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Hope for elderly care centre

Saturday 26 December 2020 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Hope for elderly care centre
Senior citizens of Rarotonga enjoy the services of the Are Pa Metua. 20122434

Community members have come forward to answer the call to help Are Pa Metua, an elderly care centre in Rarotonga.

There is hope in the New Year for the relocation of the Are Pa Metua that provides a respite care programme for the elderly on the island.

Renowned carver Mike Tavioni and Minister George “Maggie” Angene have offered possible premises for the elderly to establish themselves next year.

Coordinator of the centre, Moana-o-Liliuokalani Marsters is happy with the generous offers that have come through to accommodate the elderly.

After the Christmas and New Year break, she will meet with the committee to discuss the propositions.

“I appreciate the offers of help, thank you for your thoughts, we will get together after the break and go from there,” Marsters said.

“It’s nice to know that there are people out there who care.”

Minister of Culture George Angene said he is happy to help out the Are Pa Metua and look for new premises.

There has been talk about another location in Panama, “but nothing is set yet and there will be work to do,” he said.

“I can come in and help out and give them a hand, renovate or if they have other plans, I’m here to do whatever I can,” Angene said.

“I’m here for everyone, I don’t want to fail for anyone.”

The Are Pa Metua home sits on Airport Authority land.

Airport Authority’s commercial manager Geoff Halston said: “Their (Are Pa Metua) tenancy agreement expires at the end of the month.”

The centre’s rental agreement had expired earlier in the year.

“Because of Covid, they were given an extension of six months to December 31,” Halston said.

In October 2019, the Airport Authority’s chief executive officer Joseph Ngamata stated a proposal for a cargo facility was being explored at the location.

Ngamata then said Are Pa Metua organisation had been verbally advised of their development plan to allow the committee time to look for a new home.

Last year, the former committee were hoping to receive funding from Japan to build new premises.

The centre opened in 1988, the brainchild of a group of wives of Rotarians, who saw a need to build a meeting place for the mamas and papas.

Are Pa Metua is a meeting place for senior citizens on the island, to read, play cards, watch videos, chat, sing and dance and enjoy a shared lunch three times a week.

It has access to the Social Impact Fund under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.