REMOTE PUKAPUKA ISLAND PLANS TO BUILD HOSTEL

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The island is in the northern Cook Islands group

By Tara Carr

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, April 29, 2008) - It’s full steam ahead for members of the Pukapuka community as engineers get stuck into producing plans for the construction of rooms for accommodation at their hostel.

President Makirere Poila says that the biggest project he wants to see achieved in his three-year term is the construction of rooms similar to what are already in place at other hostels.

Poila says this is something the community wants as well. The rooms will be used for either community members passing to and from the home island, as well as for generating income. The Pukapuka hostel is often used throughout the year for conferences and workshops and the rooms can be rented out.

A major fundraiser for the project will be held on Friday 9 May at Te Atukura grounds. Poila says it will be a full on day with food, guests artists and a group of Pukapuka dancers to entertain the crowds.

Activities will include an exhibition of true Pukapuka food made from taro like mawu, rikoriko and ipukoti. People will get the chance to sample and buy the dishes. There will also be a radiothon from midday through to 6 p.m.

Plans for the new accommodation are currently being produced by the Pukapuka community engineers Romani Katoa, Joseph Akaruru, Vaipo Mataora, Yitiri Akama and George Taikakara.

Other than this issue, there are urgent tasks Poila will be addressing in his term as president, such as drafting a constitution and getting the Pukapuka community organisation incorporated.

The Pukapuka community executive committee for the next three years is: president Makirere Poila, vice president Tuakana Marukore, secretary Tuwunga Mataora, assistant secretary Ripanau Tauia, treasurer Sharon Katoa, assistant treasurer Teautoa Peua, patrons Tiaki Wuatai and Maria Don Beer. Planning committees: legal advisors - Tingika Elikana, Ngatokorua Junior Ngatokorua and Rimmel Poila; economic and policy analysis - Elizabeth Wright Koteka; engineers - Romani Katoa, Joseph Akaruru, Vaipo Mataora, Yitiri Akama and George Taikakara; finance - Mataora Happy Mataora; religious advisors - Reverend Lelei Patia, Pastor Clerk Turua and Pastor Eliu Eliu; general members - Tiera Mataora, Geoffery Wuatai, Tekii Lazaro, William William and Henry Makirai; public relations - Julie Taripo; working committee (social/youth/sports, fundraising, vainetini, culture, etc) - Willie Katoa, Davis Teinaki, Patiia Ataela, Lucky Topetai, Likotangata Yeutu, Dresser Ave, Porea Elisa and Victoria Wuatai.

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