Special visit brings two topics to fore

Friday May 19, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Paul Lynch speaks to the Nukutere College class during his visit to the school with Kevin Iro on Wednesday. 17051713 Paul Lynch speaks to the Nukutere College class during his visit to the school with Kevin Iro on Wednesday. 17051713

Nukutere College students had a visit from two people involved in two very different ocean-related activities during their science period on Wednesday this week.


Marae Moana ambassador Kevin Iro and Seabed Minerals Authority commissioner Paul Lynch held a presentation for the Year 11 students to build awareness on each sector.

The two have been visiting local schools to share information on Marae Moana and seabed minerals.

Iro says his component in the presentation for Marae Moana is about “inclusion”.

“Our aim is to hopefully get the students engaged in the ownership of Marae Moana and the Cook Islnds’ entire exclusive economic zone.”

The presentation also gave the students a chance to think about future careers, Iro said.

“Careers in industries, sciences and environmental aspects that will help Marae Moana in the future, and using the resources that God has blessed us with.”  Lynch says there are huge resources in Cook Islands waters, and there is a challenge to manage it well for the economic future.

“It is about the future generations. We have been told the (seabed minerals) industry could go as long as 300 years, so we are making the students aware of this sector and the facts, issues, challenges and risk related to it.”

Lynch says there are many challenges the industry has yet to face, but with the help of research, they are preparing the groundwork now for the next generation to make the right decisions on how to manage it for the benefit of the country.

“You could have a role to play in terms of managing it well, being employed in the technical, financial or environmental aspect,” he told the students.

The Cook Islands doesn’t have a lot of economic opportunities that other countries have and there is a need to diversify.”

Lynch spoke about conservation and utilisation being key features in the development of seabed minerals.

“Under the United Nations ‘Law of the Sea Convention’, the Cook Islands were given 200 nautical miles from each island and then they are joined together between neighbours and that has become our exclusive economic zone,” he said.

“Not only can we apply customs and licencing procedures, but we can also utilise and preserve it.”

Year 11 student, Jacqueline Purea said she had learned a lot about the significance of Marae Moana and seabed minerals.

“It may not be something that I end up pursuing as a career, but I definitely know that I can make a difference to the environment and even help implement the system and encourage others in it as well.”

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