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[Media Release - OPM] Launching our Cook Islands journey to Turanga Memeitaki (wellbeing)

7 December 2021

Cook Islands history is to be made on 8 December with the launch of the new national blueprint that will guide our nation on its journey towards wellbeing.

Over a year of consultations has helped develop the Te Ara Akapapa’anga Nui-Cook Islands National Sustainable Development Agenda 2020+ resulting in three documents that were approved by Cabinet on the 23rd of November 2021.

Te Ara Akapapa’anga Nui 2021 – 2121, Our 100 Year Vision; Te Ara Akapapa’anga Uki, Our Generational Plan; and Te Ara Akapapa’anga Iti 2021 – 2026 our scorecard will be launched on 8 December at 10am at the Office of the Prime Minister for which an open invite is extended to all to attend.

“This monumental event is a celebration for all of us as we commemorate the hard work from everyone. Despite the challenges we faced with COVID-19 restrictions, everyone came together to contribute to our new map that will underpin our future direction,” said Ms. Valentino Wichman, Director of the Central Policy and Planning Office of the Office of the Prime Minister.

“Together we have created our new national blueprint that will guide our work and our efforts to ensure our wellbeing as Cook Islanders. We are excited for our new journey ahead.”

Leading coordination of the NSDA2020+, Ms Wichman and her team worked with a committee made up of different stakeholders from across the Cook Islands Government, Non-Governmental Organisation, and Private Sector along with other stakeholders to facilitate development.

Over 90 consultations were undertaken across Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, Mauke, Mangaia, Mitiaro, Pukapuka and Tongareva, as well as open calls for thoughts and suggestions through national media, social media and the Office of the Prime Minister website. There was also a public forum on Rarotonga that sought the views from the public on targeted issues.

All consultation outcomes were then reviewed by the NSDA 2020+ Committee for the research context, check other mitigating factors and provide further information before providing feedback to share Te Ara Akapapa’anga Nui.

The initial drafts developed were also made available publicly for people to submit comments on across a one-month period, these were reviewed by the NSDA2020+ committee before finalising the document and seeking endorsement from cabinet.

This has resulted in a national 100-year vision, a 25-year framework which spans four generations, as well as the five- year strategies upon which monitoring, and evaluation will be facilitated to ensure the Cook Islands remains on track towards wellbeing.

“We know there is much unknown in our future, and while 100, and 25 years are long-term goals with estimated planning based on feedback, we can adjust these as needed. The transition to long-term planning and thinking is to help build our resilience and lay the groundwork for research and preparation as is needed,” said Ms Wichman.

“We have researched this extensively and found there are many ‘wins’ for those countries that have similar long-term goals. In this case, all our paths are leading us to the long-term goal of wellbeing in every area possible for our Cook Islands people.”

Everyone is invited to attend the launch that will take place at 10am on 8 December at the Office of the Prime Minister. This will also be available on Facebook Live using the Office of the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands FB Page. Speeches will be made from both Government and our future generation of the Cook Islands as well as the burial of a time capsule containing letters from young Cook Islanders. The time capsule will be opened in 100 years-time.

For further information on the event, or the Cook Islands NSDA2020+ documents please contact the Central Policy and Planning Office of the Office of the Prime Minister at cppo@cookislands.gov.ck