She says there came a point when she realised “enough was enough”.
“Enough time had gone by with everyone throwing their hands up and not doing anything about troubled youth in the Cook Islands.
“As a coordinator (dealing with) family affairs, I thought if no-one is taking the lead and offering to help, then until we get a structure going; I will take the lead and get the ball rolling.”
“We (Punanga Tauturu) are trying to form something; some kind of group or committee that is willing and committed to finding a solution for this problem we have with our youth.
“Everyone is working in isolation, and none of the people who I know can help the cause are putting their hands up to help.
“I am going to start reaching out to the people I believe can help and I’m going to ask that they set some time aside to listen and offer insight.
“I know everyone is busy, but this is something that if left un-addressed, it will only get worse.
“We need something that we can put into action. We need to stop just talking about it, and we need to start actually doing something about it.
“We can continue talking about how bad the problem is, but it is not going to go away unless we actually stand up and say, “You know what, enough is enough.”
“I value our people and I value our culture far too much to just sit back and let this problem escalate to a point where we don’t even recognise our (Cook Islands) children.
“Because there will come a point when most of our youth are sitting in those seats in court and everyone is wondering what went wrong. I am telling you, we can actually do something about it, but we have to join forces and it needs to happen now.
“No one group, organisation or person can handle this problem on their own.
“This is a big problem – whether people want to believe it or not and in order to help our youth, Cook Islands youth, we need to work together.”