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Feminist forum looks at Pa Enua needs

Wednesday 30 November 2022 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Culture, Local, National

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Feminist forum looks at Pa Enua needs
Cook Islands Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) staff Teroro Tapurau-Totini at the Cook Islands Feminist Forum. 22112918

Cook Islands Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to tap into the Pa Enua and encourage residents to plant certain crops.

BTIB staff Teroro Tapurau-Totini speaking at the Cook Islands National Feminist Forum in an example, explained how Mangaia has the perfect soil to plant potatoes.

“We buy containers of potatoes but we have an island to plant on,” Tapurau-Totini said.

Another example was a young man who was already planting mushrooms in Arorangi.

She also mentioned Arama Wigmore who has proven this and was already planting on Mangaia.

The participants also discussed the importance of women selling by-products instead of the end products.

This comes after a participant questioned if women in the outer islands would think out of the box and sell raw products instead of the finished products.

Tapurau-Totini said they have gone to the Pa Enua and encouraged women that there are markets, but they need to be committed.

She said overseas customers were always asking for coloured rito, kiri’au, and paua (clam) shells.

She said women have a lot of opportunities they could tap into but if they can’t provide for Rarotonga they won’t be able to provide for those overseas.

Internal Affairs director of Labour and Consumer Services Sandrina Thondoo said it must also be considered that young people in the Pa Enua have left.

Therefore, she said people residing in the outer islands need to be motivated.

“We need to speak the language that will motivate them. For those mama’s and young girls, how we need to keep them motivated.”

Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA) executive director Rongo File said the two day forum that ends today has participants who are multi-skilled.

She said there was a lot of discussion around the Pa Enua discussion how some were complacent and set back but it was time to get engaged and motivated

“As the president of NCW (Cook Islands National Council of Women) said, we have those gifts. For women in the P Enua their skills are to be taught and passed to our younger women.”

Today’s discussion will focus on education and cultural identity, also on women in leadership.