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China donate’s emergency equipment

Friday 6 May 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Economy, National

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China donate’s emergency equipment
Emergency Management Cook Islands director John Strickland holds one of the new radios in front of the chainsaws that are being distributed to the Puna. Photo: Caleb Fotheringham/22050520

China has donated 50 chainsaws and high-quality radios worth over $100,000 to the Cook Islands to be used in emergency management.

The goods were donated through the city of Zhuhai, a sister city to Rarotonga.

Each Puna was given radios and two chainsaws.

During the blessing of the items, Office of the Prime Minister chief of staff, Ben Ponia said the equipment was of a high quality.

“I want to signal to you, the recipients, that this is not stuff that is meant to be tossed around, that is easily replaced; do treasure it, it’s valuable,” Ponia said.

“I think it is good to see Government is making an effort to empower our communities with the best tools possible.”

Prime Minister Mark Brown said after Zhuhai was established as a sister city they had assisted the Cook Islands across a range of departments and ministries.

“Now with the EMCI (Emergency Management Cook Islands) they provided chainsaws and radios that we’ve got as part of their continued support to us,” Brown said.

“I know a lot of you will be waiting to start these chainsaws up now,” the Prime Minister told the Puna leaders.

“Apparently it’s the time to start cutting trees - there’s a lot of that happening. We’re here to help provide more chainsaws to help you cut trees down.”

Emergency Management Cook Islands director John Strickland said the negotiations began in December to acquire the goods from Zhuhai.

“This is the first part of these negotiations, we expect more,” he told Cook Islands News.

He said the Cook Islands will soon also be given silent generators and computer tablets from Zhuhai.