Pacific media salute Tamarii Pierre
Tragic crash claims young life
Tamarii – a kid class act
Police plead for change of attitude
Tamarii Pierre photos
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Pacific media salute Tamarii Pierre
Regional journalists have come together through online forums to celebrate the life and achievement of the late Tamarii Pierre.
News of the 19-year-old’s tragic death in a car crash at the weekend has generated a flood of condolence messages and the sharing of stories on how the energetic and aspiring young television reporter touched their lives.
“We all know how cheerful and friendly our brother was when we were in Villa (Vanuatu),” writes Fiji Sun reporter Christopher Chand.
“The first night we met we acted as if we had known each other for years – the singing, dancing and laughter we shared.
“We were from different countries but it felt like we were family. I remember calling up Tamarii to tell him that I would meet him again at the Mini Games in Rarotonga in September.
“Tamarii would bring his car to pick Charles and myself from the stadium because we had difficulty with transportation. He would stay up late with us while we filed our stories.
“It still feels as if I had just met him yesterday. Those fond memories still fresh in my mind.”
Tamarii attended the PINA (Pacific Islands News Association) Media Summit hosted by Vanuatu in 2009 where he easily made friends with his fellow reporters.
“Tamarii was easy to spot at the PINA conference in Vila for his zest for journalism and life,” says seasoned Fiji reporter Samisoni Pareti.
“I remembered thinking, that must have been how some of us had looked a decade or so ago. “So ready to take on the world with all its troubles and opportunities.
“My condolences to Cook Islands TV, the media fraternity in Raro and family of Tamarii.”
Cook Islands journalist Lisa Williams-Lahari also remembers Tamarii’s energy and enthusiasm at the Vanuatu PINA conference.
“Those who were in Port Vila for PINA 09 would not fail to remember the energy and smiling face of Cook Islands TV cameraman Tamarii Pierre,” says Lisa.
“As anyone who has been to Rarotonga knows, when bright lights like Tamarii are taken so soon, the whole island is covered in tears.”
Former Cook Islands News reporter Florence Syme-Buchanan shares the story of how Tamarii got his nickname T2.
“Tamarii was named after his Dad and all his friends knew him by his nickname T2.
“His Dad (Tam) told the story on Saturday evening after the home prayer service about how T2 got his nickname.
“Mother Ipu wished to have him called Tamarii – but Tam had no wish for him to be called Junior, which often happens here in the Cook Islands if a son is named after his father.
“I never believed that T2 was my ‘junior’ and never wanted him to be called that because he is his own person, not my ‘junior’,” Tam said during the family service. --Matariki Wilson
Popular local television news presenter Tamarii Pierre was tragically killed on Saturday morning when the vehicle he was a back seat passenger in, crashed into a power pole at Blackrock.
The 19-year-old was with two male friends in a black Nissan Torano heading towards Arorangi when the driver of the Nissan Terano lost control on the Blackrock bend and the vehicle crashed into a power pole.
Pierre died at the scene of the accident while the front seat passenger and driver of the vehicle were taken to Rarotonga hospital in private vehicles.
The pair were treated for minor and severe injuries
Police received a report of the accident at 2.59am on Saturday from a passing motorist and believe the accident occurred around 15 minutes before being reported.
Inspector Tere Patia says Pierre was an innocent victim in the crash and believes that speed and alcohol were the contributing factors to the accident.
Patia adds that at this stage, the 18-year-old driver of the vehicle is likely to be charged with drink driving causing death.
Police commissioner Maara Tetava says that Pierre’s death is a sad and tragic lesson in what happens when people drink and drive and speed.
Pierre, the son of Tamarii and Ipu Pierre Tutangata, was much adored member of the Pitt Media Group staff and an accomplished cultural dancer.
Recently, Pierre made Cook Islands broadcasting history when he conducted the very first live cross from the police station reporting on the developing cyclone in the northern group islands with equipment donated by TVNZ and presented by Barbara Dreaver.
Dreaver retells the moment Pierre achieved the milestone in local broadcasting below.
Cook Islands police and Cook Islands News extend condolences and sympathy to the Pierre Tutangata family and Pitt Media Group.
Tamarii – a class act
|Tamarii Pierre died on Saturday morning in a car accident at Blackrock – he will be remembered as an energetic 19-year-old with bright eyes and a big smile.
A young man filled with
energy and passion for life
By Barbara Dreaver
Pacific Correspondent, One News
There’s this kid Tamarii – young, bright with a smile as wide as the sea.
Between him and two other reporters at Cook Islands Television, they do everything to get their news to air every night. When I say everything I mean everything – they interview, they film, they write, they edit, they present. Somehow they put together half an hour of local news five nights a week.
It was into this environment Television New Zealand gifted an O-band kit – a portable kit that would allow CITV to broadcast live.
Tamarii did CITV’s very first live cross breaking into programmes from the Police Emergency Centre interviewing Superintendent Isemaela about a developing tropical depression and the damage done by Cyclone Pat in the Northern Cook Islands.
We did a rehearsal and Tamarii was sweating fear as he stumbled over his words knowing that he would have no second chance when we went to air. Then came the countdown, he looked at the camera, took a deep breath and he was off. He was flawless, it was a class act.
When it was over there was much laughter and he looked at me with triumph blazing from his eyes. I’ll never forget that moment. He’d just made history in the Cook Islands and he knew it. There’s nothing like doing a live cross with adrenalin pumping, nerves pounding and shaky knees. Public humiliation lurks very close but afterwards there is no feeling like it.
It was a feeling echoed in television stations in Samoa and Tonga where we also donated live kits. Apia Broadcasting (TV3) not only did their first live cross, they broadcast their entire news live for the first time. The team in there led by Karl and Analisa totally made it happen with a commitment which left us, the training team, reeling with exhaustion and elation.
And the Tonga newsroom – those girls in there, Vui, Salote and co, are a force to be reckoned with. They took to it like ducks to water while Solo and his team worked into the wee hours to find technical solutions that comes hand in hand with having next to no equipment.
For the TVNZ team it was a great experience giving the island stations resources so they can provide a crucial service for their country. We loved it. And for me it was extra special working with my friends and colleagues in a region which is my own.
And so we come back to our Cook Islands star Tamarii, the young man filled with energy and a passion for life. He was killed this weekend in a car accident. It feels like a kick in the guts. No parent should have to bury their treasured child especially good parents like Tam and Ipu.
But there’s more because to us, Tamarii represented what the TVNZ project was about. It was about taking talent and running with it, it was about developing the skills of exceptional people, our young Pacific people. It was about hope. And Tamarii held the banner for all those things.
We extend our deepest condolences to the Pierre family.
Police plead for change of attitude
The tragic death of young Cook Islander and local news presenter Tamarii Pierre (19) adds to the out-of-control drink driving trend that is taking so many young lives.
Police commissioner Maara Tetava is pleading with all members of the public to change their attitude to drink driving and speeding.
“We have lost another young Cook Islander with so much promise for the future, to a motor vehicle crash,” says Tetava.
“This is very tragic for all of us. Another life lost is too much.
“We as the community must take ownership of this problem.
“It is not a police only concern, it is our concern.
“We are doing the best that we can to apprehend drink drivers but we can only do so much. It is very disappointing to see a lot of our people including high profile persons in the community still flouting the drink driving laws.
“Factors which may have contributed to this crash are alcohol and speed.
“People must change their attitude to drink driving and speeding.
“People who flout the law by driving after having consumed alcohol must stop this behaviour for all of our sakes.
“The view that a few drinks will not harm, or I’ve never been involved in a crash before so it will not happen to me, does not wash any more.
“This lack of concern for safety must change.
“We will all need to play our part.”
Tetava says that that an investigation team is fully dedicated to investigating the vehicle accident that killed Pierre.
“We urge anyone who may have seen the vehicle concerned or who may have been with the persons involved prior to the crash to contact our investigation team on 22499 urgently.” -Matariki Wilson
Tamarii Pierre - Photos
Tamarii Pierre on the beat covering the Aitutaki cyclone appeal fundraiser.
Tamarii Pierre (far left) with regional media workers in Vanuatu for the PINA conference. His energy and enthusiasm captured the hearts of many.
Tamarii Pierre at the CITV station where he was an adored staff member.