CLOSED – Funding applications for 2019 Cook Islands Language Week Events & Activities



The Cook Islands community are the second largest Pacific ethnic group in New Zealand (after Samoans) making up 20% (61,839) of the Pacific population (295,941) with 59.5% (36,810) living in the Auckland region (Census 2013).

The annual ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week is being held from Sunday 4th August – Saturday 10 August 2018.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (the Ministry) supports community efforts to encourage the preservation and retention of the Cook Islands language by Cook Islanders living in New Zealand. In 2012 the Ministry in partnership with CIDANZ and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) delivered the first Cook Islands Language Week.

Since 2012, engagement in Cook Islands Language Week has grown. It has been celebrated across New Zealand in schools, tertiary institutions, workplaces and communities. Cook Islands Language Week is a chance for all Kiwis to celebrate our rich language and beautiful culture.

If your community, organisation or group is holding an activity/event in celebration of Cook Islands Language Week 2018, applications are now open from today 24th June, and will close on Friday 13 July, 1.00pm. Your applications will be assessed by Monday 15th July, the results of which will be communicated back to you via email.

Application Criteria:

  • Articulate in written form how your activity, event, or workshop will contribute to the following: use of language, awareness, resources, literacy proficiency – knowledge (speaking, listening, and writing)?
  • Clearly outline your budget distribution across all activities.
  • Provide a calendar of events/activities to be held.
  • Activities should not weigh heavily on ‘catering’ as the key component to gathering the community or holding the event.
  • Provide an accountability (financial/none financial) report with a small write up and photograph of the activities/event held.
  • Organisation or Group must be based in New Zealand.

DOWNLOAD: 2019 CILW Funding Application Form

Important Dates:

  • 24th June, Applications Open
  • 13th July, Applications Closes
  • 15th July, Funding Approval letters emailed out with request for a GST invoice
  • 20th July, Funding payments processed
  • 3rd August, Launch of CILW in Tokoroa at the PIPC Church
  • 4th – 10th August CILW
  • 17th August, Accountability Report Due

For any questions or to submit your application, please contact Janet Akai at

Launching the Co-operapig Enterprise


At the Cook Islands Development Agency New Zealand (CIDANZ) we have been working alongside Cook Islands and Pacific families over the past 10 years to help them harness an enterprising spirit that lifts them and their communities, while providing a measure of financial sustainability to realise their dreams.

On June 18th, with the support of Pacific Business Trust, 17 Pacific families came together to launch the very first Pacific Cooperative at the Pasifika Social Enterprise Symposium. The story behind the Cooperapig – a Cooperative ‘Pig’ Enterprise – started with a conversation between community friends. One, a landowner, desiring to utilise her land assets to support community-led development; another, a Cook Islands woman leader; and an enterprising Tongan business woman, who happened to know of family members who could no longer travel everyday from Manurewa to Hobsonville to care for their 50 plus pigs.

These community women pooled their various resources, intelligence, connections and capacities in just under three weeks to give a new home to as many of the pigs as could be caught and transported. They rallied their communities to establish a cooperation among 19 (and growing) families to re-fence a paddock, build shelters and establish a daily pig care and feeding roster for 15 weaners and 5 sows, three of whom we found out were pregnant when we got them on-site.

The vision of the Co-operapig is to enable families and Cooperative members to make a contribution, work with other families, reconnect with the land, learn new skills and knowledge, rather than just consume, and benefit from eating and gifting a cheaper price of pork that they themselves own and have loved and cared for. New Zealand urban lifestyles means that our families are fast losing the connection to the land and nature. Our traditional knowledge about where food comes from, environmental awareness, and an understanding of what it takes to grow and produce food that is healthy in all ways is not being passed down to our children. We want to change all of that with pigs.

Its business model is based on a recognition that we are a mixed group of people from different backgrounds, professions and experiences, and the richness of our shared knowledge, skills and resources we all contribute and commit as individuals to the pigs and one another makes this work fun and rewarding in so many ways. It is a strengths-based or asset-based approach that starts from a place of where people know something (whether about pigs, animal husbandry and welfare, trades, self-sufficient lifestyles, finance, law, environmental management, supply chains, council and industry rules and regulations, and so on) that they can contribute to the development and success of the Cooperapig. This provides a platform they are happy to occupy because they have experience and confidence in themselves as individuals and what they bring to the Cooperapig – our pigs, our member families, and our wider communities.

The Co-operapig is only three months old, and a great example of enterprising communities. For more information on the Co-operapig, contact us at

“Good Business Doing Good in the Community” – Pacific Social Enterprise Symposium 2019

The Pacific Social Enterprise Symposium 2019 brought together some of the brightest minds across the globe to provide insights into the enterprising world of our Pacific communities. There were many inspirational speakers, however two that stood out for us was Emeline & Alipate Mafile’o, owners and operators of Tupu’anga Coffee; and young leader Maia Mariner, founder of Lazy Sneakers.

Tupu’anga Coffee provided us with a strong example of what we can do to uplift our people through continuing to do what we already know how to do, but improving our social impact with little innovation, belief in our people, and hard work. “Family owned and operated, Tupu’anga Coffee is an ethical trade product made up of 100% Arabica beans. It is grown, harvested and produced in Tonga, and provides sustainability to families and communities living there. The profits of the business are reinvested in to the delivery of AW programmes, providing mentoring to around 400 children and their families each year.”

Inspiring leader Maia Mariner, owner of Lazy Sneakers taught us that with selflessness and a gentle heart, we can do good in our community by simply giving. “Maia was only 12 (2017) when she developed the idea for Lazy Sneakers. All she had was a passion to help others and a family to back her. Since the project has started, she has been able to provide sneakers for children, student athletes, families and social services. ”

Following the symposium and the positive impacts of these two social enterprises, we are bolstered and energised to continue to improve our Enterprising Families Program.

For more information on the Symposium, visit their Facebook or Website.

Turama Health Conference 2019

The Turama Health Conference was held in Otahuhu at the Kath Day Hall.  The conference was an opportunity for our communities to come together to learn about the services available. Some of those services centred around Mental Health, an area not often spoken openly about in Pacific communities.

Old School Reserve Open Day – June 1st, 1.00pm – 3.00pm


A concept plan has been developed for the future development and use of Old School Reserve on Kirkbride Road in Māngere.

The Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board has approved the plan for public consultation.

And Auckland Council is wanting to seek feedback from the community on proposals within the concept plan.

On Saturday 1st June, 1.00pm – 3.00pm, CIDANZ will be hosting an Open Day for the local Mangere community to come and see the concept plan for the Old School Reserve. We share the Old School Reserve with Auckland Teaching Garden’s, and two Pacific Early Learning Centre’s, so input into the concept plans will affect all of us. For more information or to ‘have your say’ visit:

A New Wave of Change-Makers

The birth of CIDANZ came from a place of determination to see our Cook Islands people becoming self-sustaining, financially free, culturally richer, and thriving in New Zealand. Although the vision and purpose for this place has remained the same, the people leading the great work we are doing has not.

The direction of our organisation has changed greatly, forcing us to reasses whether we had the skills or not to achieve our vision. This had led to us needing to recruit the skills of those we knew would enable our organisation to hit the ground running… at a faster pace. Today we officially welcomed on board four new staff members under the leadership of Chief Executive Rouruina Emil’e-Brown – Chris Arere (Manger of Youth Development), Johanna Chetwynd (Financial Controller), Dr. Gillian Stewart (Director of Research, Impact and Evaluation), and Elizabeth Fa’alili (Business Support Manager).

Chris Arere has been developing a youth programme that will herald a new youth leadership program. The program is culturally enriched with life and leadership skills for our young people. Johanna Chetwynd currently managers her own accountancy business. Believing in vision and direction of CIDANZ, Johanna brings a life-time of skills and wisdom to our organisation. Dr. Gillian Stewart had contracted with CIDANZ previously, evaluating our progress through the years, puling together our story, and the social impact we’ve had over the years. She has and will always be recognised as an invaluable asset to the organisation. Elizabeth Fa’alili comes to us from the Mental Health Foundation NZ. Our newest staff member, we’re excited to have her as part of our team, and look forward to witnessing the great work she’ll surely do while with us.

Thank you for being a part of this wave of change.


Te Ara Museum – Job Vacancy


TE ARA – The Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise was established in Rarotonga early 2017. It is an exciting new concept in Cook Island Tourism. Te Ara combines a museum, a cafe and a retail gallery, which serves as a business incubator for local artists and businesses.
Te Ara is here to promote Cook Islands made products to visitors from around the world. Important to us is the proud story we tell to support and enrich our economy, our people and our environment.

TE ARA is now taking applications for staff with hospitality, business or cultural experience for a full-time front of house position. They offer training and an opportunity to experience all front of house positions within the business. You would need to make your own way to Rarotonga and be prepared to arrange your own accommodation.

If you want a change of pace, scenery and lifestyle or an opportunity to connect or reestablish links with your Raro community, this is a great opportunity for you.

Please email your CV to or call to discuss further on +64 21 666 060

“It Takes A Village…” – Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019


“It takes a child to raise a village” has been a concept our communities have lived by for many years, and continued to do so today, 4th May 2019. Our communities came together to support the very first Pasifika Pink Shirt Day, sponsored by Mental Health Foundation NZ (MHF), and led by CIDANZ with many partners around the table – Pacific Business Trust (PBT), the Village Collective, MHF and more.

In Aotearoa, young people who identify as part of our rainbow communities experience higher rates of bullying. “Discrimination and social exclusion on the basis of sexuality or gender identity has
been directly linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for LGBTQIA+ young people. While all young people are potential targets of bullying, some groups can experience higher rates. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying are based
on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Young people who identify as LGBTQIA+, or are perceived to be part of the rainbow community, experience higher rates of bullying than students who do not. However, it is important to note that not all of these students will experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying. LGBTI young people are resilient, have higher rates of volunteering and community engagement and are an important part of our community. Despite this, LGBTI young people are particularly vulnerable to experiencing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying” (

Each and every one of us in our Pasifika communities has a part to play in preventing bullying and making our schools, workplaces, and communities safer and kinder.

Special meitaki ma’ata to Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Chair Lydia Sosene, Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio, all the speakers and guest performers for being a part of the very first Pasifika Pink Shirt Day.


“Kia Matutu” – An ANZAC Day Message


“Akamaroiroi tatou na e akaketaketa no to tatou nei au tangata, e te au Oire o to tatou Atua, e na Iahova e rave i tei meitaki iaia ra.”

“Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord’s will be done!” – 2 Samuel 10:12

Courage. It’s an attribute our organisation has needed in order to get to where we are today. Although it’s one word, the weight of what it means varies across our people both in the present and in the past.  For our ANZAC soldiers it was leaving their families to stand in solidarity with the Crown and New Zealand. For our grandparents, and even great-grandparents it was leaving the Cook Islands in order to raise their families in a western world that was often lonely and isolating. For some of our young people it’s learning how to drive for the first time, and for our pepe’s it’s trusting that if they let go of our hands, that they won’t fall as they wobble through that first step. Courage is not the same for all of us, and yet in our everyday lives we are constantly displaying it in our own ways.

The month of April has seen our organisation continue to embrace courage in its many forms to get on with the work. Cook Islands Language Week has been confirmed for August 4th – 10th, with the opening launch set for Saturday 3rdAugust in Tokoroa. Our sporting communities came together to workshop with Auckland Council’s sports policy writers to assess where in South Auckland was the most need for our communities; more sporting facilities was highlighted. A small team was part of the Pacific Trades and Invest ‘Path to Trade’ Show that featured many Pacific entrepreneurs and products. We’ve also secured the contract to operate the Papakura Netball Centre Cafeteria for another season. CIDANZ has also taken on the contract to deliver the very first Pasifika focused Pink Shirt Day on May 4th, and as of today Wednesday 24thApril, will be hosting the ANZAC Commemoration for 2019.

With New Zealand on high alert we are of course concerned about the safety of our communities. However, like those of our Muslim community who knelt in the open in prayer at the Mangere Christchurch Memorial, the commemoration will go ahead. To some it may be an act of courage, but for the last 100 years we had forgotten our ANZAC Tupuna’s – holding the ceremony was our way of continuing to remember them.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela

Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019 – “Courageous Conversations”


Pink Shirt Day is celebrated globally, beginning in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a pear was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. We are proud to present the very FIRST Pasifika Pink Shirt Day 2019!

Join us on Saturday 4th May 2019, 10.00am-2.00pm at the Mangere Arts Center. Through “Courageous Conversations” our Pasifika LGBTQI+ Community will be sharing their stories on how we can become an anti-bullying community.