At the launch of the party campaign for the 2018 General Elections on Wednesday night, the 50-year-old raised concerns about the lack of development on Mangaia and how it has been affecting the livelihood of the people on the island.
He said there was substantial amount of money allocated in the budget every year for Pa Enua development but Mangaia failed to get a “bigger piece of that cake” over the years.
“The question here is how we have been accessing the funds granted for Pa Enua development over the years. We have missed out on a lot of developments in the past,” Teaurima said.
“I want people to trust me to carry out the development that we have been missing out on all these years. I want them to help me get that bigger piece of the cake so we can together built resilient livelihood moving forward.”
The Rarotonga-based Teaurima said he had made a number of trips to his constituency while working for Climate Change Cook Islands’ Strengthening the Resilience of Our Islands and Our Communities to Climate Change (SRIC-CC) programme.
He said he had seen the hardship faced by his people and was motivated to help improve their livelihood.
Depopulation is another issue Teaurima is concerned about and he wants to take economic opportunities to Mangaia to encourage people to remain on the island.
“Infrastructure is the main issue. The roads need improvement, the water reticulation system needs improvement and we need to have a better access to telecommunications,” he said.
“When people from the island come to Rarotonga and experience a better standard of living with good roads and better infrastructure, it changes their perception about life on the island.
“They want those things back on Mangaia, and deservedly so. And when they don’t get those developments, they move to the main island, causing this depopulation issue. There is also a need to provide some economic empowerment to keep people on the island.”
From his work with climate change, Teaurima said he could also contribute significantly to the fight against climate change at national level.
He said his passion for politics comes from his father Tearapiri Teaurima, a former MP for Tamarua.
“I always had passion for politics and this was driven by my interest in helping my people with a number of issues they face in their daily lives. I believe that I’m the one to make it happen.”
Teaurima will be up against Democratic Party’s Tetangi Matapo who won the seat in the last elections.
The 2018 elections will be held on June 14.