Cook Islands Investment Corporation CEO Allan Jensen, in conjunction with the Minister for Punanga Nui Market the Hon. George Maggie Angene and Associate Minister for CIIC the Hon. Albert Nicholas, is pleased to announce that the current rent holiday for market vendors has been extended for an extra month, from the end of October to the end of November.
The decision to extend the rent holiday was made due to the ongoing border closure with New Zealand as a result of COVID-19, and the financial impact this in turn has on Punanga Nui stallholders.
“Many of our vendors rely on tourists and the money they spend at the market to support themselves and their families,” said Punanga Nui Market Manager William Taripo. “With the border closure preventing any tourists from getting here, it is important that we do what we can to support our vendors through these trying times.”
“This extension of the rent holiday will help enable as many vendors as possible to continue their presence at the market, offering fresh fruit and vegetables, hot food and other items to our local population.”
Punanga Nui Market Minister George Maggie Angene also offered a big meitaki ma’ata to the management of both CIIC and PNM for once again extending the rent-free period for market vendors.
“I am very grateful that the rent-free period has been extended and that during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic we continue to think of our people selling at the market throughout the week and on the weekend. They are an important part of our community, and we need to support them,” said Minister Angene.
The market will continue to be open as usual on Saturdays and all vendors and visitors are reminded to tag-in with their CookSafe cards at one of the entry points before continuing into the PNM area, while also taking care to practise all the public health measures currently recommended by our health ministry Te Marae Ora.
CookSafe tag-in stations are located at the Maroro Fish hut at the western entrance, next to the PNM market/BSP ATM machine at the eastern entrance, the entrance next to the playground and there are also a few vendors who have their own tag-in stations or TMO sign-in sheets. At this stage the rental relief period extends for 5 weeks from Saturday 30 October.