The new convenience store is a partnership between CITC and the Cook Islands Party’s Kaka Ama, who spoke on Wednesday about finally realising a dream.
“It has been a long dream of mine to get this place to what it is today. To be honest the first building that was here in 1998 and it wasn’t quite what I wanted. And after travelling and seeing different places overseas, I found what I wanted to bring back and create here.
“It has taken 18 years for my dream to come true and I wish to give my thanks to Trevor (Clarke) and the CITC group for believing in my dream and coming forth to help create this very special and significant project for the community of Matavera.”
Ama also gave thanks to the landowners and his sister Akaiti for allowing him the use of it to help create KAPS.
CITC general manager Gaye Whitta said the team had ensured that the project was created with the environment in mind.
“We have created KAPS to the standard of Australia and New Zealand buildings, due to there not being many (construction) laws in place here.
“We made sure that since we are close to waterways that our system is set up so that if we have any leaks of petrol, it goes through a special filter system which means it won’t have an impact on the environment.”
CITC food group manager Jason Burgess said that the store would allow opportunities for local growers to sell their produce, something he said that will ensure a real link to the community.
“We feel this is a really special project and after a long, hard seven months it is really rewarding to be able to open and have it be enjoyed by the community.”
Following the opening ceremony the store was officially open to customers bright and early on Thursday morning and will operate every day from 6am to 9pm.