Judges have agreed to share a big Vaka Pride cash prize between all 10 of Rarotonga’s puna.
Each will receive a cash grant of $1,000 towards a pre-nominated community project.
Takuvaine, Titikaveka and Ruaau will be presented their money on Friday, as their registrations were in the earliest; the other districts will be given theirs in the following weeks.
Vaka Pride was changed from a competition to an awards-based programme, to acknowledge the work of each puna.
“The spirit of unity has shone brightly as we have come together during this Covid-19 crisis,” said programme coordinator Sieni Tiraa, of Cook Islands Tourism.
The changes were a response to the crisis, and aligned to the Kia Orana community campaign. This was a way the committee could contribute to the puna national response effort, she added.
The nominated projects include the dengue control work in Tupapa, Takuvaine and Murienua, wiring community buildings in RAPA, servicing water station in Nikao-Panama, Matavera and Ngatangiia, trimming dangerous trees in Titikaveka, solid waste data collection in Ruuau, and puna security in Akaoa.
Bill Doherty of Landholdings has also donated similar sums to several puna. The $1500 he has given to the Matavera puna will be used to provide food parcels to vulnerable people.
On behalf of the company and its staff, Jo Bevin handed over the cheque. “Bill is happy to support such a worthy cause for the needy people in the village of Matavera, and well done to all of your team.”
The puna representative, Tauepa Tutakiao-Tupa said the money would be used to purchase more dry goods and purchases for the elderly and disadvantaged people in the community.
“This gift is timely, although we have parcels that are packed and ready to be delivered, there are more families that will appreciate any extra help they can receive during these tough times.
“Thank you to Bill and your company for this gracious donation and for thinking of us and the several other puna’s you have kindly contributed to, meitaki maata.”