“My village has always hoped for a candidate born and bred in Ngatangiia and I am humbled by the opportunity to represent and serve their needs and interests,” he says.
Having worked the past 19 years for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and as a public servant, he sees entering politics as a natural transition towards serving his people and the people of the Cook Islands.
He says his time at Foreign Affairs was good preparation for the move into politics as it has allowed him to see the work of governance from a protocol level.
“The lessons learned and experience gained in coordinating and arranging government projects and events while working as a public servant over the years, will, help me bring these skills to my village if I am elected.”
Ama says he has been asked a number of times in the past to stand in his village, but until recently, felt the timing was not right.
“Now my family is grown up, it feels like the right time to consider this move into what I know is a demanding job with high expectations and sacrifices for both me and my family.”
Ama attended school in Ngatangiia and says he has been active all his life in the sporting arena. He played both rugby and rugby league for his village, but now coaches the sides.
“However, recently I decided it was time to put away the boots and lead and provide direction for the young men of our village in a different capacity than on the sporting field.
“My long connection with our youth and with our young men will help me in this new role as I change from the sporting field to the political one.
“It is a way for me to give back to my community as it is a value I have had ingrained in me since I was young, with a number of people in my life providing a lasting example of what it takes to serve our community.
“We also cannot forget the contribution made by women in the community, as they play a big part in events, projects and decisions.”
Ama says Ngatangiia residents have already spoken to him about a number of pressing issues in the village including the work needed on the busy main road through the village and the care and protection of the lagoon. The latter issue is coupled with Rarotonga’s need for a good reticulation and sewage management system, he adds.
“These two issues alone need care and attention and I aim to work with the government and to see these achieved in the near future. There is no time to waste on these two issues and I am humbled to now be in a position where I can work with businesses and stakeholders in our community, and with government, to make this happen.”
Another goal is to work with the youth of the village, in the areas of sport, culture and history.
“Ngatangiia has a rich and vibrant history and the story of Vaka Takitumu should be a story every child in the village should know and understand.
“They should know how they are connected to her and are a part of her.
“I want to see our youth know how special it is to be a part of this village, to understand its culture and history, its traditional structures and their place in the history of Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.
“Our village has much to be proud of. There is so much work to be done that I look forward to achieving as we get down to the work ahead of us.
“I look forward to serving the people, the village and the interests of Ngatangiia as only a son of Ngatangiia really can.”