Market initiative off to a ‘Jumpstart’

Tuesday 19 January 2021 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National


Market initiative off to a ‘Jumpstart’
Vendors enjoyed their time with the locals. Photo: PAUL LYNCH. 21011806

Punanga Nui Market’s first ‘Jumpstart January’ event held on Saturday has been hailed a major success.

Around 15 vendors returned to the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday to sell their produce, handicrafts and clothing items.

They took advantage of the first-ever Jumpstart January initiative which provides fee relief to vendors.

Paul Lynch, who is leading the vendors working group, said there was fantastic buzz giving the market a more vibrant environment and bringing smiles to vendors and local people.

Lynch said there were lots of free giveaways from vendors and sponsors, and live local music and activities.

“Everyone noticed there was something different happening at the market, they stopped by and it was a good turnout,” Lynch said.

“It featured our first amazing Cook Islands culture show and dancing at the market in over 10 months, since our borders closed, featuring the master Ngametua Mamanu of Tumutoa Tours, also doing fire dancing.”

Danny Mataroa and Sunielia Tom at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday. Photo: PAUL LYNCH. 21011808

Lynch acknowledged all the customers, vendors and sponsors Bank of Cook Islands, Vodafone and Cook Islands Tourism for their support and positivity.

“When borders open again, we look forward to welcoming back to the market all our visitors from Aotearoa.”

Market manager William Taripo is encouraging more people to be at the market on Saturdays, especially vendors.

“Traditionally tourists make up the numbers at the market but we don’t have them anymore so the focus is to get our people out there. The ‘Jumpstart January’ initiative is a good start and we hope to see more vendors and people at the market in the coming weeks,” Taripo said.

Taripo said a number of factors have resulted in the decline of vendors including people selling their goods at the roadside.

“We also had some distraction with the construction of Avatiu bridge which affected the flow of people into the market but we hope the numbers will increase in the coming days through this Jumpstart January initiative.”

Apii Te Uki Ou principal Mark Harris danced at the first ‘Jumpstart January’ market and even won a prize from Mii Quarter. Photo: PAUL LYNCH. 21011803

The vendors have two more Saturdays for Jumpstart January and more activities and exciting giveaways are planned, including classic car and motorcycle displays and much more.