Over 60 Cook Islands produce and product booths are part of the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity Pavilion. 23110713
The Punanga Nui Market has been recognised as a symbol of endurance, resilience, and hope. Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, who also chairs the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, highlighted the market’s significance, which he likened to the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity.
the opening of the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity (PPfP) Pavilion event
yesterday, Brown explained that the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity
initiative is a response to the Forum Leaders’ call for transformative outcomes
with enduring impacts.
serves as a mechanism for fostering partnerships, both present and future, and
working towards the realisation of the Regional Collective Actions outlined in
the 2050 Strategy.
on the Punanga Nui Market’s history, Brown revealed that it was first
established in 1992, following the devastating Cyclone Sally that struck the
Cook Islands in the late summer of 1986/1987.
Sally caused significant damage to the original marketplace across from the Cook
Islands Trading Corporation (CITC) building in Avarua, along with substantial
public and private infrastructure along the township foreshore.
noted that in the aftermath of Cyclone Sally, the market was set up to host the
sixth Pacific Arts and Cultural Festival, Te Maire Nui.
event, according to Brown, was fitting as it marked the launch of an initiative
aimed at bolstering economic growth, strengthening community resilience, and
nurturing entrepreneurial cultural brilliance.
recalled that Te Maire Nui in 1992 celebrated the Pacific Island people as
great ocean voyagers.
not only brought to our shores over 1800 people from 23 Pacific Island
countries and territories but provided a national resurgence in tātau (the art
of Pacific tattooing), carving, vaka building, and traditional vaka voyaging,
where many of our people built and sailed their very own vaka, to the official
opening of the Maire Nui, alongside our Pacific island siblings, onto the
shores of Avana in Ngatangiia, just as our ancestors had done before us.”
emphasised that Te Maire Nui stands as a turning point for the Cook Islands,
symbolising its cultural heritage, ingenuity, and innovation. He underscored
the importance of taking the lessons of the past into the future, as gifts for
generations to come.
aligned this with one of the 12 Pacific Partnership for Prosperity initiatives
–“Safeguarding and Promoting Pacific Cultures and Traditions”.
asserted that there is no greater example of this than the sculptures that
stand beside the Punanga Nui Market stage, where Cook Islands artist Mike
Tavioni, a cultural icon, collaborated with other artists from around the
Pacific to create these beautiful and enduring pieces of friendship and
further remarked that the sculpture stands as a testament to the Pacific
added that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Punanga Nui Market became a
lifeline of self-reliance, innovation, and enterprise for the Cook Islands
communities and small business owners. He emphasised that they supported each
other just as they had after Cyclone Sally.
concluded by stating that building on these invaluable lessons learned over
time, the Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity Pavilion serves as a platform for
communities, Forum delegates, partners, and visitors to understand the
transformative potential of these initiatives.
added that it fosters awareness and partnerships for the benefit of the Blue
on these invaluable lessons learnt over time, The Pacific Partnerships for
Prosperity Pavilion serves as a platform for our communities, Forum delegates,
partners, and visitors to understand the transformative potential of these
initiatives, fostering awareness and partnerships for the benefit of our Blue