She holds her doctorate in community and cross-cultural psychology and has taught at college and university level. She is a regular contributor to CI News and the Atlantic online health channel.
The rainy season has begun in Pukapuka.
The rain means excellent catchment for everyone’s home with their new New Zealand Aid Programme funded water tanks and tin roofing.
The community water tanks, however, have been leaking. Each village built these water tanks out of concrete in 1982.
In all, eleven community water tanks exist on the island and serve each village for community events and as back-up water storage.
Most of the community tanks no longer have filters to keep out the rubbish.
“The coconut fronds come right into the tank,” said Kaui Dariu chairman of Ngake village.
One of the community water tanks in Ngake has become a public swimming pool for the children.
Ngake’s other community water tank next to the meeting house needed fixing before some in the village go to Motu Ko. This community tank had leaks, no screen and no filter.
Lead carpenter for the village Levi Walewawa said, “We had to borrow cement from the island council for this village work and it’s still not enough. We will have to wait until the next boat comes to get the rest of the cement and finish the job.”
All the available men of Ngake participated in the work and shared in a feed of fish and rice at the end of the day.
The New Zealand Aid Programme brought community water tanks to Pukapuka for the CICC church and for Motu Ko and Motu Kotawa, installed by the New Zealand army a few years ago.
Eleven community water tanks have yet to be installed.
Pukapuka patiently awaits the rest of its community water tanks.