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A calling to represent Nukuroa

Wednesday 15 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Politics

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A calling to represent Nukuroa
Koutu Nui president Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth. 20052943

First time candidate Paul Raui Pokoati Allsworth is standing for his home island of Mitiaro, for the United Party in the upcoming General Elections on August 1.

Allsworth sincerely believes the time is right to represent his people.

Allsworth was born in April 1959 to parents Te Maeu O Te Rangi Pokoati (mother) from Mitiaro/Nukuroa and Ivan Allsworth, who was a returning war veteran from the Korean War.

Hailing from the Ngati Te Akatauira tribe of Nukuroa and Ngaputoru, he was raised on Nukuroa and Rarotonga by his grandparents, Papa Raui (a former MP for Nukuroa) and Taimata Pokoati.

Invested with the Mataiapo title of Terea Mataiapo, under Te Maeu Teikamata Ariki in 2011, he says the transition from a traditional leader of Nukuroa, to national politics “is an exciting challenge.”

Earlier in the year he returned to Nukuroa to reside, to discover his homeland, in a sad state of affairs.

For the past two-to-three months there has been no television and radio on the island, he said.

Allsworth noted there is very little economic development on the island, the cost of goods are very high and the shipping service is irregular and expensive.

“There needs to be a constructive strategic plan for the island in consultation with traditional leaders, the churches, Island Council and Government.”

Nukuroa is a natural unspoilt environment, it has strong cultural and traditional values and more importantly, its unique land tenure system, he says.

“It’s natural resources can be a stimulus for eco-tourism and small cottage type sustainable commercial ventures.

“Increasing the minimum wage for the Outer Islands to match rising inflation, will attract people back home and lessen the burden on the cost of living.

“And encouraging small business start-ups through a dedicated development budget for the Outer Islands, such as Nukuroa, will be a priority.”

Allsworth attended the primary schools of  Apii Tematangarengare in Nukuroa, Rarotonga’s Avarua, Nikao, Side School and Tereora College before departing for St. Stephens College in Auckland.

From the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, he graduated with a Diploma’s in Accounting and Management.

Later he completed the first Cook Islands in-country MBA programme graduating in August 2009 and was one of the first Cook Islanders to receive a CFE (certified fraud examiner) certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Over a span of 30 years he worked for various government departments and was the first Cook Islander to take over as Director of Audit.

He is the President of CAC (Citizens Against Corruption) from 2021-2022.

Allsworth has represented Mitiaro and the Cook Islands in Touch rugby, rugby league and Athletics, leading up to the Masters level.

He was Vice President of CISNOC and Chair of the High Performance Commission, as Chef de Mission, he managed national teams to the Mini and South Pacific Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

Allsworth is of the view that over the past 10 years there has been a breakdown in the governance structures and systems, which has been largely overrun by a few politicians.

“We need to get back on track, introduce stronger measures to ensure that there is better accountability and wider transparency and reporting on a regular basis,” he said.

With his experiences, qualifications and life skills he is prepared to lead the people of Nukuroa both on the island and in parliament.