Nikao MP Minister Mac Mokoroa, second from right, with Nikao Cook Islands Christian Church representatives including Reverend Oirua Rasmussen. SUPPLIED/22120507
Cook Islands Government is scoping and partly funding refurbishment of community halls on Rarotonga so when there is a cyclone or emergency, there will be suitable centres or facilities available to accommodate the wider community.
cyclones and other emergencies pose an increasing threat to the safety of the
community, especially on island nations like the Cook Islands.
a Tropical Depression in January 2022, the Nikao Sunday School Hall suffered
was decided that urgent repairs were needed. Through a collaborative approach
between the Cook Islands Government and Nikao Cook Islands Christian Church,
these repairs and upgrades were able to be undertaken, to make this hall fit
for purpose as a suitable centre for future emergencies.
specific project cost approximately $300,000, with $100,000 contributed by the
government and the remainder by the Nikao CICC community, under a formal Deed
of Funding Agreement, which required a formal Memorandum of Understanding be
entered into between the parties and outlining arrangements in the use of an
project was centred on the refurbishment of community halls so when there is a
cyclone or emergency, there will be suitable centres or facilities that
Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) and Puna Disaster Risk Management
committees can access to accommodate the wider community.
is the first of many refurbishments being scoped across Rarotonga, following
detailed scoping reports undertaken by Cook Islands Investment Corporation
(CIIC), with Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) and EMCI.
works were extensive and included replacing rotting timber, re-roofing, tiling,
bathroom renovations, electrical work, and painting.
project took about six months and was overseen by a Project Steering Group,
made up of representatives from Nikao CICC, and Government agencies, including
CIIC, EMCI and ICI.
refurbished hall was officially opened on Saturday, November 19 and was well
attended by more than 250 people including the King’s Representative Sir Tom
Marsters and Lady Marsters, Prime Minister Mark Brown, and members of
Parliament, Ui Ariki, the wider Nikao community and members of other CICC
congregations and other denominations.
Oirua Rasmussen acknowledged the Member of Parliament for Nikao, Minister Mac
Mokoroa, and the many people and organisations who worked tirelessly delivering
this project including to the many people who generously volunteered extensive
labour and materials to the project.
Rasmussen says the name of the refurbished hall is Mount Nebo, named in line
with their church building – Canaan (Kanaana).
Rasmussen says the name of the hall comes from the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter
32, verses 48-52.
summary, the Lord told Moses, ‘Go up into the Abarim Range, climb to Mount Nebo
and view Canaan (Kanaana), the land I am giving the Israelites. There on Mount
Nebo, you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron
died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, because both of you broke
faith with me in the presence of the Israelites, and because you did not uphold
my holiness among the Israelites; therefore you will see the land only from a
distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel’.”
Minister Mark Brown was impressed by the work done to complete the refurbished
says the collaboration between government and the community is essential to
ensure that people are prepared in the event of any emergencies in the future.
is the first of many refurbishments set to be rolled out, which worked very
well, and as this is rolled out further, we will have more of our communities
with suitable and fit for purpose centres here in Rarotonga for any future
emergencies,” Brown said.