided her with the insight of how government departments operate.

Having spent a good five years in Rarotonga Maria is now back in Auckland and working for herself as a Developing Producer to help bring Pasifika Contents to our television screens. This means working behind the scene with organisations such Bright Sunday, or BSAG. While most of New Zealand was in lockdown Maria’s been busy with Bright Sunday as part the team ensuring our Pacific people are well informed and aware of the restrictions throughout the different Alert Levels.