The Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) has announced some new developments at the Punanga Nui Market.
The CEO of CIIC, Allan Jensen says a new public toilet block and a hut for Te Are Pa Metua, will be built towards the eastern end of market adjacent to the children’s playground. The attached aerial photograph indicates where the new structures will be built. The new toilet block, and new hut, is consistent with the medium and long term plans for the market.
The market manager William Taripo has said the current toilet block next to Reefside, is prone to flooding and is constanly plagued with problems. Taripo said the new toilet will be a similar facility to the Avatiu Port toilet block, Taripo also said that CIIC had worked with the Karaponga family, to dismantle the aged Klassic Pearl hut to accomodate the new toilet block. CIIC will be working with the Karaponga family to re-accomodate their business.
The Are Pa Metua group originally had a building close to the airport which was required for other purposes; and the group is currently temporarily accommodated in Titikaveka. At one stage it was thought a facility at Panama might be altered for their use. But this new arrangement, in the market has been settled on instead.
The Minister for Internal Affairs, the Honourable Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown
Brown said ” the Are Pa Metua is a vital service that has helped our Pa Metua over many years, providing accessible, affordable and good quality social services and creating a safe space for our Pa Metua to meet to enjoy each other’s company in their twilight years. As Minister I am very proud and happy that Government has come together to establish a centrally located premises”.
Secretary of Internal Affairs Anne Herman commented “the Are Pa Metua is very much looking forward to their new home right in the heart of Rarotonga at the Punanga Nui Market. Near to market vendors, stores, outdoor activity and public event spaces, our Mamas and Papas will certainly feel included”.
CIIC has worked closely with Internal Affairs and the Are Pa Metua in terms of the design of their new facility, which caters for all of their conveniences.
Mr Taripo also welcomed a new hut, Fisher Pearls, relocated from next to the Police Station, to the constitution end of the market. This is a relatively short term tenancy, until further work is done around the medium and long term plans for the market..
Work on the new toilet block and new home for the Are Pa Metua is expected to begin in December and to take about two to three months to complete. Alana Short, activity manager, is asking members of the public to be aware of these works once they commence. The project and procurement is being undertaken in a manner which will allow the work to be shared amongst a number of contractors and suppliers.