Friday 19 February 2010 | Published in Regional
Former prime minister and president of the Cook Islands Health Network Association in New Zealand, Dr Joe Williams, is leading a small group from NZ on a mission to Aitutaki this week to see how best they can help the cyclone relief efforts.
Williams, a born and bred Aitutakian, flew to Rarotonga and on to Aitutaki yesterday with the group who will be there until tomorrow.
They are keen to see how they can be most useful to the Aitutaki people and where the funds gathered by the Cook Islands communities in NZ can best be applied.
Members of the group are Pastor Alfred Ngaro, community development practitioner responsible for coordination of a report to NZ Cook Islands communities on the Aitutaki visit, Caren Rangi, the CI Health Network Association treasurer who will compile the report, Metuakore Bates-Faasisila, the assocation’s business advisor who will also help with the report, and Tere Oka, Auckland’s Aitutaki community member.
The NZ association decided to come and see for itself and talk with the people in Aitutaki so it could base its decisions on where to send funds on these observations. The group will also report back to NZ based communities on the observations on where funding and other assistance should go.
The group reportedly feels it is important that the Aitutaki people know that Cook Islanders in NZ are thinking of them and want to support them in getting back on their feet.