The Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAFF), is very pleased to announce the official opening of the new Are Pa Metua building at the Punanga Nui Market today on Friday, March 18.
Te Are Pa Metua was set up some time ago with the primary purpose of providing programmes and services that improve the welfare and wellness of the elderly population.
For many years Te Are Pa Metua had operated out of a Nikao property owned and managed by the Cook Islands Airport Authority, until that building was required for other purposes in 2020.
Since then, they have been operating out of a temporary premises in Titikaveka, while CIIC in partnership with INTAFF looked to source a property on a more permanent basis to continue their much-valued operations.
In November 2021 it was decided that a completely new building would be built for Te Are Pa Metua towards the eastern end of the Punanga Nui Market, adjacent to the children’s playground.
Work began in earnest in December, with CIIC working closely with INTAFF and Te Are Pa Metua in terms of the design of the new facility, which includes its own kitchen and office, as well as private toilet and shower facilities.
Te Are Pa Metua Vice President Mama Nga Mokoroa is “delighted with the facility, and the setting, and believes the facility will serve the group very well into the future.”
As per a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CIIC and INTAFF which was signed at the opening, management of the new Are Pa Metua building will be handled by INTAFF, with CIIC retaining ownership and providing support if needed.
Speaking at the opening this morning, the Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for CIIC, the Honourable Mark Brown, described the new building as an incredibly worthwhile project that he was “proud to be involved with.”
“Projects like this that serve and support our elderly are so important for the entire community and I am very pleased that we have finally been able to give Te Are Pa Metua the dedicated facilities they deserve at this central town and Punanga Nui market location,” he said.
Prime Minister Brown attended the official opening today along with the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Honourable Rose Brown; Minister of Punanga Nui Market, the Honourable George Maggie Angene and the Honourable Mac Mokoroa; and Te Are Pa Metua Vice President Mama Nga Mokoroa, all of whom were key speakers.
Also in attendance were CIIC CEO Allan Jensen and Secretary of Internal Affairs Anne Herman, accompanied by various staff members who have worked with passion on this project, and accompanied by various other government officials.