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Meeting house gets new look

Wednesday 14 June 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Meeting house gets new look
Government officials gather at Te Are Uipa'anga 'Te Kapua'anga o te Evangelia' meeting house in Takuvaine. Numangatini Ariki Tangi Tereapii - Director of Renewable Energy Development, Bim Tou - Project Manager, Tani Mussell - SiteworX construction company owner, John Strickland - EMCI Director and Allan Jensen - CIIC CEO. MELINA ETCHES/23061326

Te Kapua'anga o te Evangelia Meeting House in Takuvaine is shining white and brighter as major renovation works on the building near completion.

The total cost of the renovation project is around $209,000 of which $100,000 was funded by government under the project called the ‘Rarotonga Safety Shelter Programme (RSSP)’, and $109,000 from community fundraisers.

Bim Tou, the project manager has been engaged by Government to oversee the project.

Tou noted that the RSSP was established in 2021 to support remediation works to community/public buildings designated or identified as potential cyclone/safety shelters. 

Consultations to roll out the RSSP to the rest of the Rarotonga community will commence once the 2023/24 draft budget appropriation is approved

Cabinet approved two pilot projects under the Rarotonga Safety Shelter Programme; the first was the Nikao CICC Hall and the second is Te Kapua'anga o te Evangelia Meeting House, added Tou.

The renovations started on Tuesday May 2 after the traditional ceremony of the lifting of the sacredness over the building known as Te Kiriti'anga Tapu was done (May 1).

Tou said he is pleased with the progress of the work by SiteworX construction company, owned by Tani Mussell.

The SiteworX have 14 crew on site who have built a new wheelchair access ramp to the entrance of the building, widened both door entrances to accommodate wheelchairs to the new tiled bathroom facilities, retiled the floors, repainted and rewired the building and have also replaced the rotten wooden posts with new strong concrete ones.

Mussell was kind enough to construct the new concrete posts at no charge, said Tou who is confident the new re-build will be completed on time by 30 June.

Government officials: Numangatini Ariki Tangi Tereapii - Director of Renewable Energy Development, John Strickland - EMCI Director and Allan Jensen - Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) popped into the meeting house this week to see the progress.

The land 'Arepepe' that the meeting house sits on was gifted to the Takuvaine Community by Karika Ariki at the turn of the century.

This gifting of the land was confirmed recently through the signing of a perpetual lease by the current Makea Karika George Ariki.

The renovation project is part of the 200 years Commemoration of Te Arikianga o te Evangelia, the Arrival of the Gospel celebration in July.