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Articles by Melina Etches

The search for Te Mire Atu composer

Monday 17 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, National

In celebration of Cook Islands compositions, new and experienced song writers are encouraged to register for the Mire Atu composer’s competition in March.


Vendors facing confusion over health measures

Monday 17 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

Confusion regarding the ‘recommended’ or ‘compulsory’ new regulations of the wearing of masks at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday was widespread.

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Cautious pineapple sellers take break following border reopening

Friday 14 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Economy, National

Expressing caution with the reopening of the borders yesterday, John and Anne Maoate – Rarotonga’s well-known pineapple farmers – will be taking a break from selling their popular pineapples and fresh produce from the road side in Avatiu.

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Family members and vaccinated travelers arrive in Rarotonga

Friday 14 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Travel

The arrival terminal at the Rarotonga international airport was a flurry of activity yesterday afternoon for the first flight to mark the border reopening from Auckland, with masked tourism operators and families waiting to welcome guests and their loved ones back.

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Tea-keys claim Beach Games’ first gold medal

Thursday 13 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Other Sports, Sports

The Tea-keys finished the beach handball competition at the Cook Islands Beach Games 2022 unbeaten, claiming the annual event’s first gold medal.


Cook Islander gains PhD in sports and exercise science

Thursday 13 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

One of the first Cook Islanders to gain doctorate degree in sports and exercise science wants to investigate acceptable and effective methods of implementing exercise programmes into Pacific islands communities.

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Rarotonga ‘masking up’ for border reopening

Thursday 13 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Economy, National

After five months of a quiet and deserted arrival terminal at the Rarotonga international airport, this afternoon the borders will reopen and the first plane full of passengers will troop in from Auckland, New Zealand – since August 16, 2021.

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Tea-keys seal top spot after day two of Beach Games competition

Wednesday 12 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Other Sports, Sports

Day two of the Beach Games 2022 handball competition saw another round of entertaining matches.

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Ngatangiia’s 60+ residents celebrate the New Year

Wednesday 12 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

To celebrate the New Year in style, 120 residents in the village of Ngatangiia aged 60 and over, enjoyed a night of entertainment and tropical island kaikai last Friday night.


Matavera Kumiti Oire donates face masks to village churches

Wednesday 12 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

The Matavera Kumiti Oire (Matavera Disaster Risk Management Puna) have donated packs of disposable face masks to the five churches in the village to assist with the new regulations that come into effect when the international borders reopen tomorrow.

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Beach Games’ thrills and spills

Tuesday 11 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Sports, Volleyball

Beach handball kicked off the Cook Islands Beach Games 2022 with fun, sand and spills yesterday afternoon at the Nikao beach courts.


Vaccine certificate delay "frustrating"

Tuesday 11 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

Extensive and frustrating delays marred the issuing of the free vaccination certificates at the National Auditorium Domes yesterday morning right through to the afternoon.

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Church agrees to allow unvaxed members to attend Sunday services

Tuesday 11 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Economy, National

Unvaccinated members of the Avarua CICC (Cook Islands Christian Church) are overjoyed at the decision of its committee to allow them to continue to attend church services when the country’s border reopens this Thursday.


No medical exemption for unvaxed visitors: TMO

Monday 10 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health (TMO) have said no medical exemptions will be given for unvaxed visitors, laying down grounds for unvaccinated tourists and Cook Islanders when the country’s border reopens this Thursday.

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JP retires after two decades of service

Saturday 8 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features, Memory Lane

After 20 years on the bench, Justice of the Peace (JP) Rima David retired from court duties in September last year. She shares her experience with senior journalist Melina Etches.


The story of Tapuaetai

Friday 7 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, Features

Driven by the passion to share historic Aitutaki stories in a ‘modern way’, a proud Cook Islander has written a book to inspire others to rekindle their memories of the stories they used to hear in their young days back on the island.


Training on how to perform Covid-19 tests underway

Friday 7 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

Tourism operators, private and public service sectors have started training on how to perform Rapid Antigen Tests (R.A.T) for Covid-19, in preparation for the opening of the borders next week on January 13.

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Reduced health clinics when border reopens

Thursday 6 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

In preparation for the reopening of the border next week Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health have released a series of new rules, regulations, and information to keep the public informed of the health measures and general public guidelines designed to keep the community safe.

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Eastern Stars end 2021 with mixed netball tournament

Wednesday 5 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Netball, Sports

For the first time, the Ngatangiia Matavera Eastern Stars Netball Club hosted a successful mixed netball competition with the participation of 12 teams.


Improving coordination of emergency services

Wednesday 5 January 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Economy, National

To strengthen the National Institutional Arrangement for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in the Cook Islands, a contract was awarded to and signed with lawyer Tai Nicholas’ consulting firm a week ago.

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