A long way from home, the Year of the Goat was welcomed with warmth and generosity by Te Mato Vai workers who have made Rarotonga their home this Chinese New Year.
On Wednesday night Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) who are working on stage one of Te Mato Vai, the $60 million water infrastructure project, welcomed guests to celebrate the Spring Festival at their headquarters in Rarotonga.
A spokesperson for CCECC said it was a hard time for their workers, as to ensure the project could stick to schedule, they were not able to go home and be with their families.
“Chinese New Year is like Christmas for us, so it is very hard for us to be away from our family during this time,” she said.
But CCECC workers got to enjoy two days off to celebrate the festivities.
Cook Island, New Zealand and Chinese Government Officials attended the event which celebrated the New Year with a spread of both local and Chinese foods.
Minister of Health Nandi Glassie said he was grateful to CCECC for helping to strengthen the relationship between the Cook Islands and the People’s Republic of China.
“Our relationship is going from strength to strength,” he said.
Glassie also made a point of mentioning that the Government supports the ‘One China’ policy.
CCECC workers are expected to finish their part of the project – installing the ring mains – by the end of this year.
Te Mato Vai is the Cook Islands Water Partnership with the People’s Republic of China and New Zealand.
Te Mato Vai is aiming to deliver fresh, healthy drinking water to the boundary of all residential and commercial properties connected to the current network on Rarotonga.
According to Chinese astrology, each year - starting from Chinese New Year – is associated with an animal sign and happens in a 12 year cycle.
For example 2015 is a year of the Goat.
People born in the year of the goat are associated with kindness, sensitivity, politeness and creativity.
Years of the Goat are 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, and 2027.