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[OPSC News] Our People - The experiences of an 'Intern' [Part 2]

KUKUKINA KI TE PAE RANGI

TE MANA IA O NGA ARIKI

KARE RAI AU E RAUKA… NOKU EI TOKU PUROTU

NO ROTO I TE KUTIKUTI O TE RANGI… E RONGO E! KA TURUTURU O TE KAUARIKI KI RUNGA

Te Akaroa

My name is Maneuneu Te Kare o te Moana Mere a Pe’e Tutakiao-Tupa, known to many as Maneuneu or Mane. I was born and raised here on Rarotonga. I hail from the Vaka Takitumu, Oire Rangiatea but strongly Identify as Aitutakian on my Taria-Kora side, with ancestral links to Mangaia, Atiu, Manihiki and Pukapuka.

I love Cook Island dancing! I’ve started dancing at the age of 3 years old and had been blessed to travel on cultural exchange programs around most parts of the world with Te Korero Maori dance troupe. We’ve travelled to countries like the U.S.A (visiting L.A, Vegas, and Phoenix Arizona etc), France, Hawaii, South Korea etc. We were blessed to be billeted by families of Joe Monga, Arerangi Tongia, Mary Mateariki, Arapati Napua, Tevairangi & Pono Lopez, William & Moana Numanga just to name a few and the wider Cook islands Community living in these parts of the world. Unfortunately I have stopped dancing as I have gained weight over the years so I hope to get back into it lol.

I attended Takitumu Primary School, then followed through to Nukutere College for Year 7 – Year 11 (best secondary experience might I add), then like many others, completed my last two secondary years at Tereora College. I am currently studying at Waikato University striving to complete a Bachelors of Law (LLB), and hopefully aim higher in completing a Masters in Law (no promises dad). I am truly grateful to the Waikato University Cook Island Association (WUCIA) for helping Cook Island students like me make a smooth and fun transition from high school study to tertiary level. I have been fortunate enough to land an internship role with David Rice & Associates for 5 weeks before studies commence in March.

My role as an intern at OPSC is to assist with day-to-day tasks, whether it be completing data entry work, updating the website, managing emails and just basically performing clerical duties. It is an absolute privilege for me to be interning at OPSC because throughout the weeks that I’ve been here, I’m ‘beginning’ to understand the machinery of Cook Islands government and how it operates. As an intern, “I landed a big one” at OPSC as they oversee and establish personnel policies and standards for the public service, advising public service and administering in regards to staffing structure, resolving employment issues and so forth. I believe these statutory functions contribute greatly to my field of study.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with OPSC and would like to show my appreciation and thanks to Russel and Myra for making opportunities like these, possible, and many thanks to Teresa Tura and Nukutau for their guidance. A big meitaki atupaka to OPSC staff for welcoming me into your family! Although small in numbers, OPSC definitely makes a huge impact in the Cook Islands Government and dare I say, “A force to be reckoned with”.

Words of encouragement to school leavers and tertiary students. “Just seize every opportunity you have, embrace every experience. Make a mark, for all the right reasons. –Chrissie Wellington


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