Monday, June 14, 2010

Marine Raui Proposed for Legislation

A core group of local experts on marine protected areas are examining methods to strengthen the existing system of marine ra’ui in the Cook Islands.

Representatives of the Koutu Nui, Ministry of Marine Resources and the National Environment Service have recently returned from a study of marine reserves and rahui in the South Island of New Zealand.

“The purpose of the study was to observe what they’re doing in New Zealand and see how we can apply that here in the Cook Islands,” says Iro Rangi, coordinator of the marine raui at the Edgewater Resort.

The tour is the beginning of moves to legislate the marine raui so that penalties become a deterrent for potential offenders.

“The question is how to enforce such legislation efficiently and how to legislate so that the role of Koutu Nui, who is the traditional authority of raui, is maintained,” says Jacqui Evans, who travelled as an advisor to Koutu Nui and the Program Manager of Te Ipukarea Society Inc.

Members of the study group witnessed the New Zealand government and aronga mana working together.

“It was good to see that the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries have worked together with the tangata whenua,” says Koutu Nui representative Tairi o te Rangi Rangatira Tupe Short.

Dorothy Solomona of the Ministry of Marine Resources agrees saying, “Communication between the government and the community needs to be improved for this to work.”

Solomona was previously the Senior Fisheries Officer but has now been promoted to Assistant Director for the Pearl Division of the Ministry.

“We need to work together to make sure there is compliance. We could have a system so that breaches can be managed by the aronga mana or community,” suggests Solomona.

Tauraki Raea of the National Environment Service who was also part of the study group believes there is work to be done to get more people on board with the marine raui.

“We need the aronga mana to encourage their tribe to come on board. Some of the traditional leaders are working alone and their tribes don’t know what’s going on. So I feel they should go back and consult their tribes as they work,” says Raea.

Raea says the same needs to happen with Members of Parliament.

“We need the politicians to come on board, no matter which government is in place.”

“Already we felt the need to legislate. We have to. But we didn’t know how. Now we could follow some of what they are doing in New Zealand, ” says Short.

Short adds that the next step is for the government agencies, Koutu Nui and the House of Ariki to develop a proposed management structure and management plans for the raui and take this to the people for their input.

Short, who is of Ngati Tamatea and Ngati Tamarua was grateful for the hospitality received during the study visit.

“A big thank you to NZAID for granting us the funding, Jo Akroyd of CIMRIS and also to the people of Ngati Wheke, Ngati Tarewa, and Ngati Kuri.

Solomona adds, “The hospitality of the people that we came into contact with was very welcoming - like teina and tuakana. They treated us like one.”

TIS Program Manager begins work.

Jacqui Evans (front right) is welcomed on her first day at work as TIS Program Manager by TIS Executive Committee (pictured) Kelvin Passfield and wife Ana Tiraa (front) who is taking a break from study in Bangkok, “the birdman” Ed Saul (left rear), founding member Jolene Bosanquet and Peter Heays (absent are Andy Olah, Tamara Suchodolsky and Ian Karika, President).

The new Program Manager for Te Ipukarea Society Inc. (TIS), Jacqui Evans, begins work this week at their Maraerenga Office.

“I’m really excited to start this job. It’s the kind of work I love to do,” says Evans.

“I’ll be coordinating a project aimed at protecting our native and endemic birds and other important species.”

Endemic birds are bird species only found in a particular place and nowhere else in the world.

Examples are the Rarotonga Flycatcher (Kakerori), Rarotonga Starling (I’oi), Atiu Swiftlet (Kopeka) and Mangaian Kingfisher (Tanga’eo).

Evans says she will also be working on waste management, youth environment awareness and strengthening of the marine raui.

“TIS promoted recycling back in 1996 during the first Clean Up the World campaign held in the Cook Islands. Back then we worked with the late Father Kevin Glover who was instrumental in setting up the first recycling programme in the country.”

“In those days we met with the importers about plastic bags and other undesirables and the main people interested were Foodland but awareness has increased so much since then. We are pleased to see CITC doing some more for the environment,” she says.

“There is still a long way to go and we’re making a submission to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning,” she says.

“It is great to see that MOIP is open to advice from NGO’s. We specialise in this area and do so much work on it - and at no cost to Government! So it pays for them to ask our advice – even for the smallest things, ” she adds.

Evans says her position was made possible with the help of Birdlife International and the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund.

Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) Appoints Program Manager

With the financial assistance of Birdlife International Inc and the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, Te Ipukarea Society Inc, has appointed Jacqui Evans as its ProgramManager effective 31 May 2010. TIS is an affiliate of BirdLife International.

Jacqui has been involved with TIS since its inception in 1996, as a volunteer in both technical and practical roles and serving as President of this environmental organisation for several years.. Some of the campaigns Jacqui has been involved in are Save Our Suwarrow, Say Yes to Cloth Bags, Co-Ordinator of the Year of the Coral Reefs, Co-Ordinator of Recycling bins in schools, organiser of the recent Jewelry Competition.

Jacqui has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Geography. She was the original WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) Manager in the Cooks and during that time set up for the Koutu Nui the Raui Programme. She is on the committee of the successful annual Lagoon Day and Advisor to the Muri Environmental Group. In addition Jacqui has worked for National Environment Service, Ministry of Marine Resources and Cook Islands News. By far her most challenging role has been creating and implementing the Public Health (Sewerage) Regulations including running workshops and developing educational materials for the Ministry of Health.

“I’m passionate about protecting our fragile island environment and have had a long history doing this work both professional and on a volunteer basis. I intend to raise the profile of TIS and implement worthwhile projects that produce results” commented Jacqui.

The Executive of TIS are delighted to have Jacqui as Program Manager.
The selection panel included Liz Munro (NES), Ana Tiraa, Kelvin Passfield, Greg Stanaway, Andy Olah, Ed Saul and Peter Heays.

VACANCY for TIS Programme Manager

Te Ipukarea Society Inc. an affiliate of Birdlife International, has a vacancy for a Program Manager to co-ordinate its National Program. The job includes implementation of a bird conservation project in the Southern Group Islands & Suwarrow, participation in a Biosecurity program in partnership with Government & the coordination of an environmental Youth Program. For a full job description, & application criteria please telephone 55288. Applications close 30 April 2010.

Prize Giving Night a Success

Last night's prize-giving ceremony for the Te Akatauira Recyclable Jewellery Competition, was a fun night for competition entrants, their teachers and parents.

Opening speeches were made by Paka Worthington of Paka's Pearls, Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid of Koutu Nui and Jolene Bosanquet of Te Ipukarea Society.

This was followed by an environmental quiz with pizza, modelling of the jewellery and prize giving.

The event was held at Cafe Salsa and was for participating students, one guest and their art teacher

Prize winners won 50% of the prize money, whilst the other 50% went to their school.

Judging Completed for Jewellery Competition

Judging has been completed for the Te Akatauira Recyclable Jewellery Competition but winners will not be announced until prize-giving night.

“Judging is completed but we want to save the announcement for prize-giving night on 11 May,” says competition organiser Jacqui Evans.

Evans says the prize-giving night will be for those who entered the competition as well as their teachers and parents.

“We wanted everyone who entered to be treated to a fun night at Café Salsa,” says Evans.

Evans says personal invitations will be sent out when school starts next week.

Co-organiser Paka Worthington says there will be a number of activities on the night.

“Entrants will be modelling their jewellery and this will be followed by the prize-giving ceremony and a quiz for the kids,” says Worthington.

Worthington says the jewellery competition was organised with multiple objectives including encouraging environmental awareness and resourcefulness, enhancing the artistic ability of children and education and awareness of business skills utilized in the sale of jewelry.

“We are really grateful to the Global Green Grants Fund for sponsoring the competition,” says Worthington.

The competition is also supported by Te Ipukarea Society Inc, Koutu Nui, Paka’s Pearls and Café Salsa.

Judging Begins in Jewellery Competition

Thirty-three entries have been received for the Te Akatauira recycled jewelry competition and judging will begin this week.

“The overall standard is very good,” says competition organiser, Paka Worthington.

Co-organiser, Jacqui Evans says the entrants have been very resourceful in their use of waste materials.

“It was really pleasing to see that the kids have used a lot of waste materials to make their jewelry such as soft drink cans and old electrical wire,” says Evans.

“I think the message has got through that waste can be a resource,” she adds.

First prize in each section of the competition is $400 half of which goes to the student and half to their school.

Worthington says prize-winners will be announced early in the next school term at a prize-giving night at Café Salsa.

“We want it to be a night for the kids, so we’re giving out pizza for the prize-winners,” says Worthington.

Prize-winners will model their jewelry on the night.

Judges have been selected from the art, culture, environment and business communities.

The competition was organised by Te Ipukarea Society Inc., Paka's Pearls and Koutu Nui with support from the Ministry of Education and the Global Green Grants Fund.

Jewellery Competition Deadline Extended

Kids entering the Te Akatauira recyclable jewellery competition are getting an extra week to complete their work.

The deadline for entries has been changed from 2nd April to 9th April.

“We thought the kids and teachers would appreciate having the Easter weekend to finish working on their pieces,” says organiser, Paka Worthington of Paka’s Pearls.

There are three sections in the competition: The To’ora section is for Grades 4-6, the Kakaia section is for Grades 7-9, and the Matariki section is for Grades 10-13.

Prize money is $400 for first prize, $200 for second and $100 for third with 50% of the prize money going to the school and 50% going to the student.

Each school may submit up to six entries.

School teachers have been given an opportunity to learn a few tips on making recyclable jewellery at a workshop in February and a repeat workshop earlier this month.

“So far the participation has been good and we really appreciate the teachers and students putting in the extra effort during this very busy time,” says co-organiser Jacqui Evans of Te Ipukarea Society Inc.

The competition is also supported by the Ministry of Education, Koutu Nui and the Global Green Grants Fund.

Recyclable Jewellery Competition

The Global Green Grants Fund has provided Te Ipukarea Society Inc. with a grant to run a recyclable jewellery competition in schools.

Partners in the competition are Paka's Pearls and Koutu Nui with additional in-kind support from the Cook Islands Ministry of Education.

The objectives of the competition are:

1. Encourage environmental awareness and its importance in sustainable practices

2. Enhance the artistic ability of Rarotonga children

3. Encourage and promote the use of recyclable and reusable materials to make jewelry

4. Education and awareness of business skills utilizing sales of jewelry

Sections are:

1. Matariki section (Grades 10-13)

2. Kakaia section (Grades 7-9)

3. To’ora section (Grades 4-6)

First, second and third prize will be awarded for each section. Fifty percent of the prize money will go to the school and the other 50% to the student.

1. Overall quality and presentation of jewelry

2. Amount of recyclable materials used

3. Creative use of recyclable materials

4. Safety and comfort

5. Use of colour, texture, pattern

6. Authenticity (pieces must be made by the artist named and not by an unnamed individual)

Competition guidelines are:

Each school may submit up to six of its best pieces of jewelry, preferably a minimum of two pieces from each section.

Group entries are allowed as long as all members are in the same section.

For each piece of jewelry, information including name(s), age(s), school, materials used, and the story behind its creation must be submitted on an entry form.

Each school to bring six pieces of artwork to Paka's Pearls with completed entry forms by 4pm Friday 2nd April 2010.