A Japanese grant worth over $132,000 is funding a project that is expected to generate affordable building materials and employment and training for school leavers, to assist in population retention on Mangaia.
southern group island of Mangaia is set to get a new sawmill with help from Japan’s
Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP) that gave
$132,914 to the project.
of Mangaia Forestry Group, Ngametua Papatua said prior to the funding, the
island had been operating on a small scale for 20 years.
said it was time the machine was upgraded.
will be a big help going into the future, there’s a lot of benefit that comes
from this for our people, especially those who want to build their own house
here on the island,” Papatua said.
have already built over 20 houses here made with local timber… so this will be
a big help for our building sector, to assist our local people to mitigate the
cost for purchasing timber from overseas.
has gone up for building materials so securing this kind of machine will help
us in the long run.”
local timber on the island is used for internal parts of housing, roofing and
building furniture, he said.
1986 New Zealand pine was planted on the island, Papatua said it’s now matured
and ready to be used. Mahogany and albizia are also used for construction on
grant contract for the project was signed by Papatua in Mangaia and Ambassador
ITO Koichi in the Embassy of Japan to the Cook
Ambassador ITO Koichi, Embassy of Japan to the Cook Islands. 21101418
in Wellington in September 15 and October 13, respectively.
a statement, the Embassy of Japan in Wellington said: “The project aims to
contribute to long term forestry management and reduce the impact on the
natural resources by controlling the invasive trees.”
project is also established for education purposes.
explained: “Part of the component of this project is to teach students that are
attending school in their final year and bring them to the mill, teach them how
to use the mill.”
skills itself is what we call life skills and these life skills will help us
survive or die and not only that but they can use their skills if they ever
decide to go overseas and live elsewhere apart from Mangaia.”
statement said, “the project is also expected to generate affordable building
materials and employment and training for school leavers, all of which can
assist in population retention.”
thanked the Embassy of Japan to the Cook Islands in Wellington for funding the