Year 13 Tereora College students have undertaken a week of “Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira” work experience with CITC (Cook Islands Trading Corporation Ltd). MELINA ETCHES/23121235
April Mana, the Cook Islands Trading Corporation Ltd (CITC) training manager, is passionate about empowering youth, particularly school leavers, to find employment in the country.
Mana is CITC’s “Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira” work
experience programme with Year 13 Tereora College students.
The training programme encourages and offers school
leavers the opportunity to be placed into various divisions of CITC, the
country’s leading private sector employer with over 400 employees.
With around 130 students leaving Tereora College this
year, Mana put into motion the work experience project.
“We want to provide a pathway for our young Cook
Islanders to get their foot in the door, but we still want to instil in them that
it’s up to them to do the work themselves, they have to do the work,” said
“This is something I have always wanted to do, I’m
passionate about developing our youth in the company.”
Mana emphasised that the youth need to put in the work,
“to listen, humble yourself and if someone is willing to mentor or guide you,
then be willing to learn”.
She is well aware many of the school leavers will make
the move overseas and that some will have obligations to help their families.
“We want to show that there is room for development
here on the island, to work and learn.
“We want to support our young ones to grow within the
company and we have quite a few Cook Islanders who started with us straight
after school and have grown and developed into management.”
Mana said one of their success stories is Victor
Reremoana, the CITC Liquor manager who came to Rarotonga from Mangaia as a
school student, and started working part time in the warehouse while attending
Reremoana then became a full-time worker in the
warehouse after leaving college, and rose through the ranks, becoming supervisor,
manager, operations manager and now the CITC Liquor manager.
Mana acknowledged the seven students who participated
in the programme and the
CITC managers who took on the challenge to mentor these students during the
At the completion of the work experience in late
November, a special morning tea was held for the students who were each
presented certificates by CITC general manager Gaye Whitta.
The Tereora students in the Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira
programme were: Teina Maunga and Moana Vela (buddy) - Building Centre, manager
Chris Baker; Kelera Baleikoro Terangi
Solomona and Kairangi Anadariel (buddy) – Supermarket, manager Monika
Taripo-Tuaratini; Kieran Uritaua - Satellite Stores, manager Anthony Doel; Tiare
Monga and Joelle Tinirau - Excil Shipping, manager Maru Apera; Vallerina
Makakea – Oasis, manager Utavaru Araitia.