The Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), the Honourable Mark Brown, led a government delegation to Mangaia today to launch the island’s two-year Pa Enua Government Buildings Project.
Following on from a similar two-year programme of infrastructure works on Atiu, the Mangaia project will see a series of major renovations taking place involving the island’s hospital, doctor’s residence, power station, administration building, high school and infrastructure workshop, as well as several other government buildings and facilities.
Joining the Prime Minister’s delegation to Mangaia were the Associate Minister for CIIC, the Honourable Albert Nicholas, Associate Minister of Health, the Honourable Tehani Brown, Secretary for Health Bob Williams and Secretary for Infrastructure Cook Islands Tamari’i Tutangata, all of whom were on hand due to their involvement in the various strategic projects currently being managed by CIIC in Mangaia.
CIIC was also represented in Mangaia by board chairman Michael Henry, director Malcolm Sword and CEO Allan Jensen, accompanied by the CIIC general manager for asset management Vasie Poila, asset management project manager Dan-Olaf Rasmussen and asset management project officer Cain Rakanui.
Upon their early-morning arrival at Mangaia Airport, the delegation members were welcomed by His Worship the Mayor of Mangaia, Mr Makitua Tutai, the Island Council, Aronga Mana and people of Mangaia, before travelling to the island hospital for the bulk of the day’s formalities.
“You can expect to see a lot going on here over the next couple of years,” said Prime Minister Brown, addressing the gathered crowd at the launch.
“More resilient and fit-for-purpose public buildings, better access to quality services and infrastructure, employment opportunities, improved health and wellbeing, enhanced community pride – we envision all of these things and more for the people of Mangaia as each new project comes to fruition over the next two years.”
An important part of the day’s program also included the unveiling and blessing of a new ambulance for the island of Mangaia.
Generously funded through a grant from the government of Japan, the new ambulance is one of five designated for the southern Pa Enua, including Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Atiu and Aitutaki.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health Hon. Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown, Associate Health Minister Tehani Brown said she would like to acknowledge and thank the Cook Islands government and government of Japan for kindly funding the five ambulances.
“Te Marae Ora is also grateful to the Cook Islands Investment Corporation for prioritising this project in time for the border opening and health readiness for the island of Mangaia,” said Associate Minister Brown.
Towards the end of the day, the Government Buildings Project launch in Mangaia also allowed delegation members the opportunity to visit several key project sites and consider potential future projects for the island, including water, agriculture and port-related initiatives.
“We’re thankful to Government for bringing these projects to our island, including the ambulance donated by the people of Japan,” said Mangaia mayor Makitua Tutai. “It’s up to us now, the people of Mangaia, to come together and work as one to make these projects a success for a better future.”