The family whose home burnt down, Maata (left), Joseph and Ngamata Ahiao accept a check from Trader Jacks organised by day shift manager, Hinano Siulepa. 22100501
Trader Jacks is the latest business to rally around a family who lost everything in a house fire last month.
Trader Jacks’ day shift manager Hinano Siulepa
organised the $1200 donation for the owners of the home that burnt down behind
the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM).
“They lost their house, basically everything, and I
thought we could give them a donation,” Siulepa said.
“I had a chat to the staff and instead of us keeping
the tips we should donate it to the family.
“We did this in roughly nine days, it started off with
day shift and then I got night shift involved, so all our customers that gave
us tips went all into this envelope (for the family).”
Siulepa said customers would drop $20 and $50 bills
into the bucket dedicated to helping the family.
Home owner Ngamata Ahiao said she felt blessed by the
“It’s been so overwhelming having the love and support
from the community from friends, family,” Ahiao said.
She said a temporary shelter from a shipping container
had been built to house the family.
“It’s just for us to stay temporarily and when we’re
ready to start building we will be building up on our own land.”
Ahiao said the reality of the fire had now sunk in.
“For me personally it’s like, ‘shucks it happened’,
everything of ours that we worked so hard for is just gone.”
Some of the other fundraisers for the family have come
from the MFEM, friends and Cook Islands Party put a call out on its Facebook
page asking for supplies to be donated.
The Rarotonga fire
services believe the blaze was caused by overloading of electrical equipment.
Cook Islands Airport Authority fire
services manager George Nicolls said it would have been caused by the fact the
house didn’t have a fixed power board, while a temporary box was left outside.
The Government is now proposing
regulation prohibiting the importation of substandard electrical equipment.
MFEM senior microeconomist Sally Wyatt
said the proposal at this stage is that the Competition and Regulatory
Authority would take over responsibility for developing (or adopting) standards
for electrical equipment, and investigating compliance (or non-compliance) with