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NZ funds lend Cooks NGOs a helping hand

Tuesday 20 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


NZ funds lend Cooks NGOs a helping hand
New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tui Dewes and Te Vaerua staff members Pare Tangata, Maine Beniamina and Teina Taulu. NZHC/22121916.

Cook Islands non-government-organisations (NGOs) are grateful to have received financial assistance from the 2022/2023 round of the New Zealand High Commission Fund.

On Friday the New Zealand High Commission was delighted to hold signing ceremonies with the seven successful recipients for the Revitalisation/Whakarauora-themed round of projects.

The focus was on selecting projects that, in a post-Covid environment, will contribute to revitalising community development, health and wellbeing.

Thirty-eight applications were received from across the Cook Islands and the High Commission conducted an “extensive internal assessment process” before making their final decisions. 

Fund recipients Te Vaerua Community Rehabilitation Services provide rehabilitative goods and services to the people of the Cook Islands.

Service manager Maine Beniamina said the $6000 fund will be used to buy barcoding equipment to keep track of all the rehabilitation and mobility gear, so staff know exactly where they are located.

“It has been difficult to keep track of equipment,” she said, explaining that sometimes equipment was not returned for others to use, or it got misplaced and lost.

“We are happy to receive these funds which will benefit us and members of the community who need the assistance of particular equipment,” said Beniamina.

Beniamina encourages people who have vulnerable members in their homes to keep them well hydrated during the festive period and to keep an eye on when their prescriptions need to be refilled.

Fund recipient Te Are Ariki (House of Ariki) has had to cope with the elements when official engagements are hosted at Te Atupare Marae in Arorangi.

Tupuna Rakanui, Te-O-Tari-Kura o te Are Ariki (House of Ariki Clerk) said they were “very grateful” to receive the funds for the construction of an all-weather and culturally-appropriate shelter at the marae.

Rakanui said the shelter project is expected to start next year and will provide shelter from the heat and rain for the Ui Ariki when they are seated on Te Atupare Marae.

The Cook Islands Child Welfare Association will use its funding to provide services, equipment and resources to Paunu Clinics in the southern Pa Enua, as well as to deliver capacity-building training for members and volunteers, drawing on the specialist skills of Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) Plunket Nurse Molly Dalton.

Te Punanga Oraanga Matutu will provide training and awareness in the southern Pa Enua on the prevention of domestic violence, focusing on men’s issues in responding to anger and stress, alcohol and drugs and family violence. The training will be supported by the founder of Aotearoa New Zealand’s He Waka Tapu, Daryl Gregory.

Providing a positive activity that will enhance the health and wellbeing of children and young people, the Cook Islands Cycling Federation will construct a free-flowing cycling facility open to the community, and school holiday programmes and club days.

Meanwhile, Te Are Manu will provide de-sexing and parasite control clinic services, education and training for Agriculture Welfare Officers, and a population census of dogs and cats for the islands of Atiu, Mauke, Mitiaro, and Mangaia.

The Mangaia Island Administration also received support for a water security project on the island.