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Local vendor saves Mother’s Day with ‘Later Pay’ system

Monday 20 May 2024 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Business, Local, National

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Local vendor saves Mother’s Day with ‘Later Pay’ system
Matanoanoa Tairi with Pastor Ngarima George, left, and Pastor Tukua of New Hope Church at her gift shop. SUPPLIED/24051911

Over a week ago, a number of local bank customers were left with zero balances in their accounts leading up to Mother’s Day on May 11. A local vendor stepped in to help put a smile on their faces.

Matanoanoa Tairi, who runs a gift shop at Punanga Nui Market, said she became aware of the bank issue on the eve of Mother’s Day.

Several Bank of the Cook Islands customers reported finding their accounts with zero balances. The bank attributed this to a delay in settling card transactions from earlier last month.

Tairi felt sorry for these customers – some of whom took to social media to complain about how it had affected their Mother’s Day plans – and decided to come up with a “later pay” system.

In a Facebook post, she said: “Last minute Mother’s Day gifts for those affected by the peoples bank, we can do a Later Pay for your Mother’s Day gift packs.”

“I was reading people’s comments on Facebook (about the bank issue) and I just thought, how stressful for families, with the Mother’s Day the following day. And then I thought to myself, what can I do to relieve some of the stress from these families,” Tairi told Cook Islands News.

“I just came back from Australia and my sisters there were talking about the after pay, where you can do shopping and pay for it later. I thought to myself I really want to make someone happy so why not do a later pay, if there is such thing. And if it works elsewhere, I’m going to try it here.”


A Mother’s Day gift basket. SUPPLIED/ 24051912

Tairi, who posted about the initiative on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook page, said about 10 people took up the offer.

“Oh, I felt really happy … to have that one mum smile on Mother’s Day with the gift, for that I was really, really happy,” said Tairi.

“I’ve given them two weeks to pay back, just to get them back on their feet and I’m sure they can afford by their next pay.”

Tairi operates out of Hut 25, where she sells local products ranging from pareu, homemade coconut oil, locally designed and printed cards, earrings, and other products.

“It’s a new business. We’ve been there (Punanga Nui Market) before under the marquee, and then I was fortunate enough to have Hut 25 which I’m renting, it belongs to a family member who is away overseas at the moment,” she said.

Last year Tairi launched her first Māori children’s book – “Ko Tamaiva e te toa moa” – about a young boy, Tamaiva, who becomes frustrated by a rooster crowing next to his window.

Her talented grandson, Tamaiva Putuaariki Pera, illustrated her book in 2022 at the age of nine. The book also features an information kit at the back with a list of Māori vowels, the months of the year, a map, and the lyrics to the Cook Islands national anthem.

Tairi said most of the greeting cards were designed by Pera and her other grandchildren.