Monday, December 6, 2010

Results of Muri-EU Risk Assessment Survey

Results of the Muri-EU Risk Assessment Survey were presented at a meeting of the community group Muri Environment Care and representatives of the Aid Management Division. Some of the results of the survey are:

  • of the 242 properties surveyed, 64% had septic systems that predated 2000 and consisted of a single chamber septic tank leading to a soak pit
  • Only 28% of property owners knew when their tank was last pumped out
  • Most land application systems (the system that disperses treated effluent back into the ground) were soak pits and only a small number were trenches
  • Of tourist accommodation properties surveyed, only 17% use sub-surface irrigation as a land application system
  • 80% of households have insufficient land available for upgrading their soak pits to a trench or sub-surface irrigation system.
  • 66% of people surveyed have the perception that their sanitation system is working satisfactorily.
  • Only ¼ of the community knew that soak pits are no longer permitted.
  • 48% showed a willingness to share a septic system with their neighbor to reduce the cost of an upgrade
  • 60% showed a willingness to pay for sanitation services
  • The number of pigs in the Muri area is equivalent to having another 801 people in the village
Steps that can be taken next include, fixing septic systems in the Lagoon Protection Zone (all properties on the beachfront and most properties alongside the main road), education and awareness, enforcement of current standards and detailed analysis of a sewage system design.

Solid Waste Audit

To begin implementation of recommendations from the Panel Discussion, a Waste Audit planning meeting was organized by TIS. The meeting between TIS, MOIP and NES was to examine methods and results of the last waste audit and equipment needed as recommended by the NZ Solid Waste Protocol. John Wichman who was at the meeting venue joined in the discussion. John explained that there is already a proposal at MOIP to implement a waste audit and the proposal just needs to be submitted. He offered TIS an opportunity to comment on the proposal. The proposal is to engage a consultant to assist MOIP to:

  • Identify adequate operation and maintenance funding via cost recovery through taxes and fees from management services.
  • Review the refuse and recycling collection system
  • Privatize certain parts of the Rarotonga Waste Management Facility (landfill and recycling station).
  • Create and implement a plan to move to the next stage of completing Solid Waste integration - waste reduction and separation.
  • Increase capacity to coordinate a joint agency approach to Solid Waste Management.

Bring Your Own Cup Panel Discussion: Challenges of Dealing with our Rubbish

Over 50 members and friends attended our Panel Discussion on November 3rd. The audience learnt that despite kerbside collection of recycling being unsuccessful, there are a number of other places where recyclables can be delivered. “I was so pleased to see so many people supportive of recycling,” says Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning Otheniel Tangianau after the discussion. “It encourages me to really focus on this now,” he says.

Key points learnt at the discussion were:

  • the departure tax no longer contributes to the Environment Protection Fund $14 million/year is collected by government in import levies on cars, alcohol, tobacco, vegetables, pork and fuel.
  • Less than a million is allocated to kerbside collection, recycling and landfill management
  • Each year, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning have not succeeded in convincing the Budget Committee to increase their budget allocation to ensure recycling occurs
  • A waste audit is needed to determine volumes of each type of recyclable (plastic, glass, aluminium, steel etc). This data can then be used to advertise the tender for the next kerbside collection contract
Recommendations that came out of the discussion include:

  • making more noise about the issue to grab and maintain government’s attention including recycling as a priority in next year’s budget (NES to send draft policy statement for 2011/2012 budget to TIS for comment)
  • changing policy to ensure commercial properties pay for the collection of their rubbish
  • requesting government to reinstate the Environment Protection Fund
  • doing a waste audit and then using the data to advertise the tender for the next kerbside collection contract (tender sooner than later)
  • re-exporting really hazardous stuff
  • allocating import levies to infrastructure development
The Panel included Vaitoti Tupa (Director, National Environment Service), Tamarii Tutangata (2010 Budget Committee), Otheniel Tangianau (Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning) and John Wichman (Recycle Cook Islands).

NZAID-Funded Waste Management Initiative

NZAID has agreed to provide $3million to kick-start a Waste Management Initiative project.
The money is to address urgent waste management issues and fund a coordinator to drive the project.
Government agencies and representatives of the private sector were asked to meet on 21 October to decide on next steps.
“We need plumbers and drain-layers to inspect septic installations and we need that now,” says meeting participant Rob Coote.
“We need to set up a waste and sanitation unit now,” he stressed.
The meeting concluded that a coordinator is needed to assist the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning set up a sanitation unit and address other areas that need urgent attention.
The meeting established a sub-committee to refine details of the recruitment process for the coordinator.
Some have said that the coordinator is being asked to do a whole lot and a project team is needed rather than one person.
The sub-committee met the next day and agreed on the skills needed and the recruitment process.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Search for the elusive Rarotonga Cyrtandra

Rarotonga has some very beautiful forest.

Hikers from the Natural Heritage Trust, National Environment Service and Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) got to enjoy that beauty in the upper Avana valley whilst surveying the Rarotonga Cyrtandra.

“This plant is only found on Rarotonga and nowhere else in the world,” says Gerald McCormack of the Natural Heritage Trust during the survey team briefing.

“It is also very rare,” he adds.

“So the objective of this hike is to find this plant and note down on a map where it is growing,” he says.

McCormack says it’s good to know where and when the plant was seen so we can keep track of its status.

The survey team began the 11 hour walk from the Avana water intake at 7am.

“The most challenging part for me was climbing the cliff face next to the water fall and walking along the narrow ridge,” says TIS Programme Manager, Jacqui Evans.

“I was a bundle of nerves after walking along that ridge for a good hour - but there was really no danger. There were plenty of tree trunks to hold on to,” says Evans.

The search team split up, heading down the valley and keeping in touch via walky talky.

The survey found only three specimens of the Rarotonga Cyrtandra known by its botanical name as Cyrtandra rarotongensis.

The team gives special thanks to Timberland for the supply of their 4wd truck for the drive between the intake and the main rd.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Water Quality Monitoring Reviewed

The Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) is currently reviewing its water quality monitoring programme, including lagoon and stream water quality.

Dorothy Solomona, MMR’s Assistant Director of the Pearl Division, is currently working with Drs Els Maas and Dave Bowden, funded by the harmonised New Zealand / Australia aid programme, to statistically analyse three years of water quality data (2007-2009). This data is important to assess the impact of developments on the health of local lagoons and streams, which are vital for the welfare of local communities and the environment.

After three years, the focus of the programme is now on local staff training in order to create a sampling programme that is not only financially sustainable but robust and able to provide the information needed for the improved management of water quality in the lagoon and streams.

In addition, Dr Mandy Meriano of the University of Toronto, is doing a scoping study for a proposed groundwater sampling programme in the Muri/Avana area on Rarotonga as part of the Muri-EU Water and Sanitation Project.

“What MMR hope to get out of this is a groundwater monitoring progam that will not only monitor the quality but also progress or impacts of the EU Water & Sanitation Project on the groundwater, if any,” says Solomona.

The sampling programme will determine the quality of groundwater particularly in terms of nutrients and bacteria.

Solomona says the Ministry of Marine Resources has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning with respect to water quality monitoring.

“Dr Meriano is working closely with Paul Maoate of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning,” says Solomona.

Lagoon water quality can be affected by groundwater quality.

“The scoping study will ask what is already known about our groundwater and how quickly the groundwater flows to the lagoon, information about how long it stays in the ground and what the quality is.” says Dr Maas.

The scoping study report will be presented to MMR who will disseminate the report to the Muri-European Union water and sanitation project and other stakeholder groups.

MMR are also doing intensive sampling in the Muri area to complement the Muri-EU water and sanitation project.

“Since August this year we’ve been doing fortnightly sampling and have included two extra marine sites and eight extra freshwater streams. We’ll be doing this for six months,” says Solomona.

Dr Maas says there will also be a training course primarily for government agencies on how to sample water, how to test water quality and how to interpret data

“We want to show the techniques used in testing water quality and demonstrate the limitations of those techniques,” says Dr Maas.

The training course is planned for the end of November.

“A select few places may be offered to stakeholder and community groups who have an interest in water quality,” says Dr Maas.

She says to contact Ms Solomona at MMR for more information and registration details.

Dr Maas says she will be returning in February 2011 to wrap up on the harmonised New Zealand / Australia-funded water quality program that was established in 2006.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Workshop for Pig-keepers

Muri Environment Care and the Ministry of Agriculture organized a workshop on 16 August for people in Muri who keep pigs. The workshop was to demonstrate ways to improve management of piggery waste. The National Environment Service was asked to present relevant sections of the Environment Act. Te Ipukarea Society was invited to talk about different methods for managing piggery waste.

“The cheapest option is to convert to dry litter farming but this requires extra work, shoveling spoiled litter and replacing it with new litter every six weeks,” says Jacqui Evans of TIS.

“There also needs to be a regular supply of dry litter. Overseas they use sawdust and straw. It’s been suggested that we trial dried green waste,” says Evans.

Dry litter farming, if done properly, also produces much less odour than conventional sheds. Less water is also used because it is not required for cleaning and only required as a drink for the pigs.

Evans also presented the Public Health Piggery Waste Policy and Public Health Piggery Odour policy which she drafted whilst in the Ministry of Health.

Tupe Short demonstrated his mulcher and offered mulch to anyone interested in dry litter farming.

The next steps are for at least one pig-keeper in Muri to trial the dry litter method and monitor its progress.

Piggery waste has caused problems in parts of Rarotonga where wash-water from piggeries is hosed into streams affecting freshwater and marine biodiversity.

Rakei Toa and Cook Islands Sports Academy experience conservation work in the TCA

Ian Karika took Kevin Iro’s youth groups Rakei Toa and Cook Islands Sports Academy on a tour of Takitumu Conservation Area (TCA) operations.

The objective was to give the groups a taste of what conservation work is like.

Speaking of the young people on the tour, Karika says that often kids don’t really show a lot of interest, but there might be one or two who may look at conservation as a career option in future.

“It might plant a seed in their minds,” he says.

The TCA consists of three valleys making up 155 ha and is home to many plants and animals including one of the Cook Islands endangered birds, the Kakerori (Rarotonga Flycatcher). This bird was on the brink of extinction in 1989 with a population of only 29. Work to control the ship rat which attacks Kakerori nests has enabled the population to increase to over 300 in 2010. The TCA is now receiving financial assistance from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) until 2012. It is hoped that a Trust Fund could be established to continue its work thereafter.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freshwater Fauna Research

There is a need to ensure that the water is not overharvested from streams. This is because some of the animals in the streams are highly dependent on the continuous flow of water in order to migrate and breed.
“Freshwater fish such as gobies and eleotrids breed in streams and their larvae go to sea to become adults. The adults must travel up the stream to breed,” says Philip Keith of the Museum of Natural History in Paris.
Eels are the other way around and breed in the sea and migrate upstream to mature," he adds. Keith was in Rarotonga with two other freshwater fauna (animals) experts, Philippe Gerbeaux and Gerard Marquet. They were here to do an inventory of freshwater fauna. They will be taking samples of the fauna for genetic analysis in order to accurately classify the animals found in Rarotonga's streams. Perhaps appropriately, TIS met with the team from France on Bastille Day, 14th July 2010 at Le Bon Vivant cafe.

Meeting with Hon. Minister Cassey Eggleton, Minister for the Environment, 15 July 2010

This was to inform Minister Eggleton of our intention to set up the Trust Fund for the Takitumu Conservation Area.
Minister Eggleton recently returned from the 4th GEF Assembly in Punta del Este, Uruguay (24-28 May 2010). The TIS Executive decided that Minister Eggleton could assist with attracting funds towards the trust by mentioning this initiative whilst networking. The Executive also asked to discuss the outcomes of the 4th GEF Assembly and the revival of regular meetings of Cook Islands environment groups to help coordinate our efforts. The Minister’s office advised that these items could be discussed at the 2010 National Environment Forum. The Executive found that it was worthwhile to touch base with the Minister and bring to her attention some of the work of the Society.

Muri-EU Water and Sanitation Project Management Committee Meeting 2nd July 2010

Paul Maoate of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning reported on work completed in Muri as part of the Muri-EU project and the IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) projects. Fourteen boreholes have been dug to determine the depth of the water table, confirm soil types and provide points for sampling groundwater.Preliminary observations show that the groundwater is less than 2m deep along the foreshore. Water Supply and Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) are to coordinate a lagoon, groundwater and drinking water testing regime. There is a small budget for testing local innovations for effective and appropriate wastewater treatment solutions under IWRM. The recent risk assessment survey of Muri involved interviewing property owners in Muri about how much water they use, whether they catch their own rainwater or rely on the main water supply and how they treat their wastewater. The survey was done by MEC volunteers. The data was entered into a computer mapping system (GIS) to produce maps that would be sent to a risk assessment specialist. This has since been completed and the results were communicated at a public meeting in Muri late last month. Sylvia George, the communications advisor reported on awareness done in the village. The project has been reported on radio, newspaper and television in both Maori and English. A Muri Eco-warriors programme was started for young children of the area. A project website has been established There is also a facebook page for the project. A poster, essay, poem and debate competition was to be completed at Takitumu School 13-16 July 2010. There is also a project documentary underway focusing on the first phase of the project. This is being done by the CITV production team. Village notice boards have also be established outside key stores with information on the project. Sylvia has since finished her contract with EU and has moved overseas. A new communications advisor is due to be contracted. Also due is the deployment of a sanitation engineer who can formulate design concepts for the implementation phase of the project. An action fiche (work plan) is due to be completed in September 2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Presidents Report TIS AGM

The society has secured CEPF funds through Birdlife Sept 2009 for 2009-12 to support this long-running and most successful project to save the Kakerori. As of now, the birds’ numbers have recovered from 29 in 1989 to 320 on Rarotonga and 100 in the ‘insurance’ population on Atiu. However, the latest funding agency has made it obligatory that the project creates a trust fund which will remove the need for further outside funding. The society is exploring ways and means of obtaining a trust fund to support both the TCA and other protected natural areas throughout the Cook Islands.

Te Akatauira Recyclable Jewellery-Making Competition

The objective of this event was to encourage resourcefulness, environmental awareness, artistic ability and the use of waste materials to make jewellery. The event was implemented for school students in partnership with Paka’s Pearls, the Ministry of Education and Koutu Nui. Several meetings were held to refine the objectives, categories, criteria and guidelines. A jewellery making workshop for school teachers was also held on 24th February 2010 and again on 18th March 2010. Event organisers had the privilege of the assistance of Ani O’Neil and Jane Lamb to provide instruction at the workshops. School teachers were given a toolkit containing pliers, glue, sandpaper, and nails to begin their work with art students. Over thirty entries were received by the 9th April deadline. Judges found that the message “waste can be a resource” got through to students. After Kay George, Eruera Nia, Ian George, Jean Mason, Paka Worthington and Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid completed their judging, a prize-giving night was held on 11th May at Café Salsa. The event was sponsored by the Global Green Grants Fund and Paka’s Pearls.

Conservation in the Cooks; setting priorities, building capacities

We have received word that funding through Birdlife from CEPF has been approved for this project which aims to involve the Cook Islands community in the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas and Important Bird Areas for focused conservation work. The project will enable TIS to employ a full time coordinator who will implement this project. The project also aims to build the capacity of TIS and enable a concerted effort to search for funds that will continue worthwhile work. The funding agreement between Birdlife and TIS was received on 13th July 2010 and will be signed this week. Birdlife has advised that funds for the project may arrive one week after receipt of the signed agreement. The Society is eternally grateful to Birdlife and CEPF for their support.

Recruitment of TIS Programme Manager

This position, made possible through the Conservation in the Cooks project, was advertised for two weeks in April 2010 and two applications were received. A selection panel was established comprising members of the TIS executive committee, the National Environment Service and a human resources consultant. Applicants were quantitatively assessed according to qualifications, skills and experience. The successful applicant was Jacqui Evans who has worked in the environmental field for 21 years and was the WWF Country Coordinator for the Cook Islands from 1998 to 2001. Jacqui has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of the South Pacific and an MA in Geography from the University of Hawaii-East West Center. Jacqui has also been an active member of TIS in previous years and had resigned as Vice President before applying for the Programme Manager position. With the understanding that the funds from Birdlife were to arrive very soon, Jacqui began work on 31st May 2010. We welcome Jacqui in her new job.

Marine Reserves and Rahui Study Tour

Jacqui Evans travelled to New Zealand 8-18 May as an advisor to Koutu Nui for a tour of marine reserves and rahui in the South Island. The purpose of the tour was to explore observe and assess several examples where Tangata whenua are managing their traditional areas in various ways and with different tools – some under legislation and some not. Also to meet with NZ government managers to understand the way they are supporting Tangata whenua. The examples were not being suggested as necessarily the appropriate models for the Cook Islands but were selected to be thought provoking and challenging. The NZ Ministry of Fisheries organised discussions on Customary Fisheries Management in NZ and visits to several Marae in Lyttelton, Akaroa and Kaikoura. The study tour was funded by NZAID through the CIMRIS project (Cook Islands Marine Resources Institutional Strengthening). Others travelling on the study tour were Tairi te Rangi Rangatira Tupe Short of Koutu Nui, Iro Rangi of the Puaikura ra’ui, Dorothy Solomona and Kori Raumea of the Ministry of Marine Resources and Tauraki Raea of the National Environment Service. Fisheries scientist Jo Akroyd from the CIMRIS project accompanied the group. Jacqui says the tour had the additional advantage of being like a retreat, encouraging discussion about Cook Islands ra’ui between the Cook Islands government agencies and Koutu Nui. She says, this depth of discussion would not ordinarily take place on Rarotonga. Since the tour, TIS has drafted a summary of legislation that may be used to legitimise ra’ui and has attended three meetings with Koutu Nui and Marine Resources to move this along.

Open Science Meeting on Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms

Jacqui was on the organising committee for this meeting in Hawaii held 21-23 June 2010. The meeting focused mainly on algae that cause fish poisoning and irritant syndromes (as was experienced in Titikaveka in 2004). Discussions covered identification and taxonomy, modelling, ecophysiology and ecological factors driving their distribution, abundance and toxicity. There is more evidence that the abundance and toxicity of toxic algae is positively correlated with nutrients and temperature. There is still no reliable cost-effective field/kitchen test to determine whether or not a particular fish is toxic. The meeting was followed by a four-day workshop at the University of Hawaii on the taxonomic challenges and identification of dinoflagellates (the organisms that cause fish poisoning). Jacqui is required to work with the organising committee over the next few months on the production of the conference report.

Working Bee

A working bee was held to tidy up the TIS office on Saturday morning 17th July. The lobby and office have received a coat of paint. Volunteers enjoyed participating and finished the morning with a hot drink. Another working bee is expected in future to tidy up space on the outside.


TIS held it's 15th Annual General Meeting on 21st July 2010. The meeting was held at Osana Meeting House across the road from the TIS office.

The Patron of the Society continues to be Karika Ariki Margaret Karika-Taripo. Re-elected as President for his third term was Ian Karika. Vice-President is now Andy Olah, a long-standing member of several past executive committees.

Following the meeting, Jacqui Evans delivered a presentation on the Open Science Meeting on Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms which she attended in Hawaii.

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.