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Exploring new ways of doing business

Monday 19 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Business, National

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Exploring new ways  of doing business

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the borders closed in 2020, Aitutaki businessman Tearaia Maoate had to reassess his plans.

The island was quiet and no one was travelling to Aitutaki for some time so Maoate looked at other means to bring in an income.

Maoate grew up familiar with his family’s businesses on the island.

“I’m always looking for new ways of doing things… starting a business small that we want to grow,” said Maoate.

“We started selling bits and pieces online during Covid, testing the online market and that worked out well.”

Earlier this year, Maoate and his partner Mata Benioni officially created and launched their own business, Tavake Online Facebook page and website, with the help of Byron Brown, expanding on the number and variety of products.

“The website is designed to sell more of our products and to make it easier for our customers to access our services and view the products we have available.

“This has now opened up the market for our products, it’s exciting,” said Maoate.

Tavake Online also sells smart phones from a supplier in New Zealand. For the phones and electronics “we can also do pre orders for specific products that customers are after,” said Maoate.

The range of products online include laptops, watches, jewellery, Bluetooth head phones, fishing lures and more.

Last month they brought in hooded sweaters to help keep locals warm during the chilly period, and also offered free inter-island shipping for orders over $100.

Maoate has also completed a little café, built a little bungalow, and a shop to properly display their exciting products and sell stock. The shop is located in Amuri, Aitutaki on the beachside.

Not one to keep still, Maoate has also been connecting with traditional voyages having completed two ocean journeys on Vaka Marumaru Atua.

Maoate thanked his family for their support and gave credit to his mother Paula who he says is “really great” at sourcing products.

If you are visiting Aitutaki, pop in to see Maoate and Benioni at the Tavake Restaurant, see the online products on display and support young Cook Islanders in business.