Friday, June 29, 2007

VACANCY!! - TIS Youth Coordinator

Te Ipukarea Society Inc. has a vacancy for a Youth Coordinator to work 20 hours/week on youth environmental projects in the Cook Islands. Applicants should:
  • Have a strong interest in the environment
  • Be able to relate to and encourage enthusiasm amongst youth.
  • Have a sound high school record and may have a university degree
  • Have excellant verbal and written communication skills
  • Preferably speak Cook Islands Maori
  • Have good organisational skills
  • Show initiative, be self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision
  • Be computer literate
  • Be willling to report on progress at monthly executive meetings

Remuneration is NZ$12,000 - $NZ15,000 gross per year, depending on experience and qualifications. Depending on the success in securing further funding, the position is intended to become full time at a later date.

Please send CV, three references and a covering letter with a 250 word statement about why you would be good for this job to:

The President
Te Ipukarea Society Inc.
PO Box 649
Cook Islands
Or email:

The deadline for applications is 11th July 2007.
For further enquiries, please call 21144.


Title of Position:
TIS Youth Coordinator

Objectives of the Position:
To implement a TIS membership drive targeting youth
To coordinate environmental initiatives for youth
To promote the involvement of youth in TIS actions
To help identify and analyse revenue generating activities for sustainability
To maintain a functional TIS office

Reports to:
TIS President

Supervised by:
TIS President, TIS Vice-President, TIS Treasurer

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Assist youth with the implementation of youth environmental initiatives based on the Plan of Action developed by youth at the TIS Youth Environment Forum 31st August - 1st September 2006. This will involve:
Ø Seeking costing on goods and services needed for proposed activities
Ø Liaison with retailers, government officials, and other key people in the community who are needed to provide goods and services for the implementation of youth environmental initiatives
Ø Sourcing and purchasing materials
Ø Liaison with the media and production of a quarterly TIS newsletter
Ø Obtaining sponsorship for award incentives and rewards at events
Ø Working with schools and uniformed organisations to promote environmental awareness and action
Ø With the assistance of the TIS executive committee, identifying revenue generation activities that will support a coordinator beyond 2007
Ø When available, attending relevant local, regional and national meetings and workshops to enhance learning and to increase enthusiasm for your vocation.

2. Develop and implement a Recruitment Campaign
Ø With the assistance of the TIS executive committee, develop and implement a recruitment campaign aimed at increasing the number of young people in the organisation

3. Maintain a functional TIS office
Ø Assist with the identification and analysis of potential revenue generating activities to sustain the coordinator position
Ø Forward TIS emails to appropriate chairperson or executive member
Ø Defrag computer, clean drives and ensure virus protection is up to date
Ø Ensure batteries on cameras and laptop are charged
Ø Maintain dehumidifier
Ø Check post office mail
Ø Pay phone, power and rental bills and other bills relevant to youth initiatives
Ø File receipts and correspondence
Ø Keep a record of expenditure

Rimatara Lorikeet project

"The people of Rimatara are to be commended for loving their bird so much, that they gave 27 of them away, to save them from extinction."

The beautiful Rimatara Lorikeet (also known as Kuhl's Lorikeet) is now living in Atiu thanks to the exceptional generosity of the people of Rimatara, Austral Islands, French Polynesia. The Rimatara Lorikeet which once lived in Atiu and other islands in the Southern Group of the Cooks became extinct early in the 20th century. The bird flourishes in Rimatara with a population of about 900 birds mainly because the Queen of Rimatara, Queen Tamaiva protected the bird.

One of the threats to the survival of the lorikeet is the Ship Rat, Rattus rattus. This rat does not exist on Rimatara. With the construction of the first air strip on Rimatara, followed by inevitable development, conservationists feared that the bird would be in danger of becoming extinct. Because the Ship Rat doesn't exist on Atiu, it was decided that a small population of birds be transferred from Rimatara to Atiu in order to protect the species from extinction. A party of conservationists including Gerald McCormack of the Natural Heritage Project and Jacqui Evans then of the World Wide Fund for Nature, travelled with the Queen of Atiu, Rongomatane Ariki Ada Nicholls and her spokesperson, Teokotai Mariri, to Rimatara in 2000 thanks to the assistance of WWF. The purpose of the trip was to ask the people of Rimatara for birds to be taken to Atiu, and to repeat a population count of the bird there, as well as a rat survey to determine if Rattus rattus had been introduced. The people of Rimatara agreed to the transfer. The bird population had not undergone any significant change and the Ship Rat was still absent from the island.

Some years passed before Gerald McCormack and MANU, the Ornithological Society of French Polynesia were able to secure agreement for the transfer from both the French Polynesian and Cook Islands Governments. After obtaining this approval it was necessary to return to Rimatara in January 2007 to confirm arrangements to transfer the bird. Because the birds had to be flown by aeroplane directly from Rimatara to Atiu without stopping in the international airports of both countries (Faaa and Rarotonga), immigration and customs approvals had to be sought. In addition, because the lorikeet is listed on the CITES schedule of endangered species, CITES permits also needed to be obtained.

With an iron will, Gerald McCormack was able to succeed in keeping all balls in the air and obtaining all the approvals necessary for the bird transfer. In April of this year, 27 birds were transferred from Rimatara to Atiu. Funds for the transfer were provided to Te Ipukarea Society Inc. by the British Bird Fair. Air Rarotonga, Atiu Villas and others also sponsored the project.

Now the people of Atiu must monitor the lorikeet and ensure that the Ship Rat never reaches their island. At present, there is no wharf for ships to dock at Atiu Harbour, making the introduction of the Ship Rat less likely.

The people of Rimatara are to be commended for loving their bird so much, they were willing to give 27 away, in order to save the species from extinction.

Careers Expo

Youth Coordinator, Ewan Cameron, took part in the Careers Expo held in Rarotonga during May this year. TIS shared a booth with the National Environment Service (NES). TIS and NES had two competitions running during the expo. Students from Rarotonga, the Outer Islands students and some adults took part in the competitions which involved seeking information from the Cook Islands Biodiversity Database and and answering questions.

Future Environmental Leadership Forum

Our Youth Coordinator, Ewan Cameron, went to the Future Environmental Leadership Forum in Samoa from the 2nd to the 4th of April 2007. The Forum was a leadership programme for young adults interested in leadership for environmental sustainability. The programme will have four phases:
PHASE 1: Skill building - this began in the forum and continues to grow as the program develops
PHASE 2: Networking - the Pacific Youth Environment Network PYEN will be used as a mechanism for young people in the Pacific to develop a keen interest in environmental issues in the Pacific. PYEN was established by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).
PHASE 3: Mentorship - this is a key element of this youth leadership program. This phase will provide young people with opportunities to establish connections with mentors who can provide support in various areas. SPREP (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme) will work with USP (University of the South Pacific), UNEP and PYEN along with other regional agencies to connect young people to potential mentors.
PHASE 4: Internship and Placements - providing on the job training as a key method to reinforcing skills learning, and to access work with key agencies to explore possibilities to provide work placements.