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[Media Release - OPM] Building our Cook Islands legacy with our Pa Enua

30 March 2021

The valuable input of our local communities on Atiu, Mauke and Mitiaro are being interwoven into the Cook Islands National Sustainable Development Agenda 2020+.

Our wellbeing, raising of the old age pension, the growing cost of living, affordable and reliable internet as well as the need for vocational training were some of the issues raised by people in Nga-pu-toru during public meetings held on the islands this month.

The development of the CINSDA 2020+ is led by the Central Policy and Planning Office of the Office of the Prime Minister (CPPO – OPM). It will continue on the legacy of the Cook Islands National Sustainable Development Agenda 2016 – 2020.

As part of its development, over 70 consultations with a wide range of groups have been undertaken across Rarotonga, as well as Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke and Mitiaro.

“It is important to have our own voice here in Mauke for this national planning process,” said Mr Barney Dyer of Mauke who participated in the consultations.

“Several of our concerns included a need to find opportunities to keep our people here on Mauke, in country and to look after the well-being of our people”.

The CINSDA 2020+ will be the national blueprint to guide our 100-year vision of wellbeing. This will be achieved by 25-year outcomes – generational frameworks, these will be monitored and evaluated by 5-year plans to tell us just how well we are doing to achieving the outcomes, and vision.


It is envisioned the NSDA2020+ will be presented to cabinet for approval before the end of this financial year.


Consultations in Nga-pu-toru were held from 23 – 25 March 2021 with a public consultation meeting held on each island, bringing over 60 people together at each meeting. The consultations in Mangaia took place in February 2021.


“With each consultation we have held, we have found the issues and key concerns are diverse – the feedback from our Pa Enua no different. Each consultation we had recently on each island have raised different points for consideration,” said Ms Valentino Wichman, Director of CPPO-OPM.


“Across Nga-pu-toru the issues discussed were relevant to their circumstances, yet one which we found was consistent across all Pa Enua consultations is that of the high cost of living and the need for economic opportunities. We are hopeful the CINSDA2020+ will address this, especially given all work we do will guide us all towards a nation of wellbeing.”


In Mauke the public consultations recorded the need for the right mindset, and to address access to safe water as well as the high cost of living. In Mitiaro several of the key points discussed by the community included the need for affordable, fast and reliable internet as well as our traditional leadership structures and the importance of our people leading everything we do. There was also a strong emphasis on our environment and our connection to it.


“We need to also share what we know and learned in the Pa Enua over the years. We can contribute to the development of our nation,” said Ms Cindy Knowles who attended the consultations in Mitiaro.


“Our environment and our wellbeing are very important to us all.”


In Atiu the public meeting highlighted the need for us to understand our past in order to know where we are heading as well as succession planning and being prepared for threats and technology going into the future.


Te ora’anga o te matakeinanga kia vai, kia utuutu’ia” - Nani Tutaka-Tatuava


The CINSDA2020+ consultations in Nga-pu-toru were led by Ms Wichman and Ms Charlene Hoff of CPPO. Also, part of the delegation was Mr Mia Teaurima for island governance review of legislation, Mr Maara Tetava Ariki for National security consultations, Mr Tangata Vainerere who is assisting development of the National Population policy and Ms Maria Tuoro providing communications support.


Plans are in process to undertake consultations in Aitutaki and Te Pae Tokerau.


For further information on the CINSDA2020+ please contact cppo@cookislands.gov.ck.


ENDS…

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