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Building assets for the nation and for people

Monday 28 February 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Local, National

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Building assets for the nation and for people
Cook Islands Investment Corporation cadet Aumai Teiotu is passionate about construction. PHOTO: DEREK FOX/22022708

Cadetships are a tried and proven way of introducing and training new staff into an industry; and a good way of teaching the skills that industry really needs, around the world. In Rarotonga Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) has just taken on two cadets and Derek Fox caught up with them to see how they ended up where they are and how they are settling into life at CIIC.

Tua Williams was born on Pukapuka and was five years old when his folks moved to Australia to work. It was while he was at school on Queensland’s Gold Coast that he got the building bug, and he could not get rid of it.

Aumai Teiotu was born on Atiu and grew up there and got it into her head that she wanted to get involved in construction.

Both are now cadets with the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC).

While still at school in Atiu last year, Aumai did a two-week internship with CIIC, and it cemented her desire to pursue a career in construction. She’s spent the last three weeks in the CIIC office, learning the ropes and absorbing as much information as she can about how the place works. It is the longest she has ever been away from Atiu, and she is a “little bit” homesick but is loving the job and making few friends.

When Tua’s family moved back from Australia a couple of years ago the building bug was still with him, and he won a trophy associated with building while finishing off his schooling at Tereora College. It was sponsored by CIIC and that is how he came to their attention. The day after school finished, he rang up asking about a job.

Tua Williams, right, won trophy associated with building while finishing off his schooling at Tereora College. He is pictured with one of his CIIC supervisors. PHOTO: DEREK FOX/22022709

Being keen and willing to learn goes a long way in the building game, or any field actually. But being mindful that he needed a bit of practical experience out in the field, his CIIC supervisors have been attaching him to various construction crews around the island.

I caught up with Tua on a site near the Office of The Prime Minister. It was shaping up to be another very hot Rarotonga day and while not yet mid-morning, sweat was dripping off all of the men on site.

But Tua was not deterred. “I love the job. I’m being moved around a bit and getting experience on different sites and with different supervisors.”

In time he will be moved back into the office to learn about the technical side of the job, about plans and planning, and why those practical things he learned in the field are done the way they are.

Cadetships is something new for CIIC, but the senior managers are enthusiastic about the process and very happy with their two new colleagues; and see it as a great way to introduce new blood into the operation from the ground up.

CIIC’s vision is “Te au apinga puapinga te ka tauturu i te iti-tangata Kuki Airani, Quality assets that serve the Cook Islands people”. Assets for the nation and for people. CIIC can only deliver its strategy with a skilled workforce, delivering for the people and by the people, for the nation. Turou, oro mai, Tua and Aumai, you are a credit to your anau and enua, CIIC is honoured to have you on board.