Prime Minister Mark Brown announced the new location for the Are Pa Metua to its members yesterday. Brown is pictured with elated members. 21021102
Smiles and relief were evident from the Are Pa Metua members at Prime Minister Mark Brown’s announcement that a new location for the Centre had been confirmed.
The setting for yesterday’s meeting was ideal, right
underneath the “au” meaning “peace” tree at the Constitution Park – a fitting
scene for the relaxed peaceful gathering.
President of the Are Pa Metua Teariki Mataroa addressed
Brown, Minister Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa and Minister George (Maggie) about the
problem of having no place for the elderly to meet.
“It has been upsetting for them as some of the elderly live
alone and look forward to meeting up with others regularly during the week. All
I’m asking is for a place for us to gather and meet, a place that we won’t be
moved from again so that we have a place to go, that’s all I’m asking from
you,” said Mataroa.
PM Brown responded: “I’m happy to announce that we have
identified a new place for the Are Pa Metua - at the Are Tapaeanga in Panama.”
He also reassured the elderly that they were never
forgotten, that government had been on the search for an ideal place of
residence for them.
The area will be beautified for a nice ocean view for the
Are Pa Metua to enjoy when they have their gatherings, said Brown.
Government will move to work quickly on this project to
ensure the elderly citizens have a “nice restful place that is also near the
town centre for their necessities”.
Brown was happy to have met the members who have been part
of the Are Pa Metua since its beginning. “It was great to catch up with them to
let them know what government is doing to make sure they are looked after.”
“We understand and know, that one day we will be at that age
too,” he added.
Coordinator of the Centre Moana-O-Liliuokalani Marsters was
appreciative and thankful to the government for their assistance and the
confirmation of a location.
The existing building at Panama will be reconstructed by
Minister Angene and his team to include a nice kitchen, accessible showers and toilets,
along with ramps.
Angene will ensure a nice divider will be put up so the
Catholic Cemetery will not be in full visible view to the Are Pa Metua. “We
will make the place beautiful for you all,” he said.
Ministry Mokoroa noted that the new beachfront location is
closer to the main supermarket, close to town, the banks and pharmacies. “We
want you to all be happy.”
The previous premises of the Are Pa Metua was leased from
the Airport Authority, the lease expired as of December 31, 2020.
Early this month, the Centre moved to the home of the
coordinator in Titikaveka.
The Are Pa Metua are now in high spirits and
excitedly look forward to the completion of their “beachfront” Centre.