$10,000 to make our communities kinder places

Friday August 02, 2019 Written by Published in Economy
Takitumu village voluntary policeman Alistair Macquarie, Cook Islands Tourism's director of destination development Metua Vaiimene. 19080110 Takitumu village voluntary policeman Alistair Macquarie, Cook Islands Tourism's director of destination development Metua Vaiimene. 19080110

When Ali McQuarie and his friends realised just how crimes like burglary were impacting on their community, they decided it was time to step up – and badge up.


They were among locals who were this week recognised for their monthly clean up in their villages, agricultural sites and the water stations around the islands and constant protection for the community of Rarotonga.

The Takitumu volunteer police started in October last year after a series of burglaries around Rarotonga occurred.

Macquarie said there were so many break-ins, at least two or three a week, that they set up checkpoints.

The thieves were known to have been coming from villages outside of the Takitumu district, so Macquarie and the other volunteer police set up afternoon checkpoints to keep an eye out.

They were also able to keep an eye out for drink-drivers and youth not wearing helmets.

Macquarie said with Constitution, they were being extra vigilant.

The Takitumu Vaka Police, Victor Teao and Rarotonga Security Ltd were nominated by members of the committee for prizes in the Tupuranga Tangata category.

This category looks at individuals or groups that address social issues in the community.

The Vaka Pride committee decided that all three nominees should be awarded equally as they all similarly contribute to the community to reduce crime, keep our roads safe and offer work for our youth in the community.

Takitumu’s volunteer police officer Alistair Macquarie said they appreciated the award that recognised all of the volunteer work they do.

The Vaka Pride committee also visited the 14 water stations around the island scoring them on cleanliness, water quality and its maintenance.

In a release from Cook Islands Tourism they said not all water stations were well received with the Ministry of Internal Affairs representative commenting on the water station at the Aroanui hall, “This needs to be cleaned and well maintained for the safety of the school children.”

Five water stations received outstanding results from the committee and as such have been awarded $500 cash prize for their efforts to keep their water stations clean for all to enjoy.

A survey from of the monthly clean up reports from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the compliance report from the National Environment Service determined the village winners.

The village of Takuvaine continuously go over and above their cleaning arrangement with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and have won first place for the fifth time.

They have special projects which they continue to clean each month this includes the Takuvaine stream, valley, public graveyard, Avarua stream and Kaviri stream earning them $1,000 for first placing.

Another consistent village regularly receiving rewards for their cleaning efforts is the village of Avatiu in second placing and receiving $750. Their special projects in the monthly reports have included the Ruatonga burial site, Avatiu stream and the Panama Public area.

Third placing for this category is the village of Ruaau who were awarded $500 for their extra efforts in keeping the black rock area and Inave graveyard clean.


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