“You get the family right, relationships right, society is going to do well.”
These words from New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall resonated with those present at the blessing of the renovated Punanga Tauturu Inc (PTI), Cook Islands Woman's Counselling Centre.
“There is nothing more important than the work PTI carries out.
“We know the disharmony, the fracture within the family environment.”
The New Zealand High Commission funded the costs of the much-needed transformation of the PTI office.
Marshall said: “It requires the people who have the desire to take advantage of opportunities that come along and who have the ability to tap into various resources that are around.”
The High Commissioner said he was pleased to witness the occasion and gave his heartiest congratulations to PTI.
“Well done for being in existence for nearly 25 years, against all the odds.”
Marshall and PTI president Helen Greig unveiled the new signage.
Greig said the assistance from the High Commission was very much appreciated.
The newly-extended deck has already been used for “Yoga for Trauma” classes that were conducted over a six-week period for PTI clients.
Angie Tuara on behalf of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said she was happy and proud of the occasion.
“There is a real need for this service in this country.”
Tuara, who has been part of PTI since its humble beginnings, also made note of the enthusiasm and drive from Lynnsay Francis, Niki Rattle and Vaine Arioka.
PTI is the first non-government organisation (NGO) to receive funding directly from New Zealand.
Tuara said that over the years, she had been pleased to see it survive and continue to operate.
Construction was overseen by Bob Taylor, who showed guests through the building, which has had a wheelchair ramp added.
PTI coordinator Rebeka Buchanan said she was thrilled with the work done to the building.
“With the addition of the wheelchair access ramp, clients now find it easier to visit the office.
“PTI is grateful and acknowledges New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall and his team and Bob Taylor for supervising the construction.”