Teumere Tairi has tivaivai styles sewn cushion covers, tivaivai to sew, necklaces and dresses. MELINA ETCHES/23080128
Over 80 vendors set up their stalls in the light rain as customers flowed into the Punanga Nui Market for the biggest Bank of the Cook Islands (BCI) trade show.
Government Minister Albert Nicholas officially opened
the event with “great pleasure” yesterday morning.
In his welcoming address, Nicholas noted that the BCI
Trade Days, which will run until Thursday, August 3, has the “purpose to encourage
trade between our islands through showcasing products we produce and grow
It also provides an opportunity for the Pa Enua to market
their products on Rarotonga – “a way of encouraging economic growth on those
islands”, he said.
Nicholas said that the government intends to increase
trade between the islands, particularly from the Pa Enua to Rarotonga, in
agricultural, creative, and marine-based products. This will provide
much-needed access to the market for our families in the Pa Enua.
“This Trade Days is one way of strengthening ties
between businesses and encouraging relationships between suppliers and
Nicholas expects a bustling market place over the next
few days and urges people to support the vendors in trade.
“I sincerely thank the Bank of the Cook Islands for being
sponsors for over the last 10 years.
“You have been a strong supporter of economic
activities in our country and we hope that our partnership continues to grow
for the benefit of our small businesses.
“This event is very important and many of our families
in the Pa Enua rely predominantly on this event for revenue.”
Jennifer Henry, the chief executive officer of BCI,
was pleased to announce the huge increase in the number of vendors from its
initial days of only six.
“Through our strong partnership with the Business
Trade Investment Board (BTIB), today we have 83 vendors and it’s a credit to
the success of the programme,” said Henry.
“Repeta Puna, BTIB CEO, and her team has been the
force behind the BCI Trade Days and we can share this common goal in promoting
the businesses at the grassroots level.”
Henry acknowledged the vendors and wished them every
success and prosperity.
Among the vendors were Maraera Kimiora and her husband
and their children. They are the producers of their small homemade “Kimiora
Family Oils” made from coconut oil.
“It takes us about three days to fully prepare an
ingredient at a time for our oil,” said Maraera.
“We have the akari ira which is good for detoxing and
for babies, the akari avaava which helps soothe itchy bites and eczema and the
akari pi for everything.”
Maraera said many of their customers contact them
privately for their regular orders. She can be contacted on 77513.
The Matara family’s “Aeata Stall” specialises in
intricately handmade rito products all the way from Penrhyn island.
The vibrant colourful rito woven hats which are highly
sought after looked stunning, and the stall also had delicate fans and shell ei
Also available at the Trade Days are pareu,
bedspreads, tivaivai, pillowcases, fresh produce, plants, handmade soap,
jewellery, delicious food and entertainment from Aotearoa New Zealand.