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enjoycookislands.com

FREE VISITOR MAGAZINE

JANUARY-JUNE 2018

EDITION 66

SEE & DO EAT& DRINK NEWS& REVIEWS SHOPPING LOCAL STORIES 9 LIVE THE LIFESTYLE

22 BELOVED FLOWER OF THE COOK ISLANDS

Meet Miss Cook Islands - Page 4

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Welcome

From the Prime Minister Kia Orana, To all our visitors and those planning a holiday in the Cook Islands, I’d like to extend to you a very warm greeting and welcome.

Above all, we want you to stay safe in this environment we call our ‘little paradise’. Take

www.enjoycookislands.com |

enjoycookislands

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In this issue Interviews

4 Meet Miss Cook Islands 2017, Alanna Smith 18 The ubiquitous Danny Mataroa 21 From top gunner to Muri Lagoon: Tama Tuavera

Island life & Culture

As your hosts, we want your stay with us to be as memorable and enjoyable as possible. We are your home away from home and your time with us will be more than comfortable – it will take your breath away! There is much for you to explore and discover, whether you are a first time visitor or a returning holidaymaker. You can do that at your own pace and as your desire allows. There is a natural freedom here that will put you at ease and you will soon learn that Cook Islanders are keen to join you in the fun – out on the lagoon, trekking in the mountains, or dining out at our many restaurants and cafés. Our world is your world to experience – in our culture and traditions, as well as a wide range of recreational activities.

WELCOME

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Love a little ‘Cook Islands’ pearl

9 Live the lifestyle. Invest in the Cook Islands 10 Health & beauty from the tree of life: Rito Cook Islands 22 Tiare Maori: beloved flower of the Cook Islands

Dining & Entertainment

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12 Island Night Shows in Rarotonga

13 One man’s dream: A hearty meal and a round of mini-golf 14 A Guide to Eating & Drinking in Rarotonga

See & Do

care wherever you may be, whether on our roads or out in the water. And allow us to share with you all the reasons why you must come back and see us again!

19 A few tips on diving & snorkelling Rarotonga 24 Wet & Wild in Aitutaki

Aitutaki

23 Stay a while in Aitutaki

Atiu

Honorable Henry Puna Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism The Cook Islands

Community

CES I R P T S LOWE ED! E T N A GUAR

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24 Wet & Wild – too much fun!

Kia Manuia,

PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Alastair Blount TELEPHONE: +682 20 222 or +682 77 183 EMAIL: cisun@oyster.net.ck DESIGN & LAYOUT: PMP Limited - New Zealand DISTRIBUTION RAROTONGA: 20 222 or 77 183 DISTRIBUTION AITUTAKI: 31 009 POSTAL: PO Box 30 Avarua, The Cook Islands

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17 Sabati – a new men’s clothing label in town

26 Enjoy Atiu

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27 A1 Meitaki Awards Explained

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FRONT COVER IMAGE: Miss Cook Islands 2017, Alanna Smith (Image: Jaiah Arai)

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ISLAND LIFE

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Meet Miss Cook Islands 2017

Alanna Smith

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Opposite the Airport www.rarotongarentals.co.ck cutejag@oyster.net.ck Phone: 22326

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Traditional Pacific Fabric Art for your home WE MAKE QUALITY: bed covers bed RUNNERS DUVETS PILLOWS CUSHIONS COT COVERS JEWELLERY HANDBAGS & MORE!

MISS COOK ISLANDS 2017, ALANNA MATAMARU SMITH, ATTAINED HER SUCCESS WITH THE BACKING OF COUNTLESS ISLAND CITIZENS, AND A LITTLE DIVINE SUPPORT.

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osted on Facebook shortly after the pageant finals, Alanna wrote: “I would like to thank our Heavenly Father above for giving me the courage and strength to get through the past few weeks. It has been a challenging journey and I couldn’t have done it without His Guidance and Love.” Alanna went on to thank a myriad of individuals amongst her family, friends and sponsors, which speaks a lot to her humility and appreciation for those who surrounded her during her quest for the privilege of being selected as Miss Cook Islands 2017. Pageants in the South Pacific Islands are important in showcasing role models for young people and inspiring national pride. They attract a high calibre of contestants and considerable community encouragement and support. Tall, elegant, intelligent and unpretentious, Alanna is supremely suited to the role of Miss Cook Islands. To add to her attributes, Alanna is a dedicated conservationist, acutely aware that the future sustainability of her beloved islands depends on organisations such as the Te Ipukarea Society where she works as a project officer. Te Ipukarea Society is a non-government, civil society environmental organisation in the Cook Islands. Ipukarea translates as ‘our heritage’.

Alanna competing at the Miss Cook Islands pageant

Alanna is an only child. “I come from a small family. My dad is a Kiwi and my mum a Cook Islander on her father’s side. My papa is from Atiu; he is also part Rarotongan”. Alanna was born in Rarotonga but spent most of her ‘education years’ from age six in New Zealand “Mum and dad moved over to New Zealand. It wasn’t until I went to university that they returned to the Cook Islands. I came back every school holidays and stayed with family”. Alanna attended Auckland Girls Grammar School. “I took a gap year after high school and came back to Raro to work out what I wanted to study at university. I was 18. I worked for CITV and had my own sports show called Sports Network News, filming and reporting all local sports. “During that year, I came up the idea of working in the area of the environment because I knew there would be a lot of work opportunities in that area, and I also knew it was an area where I would enjoy the work”. Returning to New Zealand, Alanna gained a Bachelor of Applied Science in

CONTACT US Rarotonga: CALL Anne ON 24 688 NEW ZEALAND: CALL Kathrine ON 09 480 7620 EMAIL: info@tivaevaecollectables.com

Environmental Management from the University of Otago in Dunedin. “On my return I got a job as a project officer at the Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) straight away. “Since taking the job I have become a lot more passionate about the environment, especially in the area of native and endemic birds”. Alanna said she wants to do her masters degree one day: ‘possibly in the area of marine ecology, probably in Australia at James Cook University’. In the meantime she is happy to do all she can do with the TIS. “TIS is not funded by the Government. We have to be constantly looking for donors from around the world to fund projects. One of our major partners is BirdLife International (birdlife.org) ‘Recently Liam Kokaua (fellow project officer) and I started to take school children up to the conservation area, getting them more connected with our native birds and endemic plant species, and the natural environment itself. It’s very rewarding seeing the kids after a trip into the mountains. “With the invasive species: the cats, the rats, the myna birds, today’s natural environment is nothing like it was even a hundred years ago. The reefs are also changing because we’re experiencing warmer temperatures these days and that is affecting the coral and the fish breeding seasons”. Alanna is also concerned about the growing problem of pollution. She believes visitors can play their part in the solution.

Find us on Facebook

Look for our sign west of the airport – opposite the Weather station in Nikao Te Ipukarea Society operatives: Liam Kokaua, Alanna Smith, Sabine Janneck & Kelvin Passfield

“For example, waste-water. Having three-minute showers rather than long showers. That is not just for the conservation of water, but also reducing wastewater that ends up in the lagoons. Also moving


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ISLAND LIFE

“I feel like in order to maintain what we have; we need to start managing better”.

Miss Cook Islands 2017, Alanna Smith

away from chemical products for more natural products, including sunscreen lotions.” In her spare time, 1.80m tall Alanna is keen on fitness and sport. A member of the ‘Black Pearls’ - Cook Islands’ national netball team - who in December finished unbeaten at the Nations Cup in Singapore against teams including Swaziland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Ireland and Singapore, Alanna counts that event as one of her best sporting moments. “Sport for me started at a very young age. Not only netball, it was also tennis, beach volleyball – I am still playing beach volleyball for the Cook Islands. “In 2016 we competed in Tahiti. A few years ago I represented the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Games in New Caledonia”. To keep fit Alanna enjoys 5kms runs twice a week, then

doing fitness sessions with Eric Newman, her personal trainer. She is also a keen snorkeler, kite surfer, mountain climber and hiker. So what led Alanna to enter the Miss Cook Islands 2017 pageant? “I am always up for a challenge!” Alanna Smith was crowned Miss Cook Islands 2017 at the National Auditorium on 29 July 2017.  She went on to represent Cook Islands in the Miss World 2017 pageant held at Sanyo in China in November, one of 120 candidates vying for the title. In the ‘Sport Challenge’ Alanna won 1st Runner-Up in a competitive field. She also reached the Top 20 in the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ category. As Miss Cook Islands, Alanna said she relishes the associated activities with the role both inside and outside the Cook Islands. Her term ends in June this year.

“With my daily job in the area of the environment, I now have the platform where people listen more to what I am saying. I intend to use this platform to spread more awareness about how people can be more conservationally responsible in the Cook Islands. “I will also use my position to better influence the Government, for example to ban polystyrene containers and to bring in biodegradable containers.” Asked if she would be encouraging others to become Miss Cook Islands contestants, Alanna said: “A lot of young girls are excited by the whole Miss Cook Islands vibe and look. That’s not a bad thing. I would support them because it’s all about developing women”. Alanna’s personally declared role model is a former Miss Cook Islands, Krystina Kauvai Tatuava, who won the title in 2006. “Krystina is a young professional Cook Islands woman. She holds herself up well. She’s got her education and is doing well in her business. She is just gold!” Alanna lives with her mother and father in Titikaveka. “They came back to Rarotonga to retire, but got bored and went out and found jobs!” Life is good for Alanna right now in the Cook Islands, but how does she see the future for the Cook Islands?

A special bird unique to the island of Mangaia is the Mangaian Kingfisher, known locally as Tanga'eo

“I am particularly concerned about the direction we are going when it comes to tourism. I feel like there is only so much our little islands can handle. We don’t want to be the next Hawaii. We don’t want to over exploit our natural resources. “There needs be a time when we cap the number of visitors so the islands don’t feel more pressure than they do already, especially Rarotonga. I feel like in order to maintain what we have; we need to start managing better,” said Alanna. What about her own future? “In twenty years I wouldn’t mind getting into politics here; maybe becoming the first female prime minister!

The Mana Tiaki campaign provides visitors the opportunity to contribute to TPS projects; these are some into which donations have been channeled.

“I’d like to get a youth party together. Who knows, I might start at the next election!

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SOMEONE SPECIAL WILL LOVE A LITTLE PEARL FROM YOU

Lesley & Temu Okotai Harbour House, Avatiu, ph 20 635 email: temu@mblackpearl.co.ck

COOK ISLANDS Top Jewellery & Gift Store BEST PRICES • QUALITY • SELECTION • SERVICE

BLACK PEARL JEWELLERY – Avaiki Black Pearls – Karen Walker Jewellery Polynesian Style Rings In Gold & Silver Wedding/Engagement & Dress Rings Gold & Silver Chains, Charms, Earrings Lladro | Amber | Jade | Coral | Opal

For the best deal in the Cook Islands Come to Goldmine, Main Road, Avarua Phone 24 823 | Fax 24824 | email goldmine@oyster.net.ck

www.rarotongablackpearls.com

Take one home from any participating outlet around town, around the island or at the Punangui Nui Market: A & M Pearls, Bergman and Sons, Farm Direct Pearls, Goldmine, Island Craft, Kora Pearls, Kiyana, Manihiki Pearl Techs, McLeod Pearls, Moana Gems, Paka’s Pearls, Pearl Essentials, Rangi Peyroux Black Pearls, Tarani Crafts and Pearls, The Pearl Lounge, Tokerau Jim and Vaiana’s. Just look for the Love a Little Pearl Flag and present your voucher to receive $40 off the price of any Love a Little Pearl item valued at $200 or more!


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B L ACK PE AR L S

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Love a little ‘Cook Islands’ pearl Q&A WITH ALEXIS NAPA WOLFGRAMM, EXECUTIVE OFFICER MARKETING FOR THE COOK ISLANDS PEARL AUTHORITY

What is the reasoning behind the Cook Islands Pearl Authority running this campaign at this point?

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any of the visitors to Rarotonga are unaware before they arrive that we have a thriving pearl industry and that we culture black pearls in Manihiki. Most people are aware of Tahitian black pearls because of their successful marketing over many years. We thought it was time to boost awareness about Cook Islands Pearls and that right here on shore where we have many visitors is a the best place to mount a fresh campaign. We also want to distinguish our pearls in front of our own people, to make them want to wear them every day and not just for special occasions.

Why did you call the campaign 'Love a little Pearl’? Cook Islands Tourism has a very colourful and catchy new slogan: “Love a little Paradise”. We thought that it captured where the Cook Islands is amongst so many larger tropical destinations for visitors. We felt a parallel with the pearl industry: we can’t compete with the volume of black pearls, and pearls in general, that are cultivated overseas. Our industry is smaller but still producing the outstanding quality the world market desires. We also have more of a boutique element

to the crafting of our pearls because they pass through hands rather than machines in every step of their journey from the shell into jewellery. There is certainly a lot of love mixed in with the care and culture of Cook Islands Pearls so we thought that ‘Love a little pearl’ would complement the Tourism campaign, it seemed a natural partnership.

Where do CI Pearls come from, how are they grown, and by who? Cook Islands' black pearls are cultured and perfected by nature in the pristine lagoon of Manihiki, one of the most remote islands of the Cook’s group over a thousand kilometres north of Rarotonga. Since the 1890s, the lagoons of Manihiki and Penrhyn (Tongareva) have been harvested for natural pearls from the Pinctada Margaritifera, the blacklipped oyster. Cultivation of the pearls began with trials in the 1970s leading to the first commercial farms being established in the 1980s in Manihiki. Today Manihiki, with less than 300 residents, most of who are involved in the pearl industry, is the heart of the cultured pearl industry of the Cook Islands. There are around 30 pearl farms in the Manihiki lagoon.

What is it about Cook Islands Pearls that distinguishes them from other pearls? Defined by their lustre, colour and deep nacre quality, Cook Islands Pearls are highly sought after throughout the Pacific, and internationally by the jewellery industry. Cook Islands pearls emerge from

Pearl farming in the lagoon at Manihiki

their black-lipped mother of pearl shell in an amazing spectrum of colours reflecting those inside their host shell. Iridescent overtones of blue, green, gold, pink and purple shimmer across the body of the pearls’ deeper silver through to black shades. When rotated, the pearl’s colours will shift and glow as light is absorbed and then refracted through the layers of nacre built up on each pearl. Cook Islands' pearls come in a variety of shapes that range from the freeform and unique baroque pearls

“Our pearls are the natural result of cultivation and are not artificially enhanced, nor the oysters genetically engineered in any way”.

through to the perfectly spherical rounds. Exquisite drops, ovals and button shapes are perfectly formed for particular jewellery settings, while the semi-baroque and circle pearls inspire jewellers and craftspeople to create fascinating and innovative designs. Each pearl has unique attributes that will appeal to the individual’s taste. Cook Island’s pearls are generally cultured to develop sizes between 9 and 14 millimetres. Occasionally, pearl sizes will reach 21 millimetres and are a premium on the international market. Our pearls are the natural result of cultivation and are not artificially enhanced nor the oysters genetically engineered in any way. The point of origin and proof of authenticity for exported pearls is guaranteed and certified by the Cook Islands Pearl Authority (CIPA) The highest quality of Cook Islands pearls is produced through a value chain of strict controls. Those pearls are marketed under the exclusive Cook Island’s brand name of AVAIKI.

Image: David Kirkland

What retailers are involved in the LALP campaign? There are a variety of vendors of genuine Cook Islands Pearls including A & M Pearls, Bergman and Sons, Farm Direct Pearls, Goldmine, Island Craft, Kora Pearls, Kiyana, Manihiki Pearl Techs, McLeod Pearls, Moana Gems,

Paka’s Pearls, Pearl Essentials, Rangi Peyroux Black Pearls, Tarani Crafts and Pearls, The Pearl Lounge, Tokerau Jim and Vaiana’s. Just look for the ‘Love a Little Pearl’ flag around the island and at the Punanga Nui Market.

Pearl & Art Gallery

C O O K

I S L A N D S

P E A R L S

Simple Elegance & Timeless Beauty

Local Art by: Judith KunzLe - Limited edition Prints • ALLAn tuArA - traditional Carving •

Located UPTOWN Avarua, Taputapuatea • ph (682) 22312 • www.moanagems.co.ck


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ISLAND LIFE

Treasure Chest 'A SHOPPING TREAT'

Rarotonga's largest selection range of island clothing and footwear, together with an extensive range of souvenirs, craft and gift ideas.

FOUR GREAT SHOPS: Mana Court in Avarua (Tel. 22325) The Edgewater Resort (Tel. 28325) Pacific Village Muri (Tel. 21325) and, The Rarotonga Beach Resort (Tel. 27325) treasure@oyster.net.ck GOING TO THE PUNANGA NUI MARKET ON SATURDAY MORNINGS IN RAROTONGA IS QUITE A TRADITION FOR BOTH LOCALS AND VISITORS.

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ocated on the waterfront next to Avarua near the wharves, the Punanga Nui ‘Cultural’ Market is a must do for visitors as it is a fair representation of life in the Cook Islands; even outer islands such as Mangaia operate a retail hut.

Pearls for Pandora

The cultural show features young dancing talent

There is a friendly Polynesian atmosphere around the market place with lots of people browsing the shops and stalls, enjoying a bite to eat and drink in the cafés, and enjoying the free mid-morning cultural performance that highlights future dancing talent.

Carved Pearls Shell and Bone Jewellery

You can buy just about everything from fruits and vegetables, herbs and fresh flowers, pearls and pearl carvings (look out for Tokerau Jim Pearl Carvings), tee-shirts and pareu, art and prints, fish and honey, and many other assorted Rito Cook Islands has its own hut

products including local health & beauty products such as Rito Cook Islands. Many tourism operators are present on Saturday too offering visitors the opportunity to check out what is on offer, particularly with adventure and entertainment activities. Whilst the market is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, Saturday is the main market day with all the stalls, shops and huts occupied. The market closes by 2pm on Saturday. T: +682 29 370 E: pnui@oyster.net.ck Smoothies are abundant

t y the m arke Locals enjo visitors as m uch as

OPENING HOURS Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm

OPENING HOURS

Monday-Friday, Tokerau Jim’s shop at9am-2pm Arorangi Tokerau Jim’sroad shopopposite at Matavera - main Crown Resort - main roadBeach on eastern-side next Tik e-tours beforetoMuri Beach

Saturday morning, 8am-12pm Tokerau Jim’s shop at Punanga Nui Market in Avarua, with pearl carving demonstrations and free name engraving.

Many tourism operators are present at the Market on Saturdays Pearl Carver Tokerau Jim demonstrates his work

www.tokeraujim.com

The

Spa

chclubhot uribea el.c m . w om Phone 23000 to book ww


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ISLAND LIFE

Live the Lifestyle… Invest in the Cook Islands A QUESTION MANY VISITORS ASK THEMSELVES: WHAT COULD I INVEST IN HERE THAT WOULD PROVIDE ME WITH AN INCOME AND A COMFORTABLE LIFESTYLE?

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE HELPS WHEN BUYING A BUSINESS

A chat with the Chief Executive of the Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB), Teariki Vakalalabure

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ccording to a BTIB publicity: The Cook Islands boasts one of the highest GDP per capita in the region, together with a favourable investment environment offering low business tax rates, sound infrastructure, political stability, direct flights to Auckland, Sydney & Los Angeles, and key shipping links.

THE COMBINATION OF COOK ISLANDS REAL ESTATE’S PETER HEAYS AND CAREY WINTERFLOOD PROVIDE A BROAD RANGE OF EXPERIENCE IN THE AREAS OF BUYING BUSINESSES AND REAL ESTATE IN THE COOK ISLANDS.

The BTIB is the national regulator of foreign investments. A foreign investor looking to carry on business in the Cook Islands must seek approval from the BTIB to do so.

Carey: It’s certainly not difficult to buy a business in the Cook Islands, but there is a process that includes approval from the BTIB. If you conduct yourself in a business like manner and pass the BTIB criteria each year then you find the work permits are renewed easily, and maybe one year you will be able to apply for permanent residency!

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Teariki Vakalalabure, Chief Executive of the Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB)

trade as an important catalyst for economic development continues in his current role. Teariki said the mid 1990s were a difficult period financially for the Cook Islands and that it was then the BTIB agency was set up to accelerate foreign investment. “At the time foreign investment wasn’t happening as it could have; the potential was there but as a consequence the Government was affected by revenues,” said Teariki. Teariki said the focus then was spread between agriculture, tourism and marine resources.

Teariki Vakalalabure is a Cook Islander through his mother. He moved back to the Cook Islands in 2007. He worked for a period in a local law firm and started with BTIB in 2010 as an advisor on policy review. In 2013 he was managing foreign investments and compliance division and became the CEO in 2015, replacing Terry Rangi at the end of his contract.

“These are still the priority areas for investment, but tourism is the one that has grown the most. It has become the main sector of investment. “The people of the Cook Islands enjoy hosting people. It has now become something

He studied law at Bond University (LLB) in Australia and also completed a Masters in Commercial & Corporate Law (LLM) from the University of London specialising in International Trade & Financing. Most of his work experience is in the public service in different capacities. His interest in investment and

Live the lifestyle!

they can earn money from, and something they do very well”. In the Cook Islands, investment rules require a business going for sale to be advertised locally for a minimum of 30 days before it can be taken up by foreign investment, giving Cook Islanders the opportunity to invest.

“We are problem solvers. We are also the link between investors and the other agencies of the Government.

“… consider that investing in the islands has its own challenges and be aware of those challenges, and recognise that it also has many benefits and those benefits are what keeps our investors here”.

Though the BTIB website carries listings of some businesses for sale, businesses are sold through agents or directly by the seller, NOT by the BTIB.

Teariki emphasises that though they are mandated to promote foreign investment as well, their role is mostly as a facilitator of foreign investment. However, they do promotion work in trade and do attend some trade fair like the Pasifika Festival in Auckland.

“Investment in the islands requires a lot of planning. It requires people to recognise that the island's economy is different to a bigger economy like Australia and New Zealand, where supplies and services are just a phone call away. “I would say, look at your investment, consider that investing in the islands has its own challenges and be aware of those challenges, and recognise that it also has many benefits and those benefits are what keeps our investors here”. For more information: T: (+682) 24 296 E: btib@cookislands.gov.ck W: www.btib.gov.ck

hey both live and work in Rarotonga, and have done for years, so we asked them to comment on investing in the Cook Islands.

Peter: There are close ties here with New Zealand and Australia, and that is where to bulk of investors come from. The laws are also more in line with NZ and Australia. Compared to other Pacific Islands, the business environment is excellent, and there is confidence in the future of the country.

Carey: It is all leasehold property here. Around $1+m can buy you a small accommodation property close to, or on, the waterfront. In Australia or NZ the costs could be three to five times that amount for similar properties. Peter: Visitor numbers are increasing each year. This past twelve months there were 150,000 visitors, with a forecast of 190,000 in the next couple of years.

Carey: Visitors often contact us on their last couple of days. They’ve come on a holiday, fallen in love with the place, seen how easy it is to do business (and that’s the clincher), just when they are about to go back home to the 9-5 grind!

Peter: Our website has a monumental click on rate. Most of our enquiries are online nowadays from around the world, particularly NZ and Australia.

Carey: Both of us first came to the islands as tourists. Combined we offer around fifty years of local experience. We’ve also brought up our children here, so we have tips about living and schooling here too. We have an office just near Avarua with properties and businesses pictured in the window, but we are often around the islands, so mostly we go to the enquirer after a call or email. Peter: What makes us different is we are ‘hand holders’ right through the process: BTIB, immigration, the banks, the loans, right up to the first day buyers take over the business. And even then, we keep in touch offering help when asked. For more information: Phone or TXT (+682) 55 678

With over 30 years experience serving the Cook Islands and investors. Full and complete knowledge of local land laws, rules and Government regulations. We are with you right from the from start and all the way to settlement. Local company, sensitive and discreet —buying and selling—Your No.1 choice.

CAREY WINTERFLOOD +(682) 55678 PETER HEAYS +(682) 55289 www.cookislands-realestate.com info@cookislands-realestate.com

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H E A LT H & B E A U T Y

with Rito Cook Islands HEALTH AND BEAUTY FROM THE TREE OF LIFE RITO COOK ISLANDS WAS SET UP BY HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM ROBERT AND SUSAN WYLLIE. SUSAN OWNED A HAIR SALON AND SPA IN AN AUCKLAND HOTEL AND ALWAYS DREAMED OF MAKING HER OWN PRODUCTS. Why set up Rito Cook Islands?

Susan & Robert Wyllie with the Rito Cook Islands product range

When we came to Rarotonga we saw a resource being left on the ground and thought we could do something with it. From there we looked at manufacturing a skincare range, and we wanted to produce our own cold pressed coconut oil.  

Why is the company called Rito, and what is unique about Rito Cook Islands? To the people of the Pacific the coconut palm is the ‘tree of life’ because every part of the palm helps them in some essential way. Coconut palms are a renewable organic resource. The word Rito has several meanings: first, it is the name of the young fronds that grow from the heart of the coconut tree. This fibre is used for finely woven traditional Cook Islands hats and mats; that is why we have a weave pattern on Rito Cook Islands skincare packaging.  Rito also means ‘the source or essence of something’.  Rito products are unique in that we make our coconut oil and skincare products in Rarotonga; we are the only company that does that.    

Tamanu Oil, which comes from the Pacific Mahogany tree. The nuts are collected and dried in the sun for several weeks so they can be opened.  We then dry the kernel for around ten weeks in the sun to cure them, we then grind and press the kernels to extract the oil from them. Tamanu oil is good for healing cuts, scratches, insect bites and minor burns.  We use the Tamanu oil in two of our skincare products, and sell it by itself.  The Tamanu Oil is in our After Sun Soothing Gel for its healing properties, and we use it into our eye cream as research has revealed it to have anti-wrinkle properties.    

Spa Ariki

Relax, Refresh, Renew...

What are you most proud of with Rito Cook Islands products? Part of our business plan is we work on zero waste. If something can be recycled or reused is some way we do it. The bi-products from the coconut oil production are used.  The pressed coconut is used as animal feed.  The husks are used to heat the drying table and either turned into mulch or used for landscaping.  The coconut shells are also used to heat our drying table and what we don’t used are collected by people for arts and crafts, or used to fire their umu’s (underground ovens).  

M A S S A G E | FA C I A L | M A N I C U R E | P E D I C U R E E X F O L I AT I O N | W A X I N G | H A I R S T Y L I N G & M O R E O p e n M o n d a y – S a t u r d a y 10 a m - 6 p m Phone 23953 Email spa@crownbeach.com

Where can visitors view the range of Rito Cook Islands products?

What products are included in the Rito Cook Islands range? Rito produce a range of cold pressed coconut culinary oil and two body oils. In our skincare range our facial products are an eye cream, facial moisturiser, scrub, mask and a cleanser.  Our body products are a body lotion, after sun soothing gel, hand cream and a body scrub.  We also have shampoo and hair conditioner.  We also manufacture

Rito Cook Islands products are available from our premises in Tikioki; five minutes drive from Muri Beach. We are between Matutu Brewery and the Fruits of Rarotonga.  When you visit us you can observe the coconut oil being produced.  Rito Cook Islands is also available at Muri Beach Club Resort (and it is used in their spa), CITC Pharmacy in Avarua, Ariki Spa at the Crown Beach Resort, and it is used Moana Sands Spa in Vaimaanga.      

For more information: info@ritocookislands.com +682 20134

THE Multi Award Winning ★★★★★

where nature meets science

WAT E R FA LL SPA I N D O O R WAT E R FA L L S VICHY SHOWER C O U P L E S R O M A N C E M A S S A G E S & VA R I O U S O T H E R M A S S A G E S H A L F D AY E S C A P E S FAC I A L S & B O DY S C R U B S PEDICURES & MANICURES F U L LY T R A I N E D T H E R A P I S T S

M A I N R O A D, M U R I B E A C H , R A R O T O N G A + 6 8 2 2 2 5 51 info@r umour s-r arotonga.com w w w. r u m o u r s - r a r o t o n g a .co m


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H E A LT H & B E A U T Y

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Enjoy some of the best spas in the South Pacific AN HOUR OR TWO AT A SPA CAN GIVE YOU THE CHANCE TO TRULY RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION IN THE COOK ISLANDS. YOU WILL APPRECIATE HOW MUCH BETTER YOU FEEL AFTER A MASSAGE, A BODYWRAP AND SCRUB, A FACIAL, OR MANY OF THE OTHER INDULGENCES ON THE SPA MENU. THAT GOES FOR WHETHER YOU ARE MALE OR FEMALE!

R

arotonga in particular offers a wide variety of spa and wellbeing options. Try one (or two), and the experience will be

Spa Ariki at the Crown Beach Resort

Vichy shower at Rumours Waterfall Spa

Edgewater Resort & Spa

remembered as a highlight of your vacation to the Cooks. Most spas around the island have their own little ‘quirks

and perks’; so don’t be shy to ask for their spa and wellbeing lists, or have a good chat to the spa receptionists. You may simply chose a spa based on its proximity to your accommodation, but you should also consider budget, the range of offerings, the style of service, the surroundings, and the overall atmosphere. On your search, you will find spas with special offerings such as hydrotherapy tubs, steam rooms, sauna, and Vichy shower, manicure, pedicure and make-up artists. Generally, they are all pretty good value by world standards.

Deep tissue massage at The Spa (Muri Beach Club Hotel)

Once you have made your selection, and to totally enjoy your spa and welling experience, take your time, and

be in a relaxed state of mind before your arrive. And, to maintain your comfort, avoid having too much food in your

stomach beforehand. Enjoy some of the best spas in the South Pacific whilst you are in Rarotonga!

Inspired by traditional, scientifically-proven, Cook Islands regenerative medicines

A key ingredient in the TeTika® Skincare range, Bioactive Cook Islands Oils are the result of intense research into the traditional Cook Islands medicinal practices. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the epidermis of the skin.

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See the full range of the TeTika® Skincare products at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua.

THE COOK

AVA I L A B L E AT

www.citc.co.ck • www.tetika.com.au PHARMACY


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ISLAND NIGHT SHOWS ON RAROTONGA They are colourful, energetic and entertaining and, combined with a buffet-style feast, they are good value for money. Enquire about the different Island Nights on offer; some are smaller, intimate shows, others larger, spectacular shows with bigger audiences. Always book to avoid disappointment. Note: details are correct at time of publication, but may change seasonally. Always check with venue.

VENUE & SHOW DETAILS DAY MONDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre TUESDAY Te Vara Nui Village The Islander Hotel The Edgewater Resort & Spa WEDNESDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre Muri Beach Club Hotel THURSDAY Te Vara Nui Village Crown Beach Resort FRIDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre SATURDAY Te Vara Nui Village The Edgewater Resort & Spa

DINNER / SHOW

BOOKINGS COST

7.00pm/8.00pm

21 924

$99 adult / $55 child (U-12). Includes transfers.

7.30pm/8.30pm

24 006

PERFORMERS

7.00pm/8.00pm

21 003

$109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $49 adult / $20 child (5-12). Show only $15pp Family (2 adults + 2 children $130) $65 adult / $25 child (7-12). Includes transfers. Show only $15pp.

Highland Paradise Cultural Centre:

7.00pm/8.30pm

25 435

7.00pm/8.00pm 7.00pm/8.00pm

21 924 23 000

$99 adult / $55 child (U-11). Includes transfers. $59 adult/$35 child (5-11)

7.30pm/8.30pm 6.30pm/8.30pm

24 006 23 953

$109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $55 adult / $30 child (3-12). Show only $15pp

Crown Beach Resort: Akirata Dance Troupe & Fire Dance

The Edgewater Resort & Spa: Ta’akoka Dance Troupe Home of the Tinomona Tribe; E Matike Dance Troupe

Muri Beach Club Hotel: Akirata Dance Troupe

The Islander Hotel: Akirata Dance Troupe

7.00pm/8.00pm

21 924

$99 adult / $55 child (U-11). Includes transfers.

7.30pm/8.30pm

24 006

7.00pm/8.30pm

25 435

$109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $65 adult / $25 child (7-12). Includes transfers. Show only $15pp.

Te Vara Nui Village: Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza. The Legend of Tongaiti. *Supreme Award Winner at the 2016-7 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards

Highland Paradise Rarotonga’s most Authentic Cultural Experience Located high in the mountains overlooking the lagoon Join us and experience the magnificence and beauty of real Cook Island singing, dancing and drumming

Island Night dinner & show: 5pm – Monday, Wednesday & Friday Includes – transfers, welcome cocktail, tapu lifting ceremony, Buffet umu style dinner, and finally the magnificent singing, dancing & drumming. .

BOOK OUR ISLAND NIGHT SHOW ON + 682 21924 wwwhighlandparadise.co.ck


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One man’s dream: A hearty meal and a round of mini-golf SUNDAY NIGHT IN RAROTONGA IS A FAMOUSLY FAMILY NIGHT OUT AT COCO PUTT ALE HOUSE IN ARORANGI, ONE OF THE ISLAND’S MOST POPULAR ATTRACTIONS AND EATING-PLACES. CHEF TOOKS AND HIS CREW SERVE UP A HEARTY BUFFET, WHILST LOCAL MUSICIANS, THE FLYING JANDALS, ENTERTAIN.

GUIDE TO

Eating&Drinking IN RAROTONGA

There is a eclectic variety of dining and drinking experiences on Rarotonga, many on the waterfront, beachfront, and in other picturesque settings. In the following centre-spread you’ll find a wonderful selection of cafés, restaurants and bars to consider, all dotted around the island.

ARA T APU

Islands Tertiary Training Institute.

Born in Aitutaki, Tooks moved to Auckland when he was two. His parents separated, so in true Cook Islands style, relatives raised Tooks.

Tooks said he had always planned to come back to the Cook Islands to reconnect with his culture and country. “In 2001, I started work at The Rarotongan Resort as a waiter and bartender; then became a restaurant supervisor”.

“I wanted the qualification because I owned the restaurant and I wanted to know everything about the restaurant business. In the nine years I was at Paw Paw Patch, I took over the kitchen for the last three years”.

“I had an older sister, two younger sisters and a brother, but I didn’t actually grow up with them. I was brought up with my grand auntie and uncle, who I called my parents,” said Tooks. “After high school I left Auckland and moved to Sydney with my uncle”. In Sydney, Tooks paved the way to a career in hospitality starting work as a storeman supplying food and beverages to restaurant and cafés. Soon after he began working for the Sydney Hilton Hotel. “I stayed with the Hilton from 1987-1991 doing all sorts of jobs from ‘bellboy to busboy’, to kitchen hand and clerk.

“My friends, family and I had the best night playing mini putt, indulging in a beautiful buffet dinner and dancing the night away to live music. Definitely a 'must do'."

A few months later Tooks moved to Sails Restaurant & “Prior to selling Bar as a junior the Paw Paw restaurant Liz Tristram, Facebook comment Patch, Meegan supervisor: “I and I had built thought this is Coco Putt”. more what I’d like to do. Sails was my style!” Tooks met Meegan at The Rarotongan when he returned It wasn’t long before Tooks to the Cook Islands. She was started his own restaurant from an accountant. Today, they scratch, the Paw Paw Patch have two children: a son Mana Restaurant & Bar, located at George (13), and a daughter Moana Sands Anika Tiare (10). Beachfront Villas. “The idea behind Coco Putt was always in my mind. We “We did started off as mini golf and a everything bar, and grew from there. from beachside “The menu is easy, quick and BBQs to fast; and, family friendly too. weddings, We offer a good hearty meal to outside menu, which is also value for catering, for money. nine years”. Tooks said he had always been interested in becoming a chef.

Tooks gets to play harmonica with the live band on Sunday nights

“In the early 1990s there was such an influx of New Zealanders and Islanders to the Manly Warringah area, the district was jokingly known as Maori Warringah”.

In 1997 he returned to Auckland working in the ‘celebrity popular’ Iguaçu Restaurant & Bar, employing

Paw Paw Patch was sold to well-known Rarotonga restaurateur Tony Bullivant.

“I enjoyed cooking at home, beginning when I was around eight years old. My great auntie steered me in that direction. To be honest I didn’t like her cooking!” Tooks got his Chef qualifications with the Cook

“We have bangers and mash, pork ribs, steak, fish and chips, and fettuccine. Our only specialty night is the buffet night on Sunday, which features live entertainment. “Meegan makes fantastic sweets. She loves to cook, especially lemon meringue cheesecake, coconut and cashew pie.

‘Ale House’ was added to the Coco Putt name after a couple of years. “There are many rugby fans on the island, so we show the international rugby games, particularly the All Blacks. We also show American NFL, NBA, and Baseball. What about the future? “We are quite happy where we are, and I don’t think we will be leaving soon”.

Coco Putt Ale House is a popular Rarotonga visitor attraction and eating place

Coco Putt Ale House is open Sunday to Friday from 10am-10pm. Lunch 10am-3pm and Dinner from 6pm-9pm. Tel: 27 181, jennings@oyster.net.ck and www.cocoputt.co.ck

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ooks, more formally known as Tokerau Turia, set up the business nine years ago with his life partner Meegan, and they have never looked back.

his proven waiter and bartending skills.

“Then I moved to the Manly Pacific Park Royal as a waiter and bartender.

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VENUE DETAILS IN FOLLOWING CENTRE-SPREAD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Alberto’s Restaurant Anchorage Restaurant & Bar On the Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Bar The Café Salsa Café Bite Time Café Crusoe’s Restaurant & Wilson’s Bar Coco Putt Bistro & Bar Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar Kikau Hut Restaurant La Casita Café Body Fuel Café Flambé Restaurant Oceans Restaurant & Bar The Rickshaw Café Sails Restaurant & iSOBAR Kaingavai Water Garden Tea House & Vegetarian Eatery Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar Spaghetti Pizzeria & Grill Tamarind House Restaurant The Tumunu Restaurant & Bar Vaima on the Beach The Waterline Restaurant & Bar Café Jireh The Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro Saltwater Café Moana Restaurant & Bar Charlie’s Café & Beach Hire Deli-Licious Café Te Vara Nui Cultural Village


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Eating&D

SEE LOCATION MAP ON PAGE 13

IN R

For locality of eating & drinking places

ALBERTO’S RESTAURANT

ANCHORAGE RESTAURANT & BAR

BITE TIME CAFÉ

BODY FUEL CAFÉ

Located between the Edgewater and Sunset resorts on the main road in Arorangi. Alberto’s is well known for their steak dishes but also offer seafood, chicken, pork, pasta and a fresh salad bar. Small private functions catered for. Open Monday to Saturday. The bar opens at 5.30pm with dining between 6.00 – 9.00pm.

Located at the Sunset Resort in Arorangi, The Anchorage Restaurant & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Happy Hour is daily from 4pm in the lounge bar, and live music is performed on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Sushi. Smoothies. Juices. Fresh sushi, tropical & healthy juice & smoothie blends. Plus, homebaked cabinet food. Locally roasted, fair trade espresso coffee and cold pressed turmeric. Lattes. Located next to the playground, Punganui Market, Avarua. Open Mon to Sat from 6am.

T: 23 597 or 55 725 E: dine@albertosrestaurant.co.ck

T: 23 004 E: anchorageinraro@gmail.com

Fresh. Fish. Café. Our fish come straight from our boat and on to your plate! Ika Mata, sashimi, seafood platters, wraps and sandwiches, and more! Plus, try our ‘all day’ bacon & egg breakfast for only $13. Open Monday to Saturday 8am - 4pm; late night Tuesday & Friday until 9pm. Located next to the playground, Punganui Market, Avarua.

DELI-LICIOUS CAFÉ

FLAMBÉ RESTAURANT

Located on the main road in Muri, check out our ‘all-day’ breakfast menu and join us for awesome coffee, friendly service and great home-style cooking. Try our custard square and cheesecakelocal favourites. Open Sunday-Friday 7.30am3.00pm. Wi-Fi available.

Fine dining in Rarotonga. An exciting menu focused on the legend of the demi-god Maui and the origins of fire to the Cook Islands. Exudes ambiance and style. Alfresco dining and bar, plus air-conditioned inside dining. Open for dinner only. Fire Dance Show every Friday and Saturday night. Closed Sunday & Monday. Patrons 16 years +

T: 20 858 Check us out on Facebook

T: 23 577 facebook.com/Bitetimecaferarotonga

T: 23 575 facebook.com/bodyfuelcaferarotonga

ISLANDER RESTAURANT & HULA BAR

KAINGAVAI WATER GARDEN TEA HOUSE & VEGETARIAN EATERY

The Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar overlook the pool and the ocean offering cuisine made from fresh ingredients supplied locally, as well as imports from New Zealand. Open for breakfast from 8.00am, with an all-day lunch, and dinner featuring light meals to hearty options.

‘Love at first bite.’ Delicious, nutritious, nourishing whole foods + a range of organic herbal infusions and teas. Situated amongst tranquil gardens overlooking pond, near the CICC church in Titikaveka, the Kaingavai Water Garden/Teahouse offers a delectable range of vegetarian and vegan foods lovingly prepared by a serious foodie.

T: 23 953 (Crown Beach Resort) E: info@crownbeach.com www.crownbeach.com

T: 21 003 E: info@islanderhotel.co.ck www.islanderhotel.co.ck

OCEANS RESTAURANT & BAR

OTB (ON THE BEACH) RESTAURANT

RICKSHAW CAFÉ

SAILS RESTAURANT & ISOBAR

Relaxed private dining on the waterfront with vistas of the beach, lagoon and sunsets, Oceans Restaurant & Bar offers all-day dining including breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Breakfast from 8.00am-10.30am, lunch from 11.30am - 2.30pm, and dinner from 6.30pm 9.00pm. Happy hour is daily from 4.30pm - 6.30pm.

Located on the main road in Muri village, The Rickshaw Café is a casual Asian street-style café that serves Vietnamese, Indonesian, Chinese, Malaysian and Thai cuisine. Bookings recommended. Open from 5.30pm.

T: 23 953 E: info@crownbeach.com www.crownbeachresort.com

Beachfront dining OTB at the Manuia Beach Resort is enhanced by the restaurant’s Cook Islands-style sandy floor, kikau-thatched roof and Polynesianinspired menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, OTB also features daily happy hour, Sunday night BBQ Buffet, and live music Sunday and Wednesday. Free pick ups for people who buy the minimum 3-course menu at $49.50. T: 22 461 • E: manuiaotb@gmail.com www.facebook.com/manuiaotb

Sails Restaurant & iSOBAR on Muri Beach is open seven days from 9.00am until late, offering Pacific cuisine and lagoon views. Located overlooking the beach and lagoon, Sails offers indoor and outdoor dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Occasions such as weddings, receptions, corporate events and private parties are a speciality. T: 27 349 E: dine@sailsrestaurant.co.ck www.sailsrestaurant.co.ck

SPAGHETTI HOUSE PIZZERIA & GRILL

TAMARIND HOUSE

THE CAFÉ

THE NEW PLACE CAFÉ

The Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill at The Edgewater Resort & Spa is conveniently located at the Resort’s entrance on the main road. Open seven nights from 5.00pm to 9.30pm, the airconditioned Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill offers authentic Italian cuisine with a selection of pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes.

Tamarind House Restaurant & Bar is located in a restored colonial house set on 2.5 acres of lawns adjacent to the beach at Tupapa, just three minutes from Avarua. We offer a stunning location and the finest of cuisine, wine and beverages. Open for lunch Thursday and Friday from 11.30am, and for dinner Monday to Saturday from 5.30pm. T: 26 487 E: tamarind@cookislands.co.ck www.tamarind.co.ck

Located in the courtyard of the historic Beachcomber Pearl Market and Art Gallery in Avarua, The Café is known for its locally-roasted espresso coffee, homemade cakes, and all day menu featuring organic breads, bagels and croissants. Home to the Rarotonga Vinyl Revival Club, relax and choose your own music from the extensive record collection. Open Monday – Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm. T: 21 283 E: hawaii@oyster.net.ck

Situated on the main road in Avarua, next to Goldmine, the New Place is a spacious, under-cover, open-air café/eatery offering the best of fresh tropicsually exciting menu will not disappoint. Relal cuisine with prompt and friendly service. Popular with locals and visitors, the diverse, viaxed atmosphere and lovely surroundings. Open 7.30am –11.30pm. T: 22 279 facebook.com/theNewPlaceCafeRarotonga

T: 25 441 www.edgewater.co.ck

T: 22 232 or 75 449 E: rickshaw@oyster.net.ck

T: 55 145


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15

DE TO

Drinking

NOTATIONS

RAROTONGA

Member of Cook Islands Restaurant Association Member of Cook Islands Tourism Industry Accreditation Scheme

CAFÉ JIREH

CHARLIE’S CAFÉ & BEACH HIRE

COCO PUTT BISTRO & BAR

CRUSOE’S RESTAURANT & BAR

Opposite the Airport, we’re world famous for our coffee and custard squares. Everything is freshly prepared including a huge variety of cakes, slices, pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches, plus cooked meals from bacon & eggs and eggs benedict to island pancakes, ‘Caveman’ and ‘Mega Angus’ burgers. Monday - Friday 7.00am - 3.00pm; Saturday 8.30am - 1.30pm.

Located on Te Akapuao Beach, Titikaveka, Charlie’s offer tasty light meals, lunch, takeaways, coffee and soft drinks. Charlie’s also hires standup paddle-boards, single and tandem kayaks, snorkels, masks and fins. Spend the day with Charlie’s at Te Akapuao Beach!

A 18-Hole Mini Golf course and café off the main road at Aro’a, Coco Putt is also a bistro and bar with Sky Sports, live entertainment & all-day menu. Open 10.00am until late. Golf prices – Adults $12 (includes a free standard drink), Children$5, Students $7, Family Pass $30 (2 adults/2 children).

By the pool or on the beach at the Castaway Resort, Crusoe’s Restaurant and Bar has a themed menu every night and a snack menu. Monday – Pasta night, Tuesday – a la carte, Wednesday – Mexican, Thursday – Pizza, Friday – Seafood, Saturday – Curry, Sunday – BBQ. Happy Hour from 3.00pm- 6.00pm, restaurant from 6.00pm.

T: +682 27 181 E: info@cocoputt.co.ck W: www.cocoputt.co.ck

T: 21 546 E: relax@castawayvillas.com www.castawayvillas.com

T: 24 776 www.facebook.com/CafeJirehRarotonga

T: 28 055 E: chosking@oyster.net.ck

KIKAU HUT RESTAURANT

LA CASITA MEXICAN CAFÉ

LE RENDEZ-VOUS CAFÉ & BISTRO

MOANA RESTAURANT & BAR

A fusion of European and Pacific flavours, the Kikau Hut, located in Arorangi, offers a top-rated friendly and casual dining experience. Open from 6pm seven days a week with live music on Mondays and Saturdays, and a free transfer service available by prior arrangement.

Located on the main road at Muri village, this Mexican-style ‘street café’ serves a variety of dishes featuring fresh, authentic flavours including Mexican burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, pizzas, and a range of vegetarian options. Fully licensed. Bookings advised. Open from 5.30pm.

Located near Airport. Owners are French as is the cuisine. Freshly made food with local and imported French ingredients, freshly baked pies and pastries & savory French crepes amongst the dishes. Great coffee! The café is open for breakfast/lunch until 2pm, and the restaurant from 6pm. Also open Sundays.

T: 26 860 E: kikauhut@oyster.net.ck

T: 20 693 E: tamarind@oyster.net.ck

T: 26 121 E: guillaume.kapfer@yahoo.fr www.facebook.com/lerendezvousrarotonga

Enjoy the relaxed beachside atmosphere at the Moana Restaurant & Bar, located next to the Moana Beachfront Hotel in Titikaveka. The restaurant offers simple, fresh, subtle flavours by Chef Jasmine Kee, serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner, 7-days from 8.00am to 9.00pm daily. The bar features Raro Lager, Steinlager and cider on tap for only $3.50 per glass - all day!

SALSA CAFÉ

SALTWATER CAFÉ

Popular bistro & meeting place. All-day breakfast and lunch. Serving a wide range of fresh ‘n’ healthy options as well as homemade breads and wood fired pizzas. Open 7.30am–3.00pm, Mon– Fri, 7.30am -2.00pm on Sat. Downtown Avarua, next to CITC Shopping Centre & Pharmacy. Punanga Nui Market within walking distance.

Enjoy alfresco casual dining while admiring the stunning lagoon view at Titikaveka on Rarotonga’s south coast. Located opposite the beach at the ‘Halfway Mark’, Saltwater Café uses fresh local produce and is open for breakfast and lunch from 9.00am Sunday to Thursday. Relax and enjoy a Lavazza espresso coffee, an icy cold beer or cocktail.

SHIPWRECK HUT BAR AT AROA BEACHSIDE INN

T: 22 215 E: cafe@salsa.co.ck www.salsa.co.ck.

THE WATERLINE RESTAURANT & BEACH BAR The Waterline Restaurant & Beach Bar is situated on the sunset coast for relaxed beachside dining. Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, diners have a choice of dining on the sand or on the deck looking over the beach. The Waterline Restaurant & Beach Bar also caters for small weddings and functions. T: 22 161 • E: akisiraro@gmail.com www.waterline-restaurant.com

T: 29 923 • E: moana@islanderhotel.co.ck Look us up on Facebook

SILVER SANDS RESTAURANT & BAR Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings, the Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar offers à la carte, on Wednesday - Island Night, on Friday - Pig & Prawn Night, and on Sunday - BBQ Grill Night. Happy hour is everyday between 4.00pm6.00pm. Located at the Muri Beach Club Hotel.

T: 20 020 cafesaltwater@gmail.com

The Shipwreck Hut is an authentic beach bar situated right on the sand at Aro’a Beachside Inn. Perfectly positioned to enjoy the sunset sipping a famous ‘jam-jar cocktail’ or cold beer. Open daily from 5.00pm, the Shipwreck Hut offers a range of drinks and bar meals, with live music on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. T: 22 166 E: aroa@cookislands.co.ck www.aroabeach.com

TUMUNU RESTAURANT & BAR

VAIMA ON THE BEACH

YELLOW HIBISCUS RESTAURANT & BAR

Located in Vaimaanga, Vaima on the Beach offers indoor & outdoor dining options in an island setting, with the cuisine that has a touch of tropical flavours. Open for brunch/lunch 11am2pm, and dinner 5-9pm, seven days a week, Vaima provide transfers to/from accommodation on request.

The Yellow Hibiscus is an open-air restaurant overlooking the garden at Palm Grove. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served 8.00-10.00am, light lunch 12.00-2.00pm, and a la carte dining from 6.00pm Monday to Saturday, with live music on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Sunday there is a BBQ with live entertainment. T: 20 002 E: beach@palmgrove.co.ck www.palmgrove.net

The oldest restaurant in Rarotonga (38 this year), Tumunu offers garden surroundings featuring local artifacts and memorabilia. With its tropical garden and unique dining room, the Tumunu menu offers seafood, vegetarian, steaks, chicken and a children’s menu. The seafood platter for two is a specialty. Open seven nights from 6.00pm. T: 20 501 E: jbateman@tumunu.co.ck www.tumunurarotonga.com

T: 26 123 E: vaima@oyster.net.ck www.vaimarestaurant.com

T: 23 000 E: info@muribeachclubhotel.com www.muribeachclubhotel.com


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Restaurant Reviews A cool restaurant On the Beach

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turned up at On The Beach Restaurant & Bar on a Tuesday evening at 5.30pm with enough time to catch the tail end of happy hour for a glass of Roaring Meg Otago pinot noir. The sunset was developing brilliantly. A short walk through Manuia Beach Resort in Arorangi, the stylish On the Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Bar is perfectly situated for a Rarotongan-style dinner. I chose to be seated outside. The OTB menu is contemporary island style. I kicked off with grilled and chilled ratatouille with salsa verde, garlic bruschetta and avocado oil. I stayed with the pinot noir throughout dinner.

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For main course I chose the lamb on a bed of eggplant special, off the black board. Tasty! I had some room left so I thought I’d test-drive a dessert; the Vacherin with tropical sorbets, fruit compote, local vanilla sauce anglaise was delightfully sweet and tart; the wonderful flavours lingered. A thoroughly enjoyable dinner at OTB blessed by a brilliant sunset, cheery staff, and good all round service! Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, OTB is one of the coolest places on Rarotonga to eat and drink. Editor

Chic café & bistro with a French connection

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ooked to fly out of Raro at 10.00pm on a Thursday, Le RendezVous Café & Bistro came to mind for a pre-flight dinner. Walking distance to the airport, Le RendezVous, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has built a reputation for excellent food with a dash of France. Owners Guillaume and Karin are from La Rochelle on the Bay of Biscay. Thursday night was packed with locals there for the ‘Rib Night’, but I opted for something a little less robust from the menu. The atmosphere was relaxed, the staff friendly and attentive, and the background music so French that I just had to start with a plate of escargot, ovencooked with a garlic butter sauce. Tender, tasty out of the shell. Sensational!

Kaingavia Water Garden & Tea House

The main course was impressive: fresh Mahi-Mahi with its white complexion and sweet flavor, panfried with salt and butter. Surprisingly filling, served on mashed potato with ratatouille, and a little chili pepper on top. Melted in the mouth! For dessert I chose the delicious poached pear caramelised tart with walnut, raspberry sauce and ice cream. The perfect conclusion to a memorable meal! French-inspired cuisine, a unique experience in the Cook Islands. Editor

ynnsay Rongokea is a Cook Islander, a mother of five daughters, a grandmother of 12, and a great grandmother. She is well known for her connection to the arts, her quest for political change, and her support for the rights of women and children. Her interest in the importance of indigenous women recording and documenting their own life stories was a factor in her writing two books on Cook Islands Tivaevae. Lynnsay’s teahouse and vegetarian eatery is complementary to the continuation of her work in promoting women’s economic development, food sustainability and healthy lifestyles.

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Kaingavia Water Garden & Tea House is off the main road, between the Titikaveka CICC Church and the Titikaveka College. It is set in peaceful surroundings overlooking a large pond, surrounded by gardens. “Kaingavai means home of water. We have a limited menu, but something for anyone wanting a selection of freshly made wholesome plant based salads using vegetables, fruit, fresh herbs, sprouted ingredients, grains, legumes, spices, nuts and seeds that are delicious, nutritious and nourishing. Our desserts are delicious, and nutrient dense, and made with chia, coconut, nuts, banana, and berries,” said Lynnsay.

“It’s a music, Internet and mobile free zone where you can chill out. This is a slow food place; while you’re waiting you can have a game of chess, play

cards, read or just enjoy the surroundings. Our philosophy is simple: eat well, feel well and live well.” Kaingavia Water Garden & Tea House is open 12-4pm Sunday-Friday. They also do takeaway packs and cater for small group functions. Tel: 55 145.

Meet the Kapfers

uillaume and Karin Kapfer came to the Cook Islands two years ago with one-year old Gabrielle for a change of lifestyle, and the opportunity to start a new restaurant from scratch, Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro.

summer holidays like we did in France.” Guillaume is a keen body board surfer, and Karine is in to yoga.

“Our daughter is already surprisingly bilingual. She is very good in English, and understands English sometimes better than we can,” said Guillaume.

“I would definitely recommend this place for a young family who still have a dream. This is a place you can live your dream. I don’t know many places left that you can feel so safe. You are far from the madness of the world in the Cook Islands”.

“We have the feeling that we are on holidays every day. We don’t need to wait for our

“So for us it is a place people

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Le Rendez-Vous is a French for meeting or gathering.

Live on Raro

hether you’re after some local vibes or more contemporary sounds, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste in Rarotonga. Here are but a few:

COCO PUTT ALE HOUSE Sunday night at Coco Putt is renowned for good food and entertainment. While chef Tooks serves up his famous BBQ buffet, The Flying Jandels serve up classic hits from the 60s 70s and 80s. A great night out!

Lynnsay Rongokea with two granddaughters

“We serve a selection of teas: herbal infusions, herbal teas, caffeine free, black teas, organic green teas and tropical smoothies, fresh coconut water and turmeric latte’s.

TRADER JACKS Local guitar legend Rere has been keeping the punters happy every Friday for many years. With his four-piece band

Guillaume, Gabrielle and Karin Kapfer

can come as a family or for a special event; also we have business people meeting here.

visitors should enjoy for a breakfast, lunch or dinner before they leave Rarotonga.”

“Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro is an experience all

Bon Appétit

you’ll hear everything from classic rock to local favourites. They’ll keep you entertained through to the wee hours.

Rockin’ Jandels play favourites from the 60s – 80s; even the owner and staff get up for a sing and a dance. On Thursday Anania and Rio play a selection of pop, soul and jazz, along with a few island tunes.

VAIANAS BEACH BAR With regular DJs throughout the week, every other Friday you can catch the wonderful Tani and Rose, also known as Island Groove. They have a huge repertoire of songs - pop along and soak up the beautiful harmonies.

SHIPWRECK HUT (Aroa Beachside Inn)

Anania Brown

Every Tuesday Anania Brown and Ian Wheeldon, known as The

WILSONS BAR (Castaway Resort)

On Thursday Lincoln Mail plays a selection of rock, pop and Kiwiana. On Friday Anania Brown plays an instrumental set with his guitar and drum machine; on Sunday hear Kura Happ, who has been a staple of the Raro music scene for years, play some soulful and funky tunes. Enjoy the Raro live music scene! TOJ


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ISLAND LIFE

Air New Zealand

“The inspiration for my shirts comes from my art, my love for comfort and our culture.”

continues as title sponsor in 2018

THERE’S A STYLISH NEW MEN’S CLOTHING LABEL IN TOWN CALLED SABATI, WHICH TRANSLATES FROM COOK ISLANDS MAORI TO SABBATH.

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ccording to Sabati’s Shane Tuaeu Andrew: “Men dressing their best for church; I also do arrange of white shirts

AIR NEW ZEALAND IS ONCE AGAIN PROUD TO SUPPORT THE AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS.

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s a tourism operator ourselves, we understand the significance of tourism in the Cooks and are incredibly proud to be a long time sponsor of these awards which celebrate excellence in tourism and promoting this wonderful destination. Air New Zealand has operated services to the Cook Islands for more than 40 years and each year we enjoy bringing in thousands of visitors to experience the very best of what the beautiful Cook Islands has to offer.   Our team of 70 employees here in Rarotonga also work closely with our industry partners - from the tour operators and accommodation

for church and functions, weddings, 21st's and the like”. “Sabati is creating a point of difference with a mishmash of pareu fabrics, textiles (screen printing) and art; all place on a tailored modern styled shirt with Polynesian flavour. “The inspiration for my shirts comes from my art, my love for comfort and our culture. We

enjoy so many celebrations and the feeling we get from these occasions inspire our clothes.” Available from Punanga Nui Market (Hut 48) every Saturday, Sabati is also offered from KareHa Polynesian Studio in Panama (Rarotonga). Contact Shane Tuaeu Andrew on +682 55 018 or shane@oyster.net.ck

providers to transport drivers, restaurant and retail staff and everyone else in between - to deliver unforgettable visitor experiences. We’re looking forward to celebrating those tourism businesses that continually raise the bar and deliver strong customer experiences at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards.

Marisa Newman

Cook Islands Manager Air New Zealand

Matutu – the taste of the Cook Islands. Started in 2006 100% locally owned

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Amazing beers Made using sustainable practices

No added preservatives All natural ingredients

Handcrafted by E. Newnham & J. Puati

Tours Daily at 12pm and 1pm. Tour only $10. Transport & Tour $15. Free beer tasting on tour. Visit us in Tikioki, Titikaveka. Telephone. 26288. Email. ennn@oyster.net.ck


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SEE & DO Half & Full Day Charters Three boats available Shared or Private charters We provide refreshments, snacks, all safety equipment, toilet facilities and use the latest Shimano fishing gear!

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Fishing Every Day! Give us a call now...

Ph: +682 55202 A/H: +682 20683 E: fishing@marlinqueen.co.ck

www.marlinqueen.co.ck Avatiu Wharf, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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YOU WILL BE HARD PRESSED TO MEET A MORE ENGAGING AND HARD WORKING COOK ISLANDER IN RAROTONGA THAN DANNY MATAROA. HE PLANTS AND HARVESTS THE LAND DURING THE DAY, AND PERFORMS AS MASTER OF CEREMONIES FOR POPULAR ISLAND SHOWS FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK, AND AT THE PUNANGA NUI MARKET EVERY SATURDAY MORNING.

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anny Mataroa is also an elder and Sunday school teacher at the Avarua Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and holds the chieftain title Uri Mataiapo with the Tinomana tribe of Arorangi.

Daniel Ngametua Enua Mataroa is connected way back to the first Tinomana, the first king. Today Danny tells the intriguing and colourful story of his tribe at the Highland Paradise Cultural Centre show every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Danny’s parents left for New Zealand when he was young, leaving him to be brought up by his grandparents in Rarotonga. “My two sisters and two brothers were born in New Zealand. I was born here and grew up here, and I have never left.

“My grandfather was a farmer. He grew oranges. I am from the era where oranges were planted and harvested big time! They were crushed and juiced and exported as Raro Juice. “I went to primary school in Arorangi. Growing up, I became spokesperson for each class and every class that I was in. I was always assigned to talk when we had a guest come to our class. I would be the one to thank them. And, I grew up with that; it helped with what I am doing today”. Danny attended Tereora College up to the late 70s. He wanted to go to university but said his English wasn’t quite up to scratch and it would have been a financial burden for his grandparents.

“We were struggling at the time: the money for the oranges wasn’t that good and I was living with my grandparents, so how could I ask them to pay for my education?” Danny worked part time whilst at high school. At this stage, he was also a dancer. On leaving school his first real job was menial work at the Manuia Beach Resort.

“I had already started dancing in a troupe. Then I worked at Trailways, which changed its name to Tamure Resort (now Club Raro). I stayed for around six years running the bar and also working the rooms, and then I became a duty manager.

“I decided whilst working there that I would plant dry land taro so I went back to become a farmer. I was in my mid-20s. I exported taro to Hawaii. “Then I got into noni, bananas, vegetables and paw paw. I learned now to rotate crops. I’d sell mainly to hotels”. Danny got married in his mid

Danny Mataroa, Tinomana chieftain

“ I converted in 1988. Some missionaries came and I liked what they had to say! “There are three Mormon Today, apart from his own land, Danny plants on land that churches on Rarotonga, plus one in Aitutaki and one in belongs to friends and family Mangaia. I am connected to members who live overseas. the one in Avarua, where I have “I am growing noni, bananas held various positions over the and oranges at the moment, and years”. experimented with vanilla. If that is not enough, Danny is “In the past we have exported also a celebrant for both visitors noni to the USA, Japan and and locals: “If they want me in Europe”. traditional attire, I’ll do it!” As a chieftain, Danny’s traditional attire includes the important addition of boar’s tusks, which are a symbol of his title, Uri Mataiapo. Danny Mataroa and tourism are inextricably linked. He recognises the importance of tourism to the Cook Islands and its people. “The land belongs to God and everything therein; so visitors are very welcome.” Traditional dress But, Danny is hoping the future of tourism in the islands is well That is the Danny Mataroa planned. that locals know well. Visitors know him better as the host “We have to use wisdom in and master of ceremonies of everything; there has to be a various islands shows, five balance. In countries where you nights a week. have more visitors than locals there can be problems. But if we “I am involved with the have ‘balance’ the visitors are Ta’akoka, Korero Maori, happy and the locals are happy. Tupapa Maraerenga, Tumutavarovaro, and Orama Danny is concerned that every Dance Troupes”. time a new building goes up the country looses good planting As a former dancer Danny land for growing food for local understands the culture and consumption. meaning of dance in the Cook Islands; as a ‘born and bred’ “And there is a lot of local he is able to articulate the development going on! history of the islands. He is “We want our own people also a born talker! The perfect to come back from living combination for an island night overseas, but they will have show MC. nowhere to live! “On Monday, There is a shortage Wednesday and of affordable Friday I am at accommodation Highland Paradise. for them because I tell the story of the development there because of my of tourism connection with properties.” the land and the Having said that, Tinomana tribe. Danny is a strong I am MC and an supporter of orator sharing the tourism. In August history and the Punanga Nui Market show host last year he was performing arts part of a troupe of 18 who spent of the Vaka of the Puaikura. six weeks in Hawaii, funded by Highland Paradise is located on the Cook Islands Government, Tinomana land. performing at the Polynesian “On Tuesday Ta’akoka Dance Cultural Centre promoting the Troupe, and on Saturday night Cook Islands. there is the Orama dance “The group consists of five Troupe at the Edgewater drummers, four female dancers, Resort. Each of the dance four male dancers, and two troupes has a different weavers, plus the group leaders. storyline”. “We did five shows a day for 36 You can also catch Danny, days to 1000+ people each day. musicians and young dancers in We got amazing TV, press and an entertaining show held at the Facebook coverage. popular Punanga Nui Market “Tourism is good as long as each Saturday morning. we use it properly and don’t Danny is a spiritual and go overboard, and get greedy! religious man and a proud We shouldn’t rush to 200,000 member of Rarotonga’s visitors in two years time – slow Mormon community. it down!” 20s. He’s in his second marriage now. He has five children: four girls and a boy.


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SEE & DO

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A few tips on Diving & Snorkelling Rarotonga

From Sabine

at The Dive Centre, aka The Big Fish If visitors have never scuba dived or snorkelled before, what can they do in Rarotonga to try out one or both of those experiences on an average stay?

a ‘discover scuba dive’ (from age 10) that includes a lagoon dive for training first, and then if they like it, a dive off the reef limited to twelve meters with maximum four divers + instructor, and we always have an instructor on the boat.

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here are lots of places, but a good place to start for both scuba and snorkelling is the The Dive Centre (obviously!) We’re located opposite one of the most gorgeous lagoons in Rarotonga with the oldest Raui and the Aroa Marine Reserve that boasts over eighty fish species, and its shallow - one and a half to three meters deep. Perfect for snorkelling and a first time scuba introduction.

What can snorkelers do to help keep Rarotonga's lagoons healthy? Don’t over swim the reef, stay at the edge of the reef where most of the fish are.

What are the minimum fitness levels and best tips for the enjoyment of snorkeling and diving?

What tips do you have for snorkellers about gear, best and worst times of day, sunscreen and water conditions?

For snorkelling: nearly everyone can try it, we are happy to help with the first steps if you never snorkelled before, fit you out with equipment and show you how its done. Some people are a little scared of scuba diving, but actually its a bit easier then snorkelling. The breathing is easy, but you will need to able to swim, that is important, but you don’t have to be a perfect swimmer. Certain medical issues will stop you from doing scuba diving, but most of them might not even apply when we take you into the shallow lagoon. If you are not sure always ask. Safety always comes first!

This depends on the day, location, and condition! Rarotonga is a small island. We are blessed to have our mountains, which usually give us one side of the island sheltered. This applies for snorkelling as well as scuba diving. The lagoons are mostly safe, but stay well away from any passage on the south side,

Where are the most popular snorkeling and diving locations?

which are dangerous! Gear has to fit well, as you won’t have a lot of fun if you have fins that are too big and you get some cramps, or even blisters if they are too small. Rain actually is really cool as the fish love to play with the bubbles. Outside

For snorkelling it’s the Aroa Marine Reserve, Fruits of Rarotonga and Tikioki Lagoon. For diving - hard to tell as we dive all around the island and it’s very different on each side. It also depends on the experience level of the diver. Most of the dive sites are between 18-25 meters and its usually easy diving.

Can visitors’ scuba dive in the lagoons as well as the open water? Yes they can; they could try

the reef, overcast brings the fish up a bit because they look for the sun. If you use sunscreen please be aware that your sunscreen can affect the reef in a very bad way and it’s our responsibility to protect the reef. Oxybenzone and Avobenzone are ingredients you don’t want to have in your sunscreen!

If you have to stand up, find a sandy area, put your full foot in the sand and shuffle backwards. No need for any food to attract fish, which can actually destroy our reef, just take two little stones off the beach go in the water and bang them together… you will be amazed what will happens!

What does a person who wears glasses or contact lens do about snorkeling or scuba diving? Contact lenses are usually not a problem at all with snorkelling and scuba diving. If your eyesight is bad you might want to look into buying a mask with prescription lenses before you coming to the Cooks, as they are not available here.

What do people most often say to you after diving in Rarotonga’s waters for a week or so? See you next time! We rely on people on returning once they’ve caught the ‘Rarobug’. For many beginners it’s the highlight of their trip as they are introduced to diving in a very safe, slow encouraging environment.

Sabine Janneck is co-owner of the Dive Centre (aka the Big Fish). She is from Germany and a qualified Padi Divemaster. Her passion is underwater photography and marine conservation/education. Sabine learned to dive in Mexico where she met her partner, Sascha. For more information: T: +682 20 238, mobile: +682 55 238 E: info@thedivecentre-rarotonga.com www.thedivecentre-rarotonga.com

o tourism at it’s best!

PA'S TREKS Ec

Across Island Track

• About 3.5 hours • Reasonable fitness needed (not suited for those with heart, ankle, knee or hip problems)

• Transport & light lunch provided • Monday to Friday - weather permitting

Medicinal Nature Walk

• A gentle walk through the noni plantation and taro fields to the mountain. Enter pristine rainforest, visit the sacred Marae. • Hear stories of Pa’s ancestors and learn about local herbal remedies. • Tuesday & Thursday

THE TRUE STORY OF PA & THE DOLPHINS Written and illustrated by his wife Jillian Sobieska, this story will delight and inspire children everywhere. Available from Bounty Bookshop or directly from Pa and Jillian

Bookings 21079 or email jillian@pasbungalows.co.ck | www.pastreks.com


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SEE & DO

BOOK REVIEW

A true story of Pa, Rarotongan hero and his return journey to Tahiti

Rarotonga's BIGGEST selection of

• Books • Newspapers • Maps • Postcards • Paperbacks • Stationery • Books on the South Pacific

Phone Cards Available Located next to Post Office

Phone 26 660

PA, ONE OF COOK ISLANDS ‘LIVING TREASURES’, IS A SPIRITUAL AND DIGNIFIED MAN, SURROUNDED BY IN A SERENE AURA THAT INSTANTLY CALMS THOSE IN HIS PRESENCE.

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oday, he is known for his eco tourism cross-Rarotonga treks and nature tours, but in his younger years he was an ocean swimmer who once swam from Moorea to Tahiti in French Polynesia to connect to his ancestors. He was 39 years old when he accomplished the swim in 1985, a distance of 22 km.

“Beautifully expressed and illustrated” Pa and the Dolphins: A true story of Pa, Rarotongan hero and his return journey to Tahiti is an illustrated children’s book

that tells of his great personal adventure and Polynesian spirituality. The story of Pa’s extraordinary swim and his intimate encounter with a pod of dolphins is beautifully expressed and illustrated by his wife, Jillian Sobieska. An authentic souvenir from the Cook Islands, the book can be purchased from the Bounty Bookshop next to the Avarua Post Office.

A new ‘e-way’ to get around Rarotonga IN MAY LAST YEAR, TANIA AND KARL FROM TIK-E TOURS, OPERATORS OF THE EVER POPULAR ELECTRIC TUK TUKS, INTRODUCED A NEW ENVIRONMENTALLYFRIENDLY WAY TO GET AROUND RAROTONGA… TIK-E BIKES.

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ur e-bikes are imported from a New Zealand supplier who designs and manufactures comfortable, functional electric-assist bikes from the best quality components,” said Tania.

“Tik-e Bikes offer three cycling options: cycle as you would on a normal bicycle, pedal assist up to 35kph, or fully electric.” Karl added that Tik-e Bikes are easy going for young and old, and suitable for just about all fitness levels. “You can circumnavigate the island at least twice on one single charge and there are no licence fees!” said Karl. “Just walk in, hire, and in 15 minutes you’re on your way. No paying for fuel as the battery can be easily removed and charged in your room.” Tik-e Bikes are located on the Main Road opposite Crown Beach Resort at Arorangi. When you hire an e-bikes chargers, helmets, and bike locks are supplied. “An e-bike offers a great alternative to really explore our beautiful island at your own pace,” said Tania.

Be captivated and charmed by Cook Island’s only Semi-Submersible Avatiu Harbour 5 min walk (west) from Punanga Nui Market

Ph +682 55901 or +682 55903

“We’ve always thought that people would love to cycle around the island but thought the distance was too much. An e-bike gives riders the confidence that they can do the full circuit with ease, using a combo of cycling, pedal assist, or fully electric.”

Tik-e Bikes: T: 28687 E: info@tik-etours.com Fb: @tikebikesrarotonga www.tik-etours.com

No Licence Fees

“Just walk in, hire, and in 15 minutes you’re on your way.”

Tik- e bikes

Electric bike hire Tours leave 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm (sea conditions dependent) Bookings essential for 9am and 4pm tours

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to departure time


CoOK ISLANDS SuN

ISLAND LIFE

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From top gunner to Muri Lagoon Trophy and Top Gunner with the 2/1 RNZIR and 1RNZIR. In all his time in the army, Tama never fired on a human being.

FORMER NEW ZEALAND ARMY SOLDIER, CURRENT MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, AND FOUNDER OF CAPTAIN TAMA'S LAGOON CRUIZES, RAROTONGA-BORN TAMAIVA TUAVERA HAS AN INSPIRING COOK ISLANDER SUCCESS STORY TO TELL.

Tamaiva Tuavera MP.

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elebrating 25 years in the lagoon cruising business, Tamaiva, or as he is better known in the tourism industry, Captain Tama, or just Tama, has a noteworthy family background.

“I am a proud Cook Islands Maori. My grandfather on my mother’s side, George Brown, is Scottish; he was a trader who settled on Mangaia. George had a family history of captains on vessels that sailed from England to New Zealand and Australia. George Brown was the manager for the island trading company AB Donald Ltd in Tahiti and the Cook Islands. “My mother is from Mangaia from the Brown family of thirteen children. My father is from the Maoate family of Ngatangiia but was raised by his mother's family in Matavera and took the surname Tuavera. Tama was born and raised in Matavera on Rarotonga; he too is one of thirteen children. “My father worked the land. He was a big grower; planting as much family land he could get his hands on. He was one of the first to bring in tractors.” This was in the 1950s and 60s when Rarotonga produce was mainly for export. Tama’s father grew mainly bananas, oranges and tomatoes for the New Zealand market. “Like every kid growing up on the island: you go to school, you go to church. My father was a deacon and the secretary of the Matavera Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC). “When I was a kid, I had what I considered three ‘grandfathers’ who looked after me. All war veterans: Papa Tuorotini (WW1), Papa Tiaki (real name Peter Cowan, WW2), and Papa

Image: Jaia Aria

Tiamu Aperau. They were my heroes and close relatives of my father. “They told me tales about their wartime experiences. They were my inspiration”. At primary school Tama was in the Life Boys and the Boys Brigade, which Tama said was very popular in his day. He was also into rugby and boxing.

“Like every kid growing up on the island: you go to school, you go to church.” “I won my boxing weight when I was nine or ten. They called it ‘paper weight’. After primary school I headed off to Tereora College. “When I was nearly fourteen I went to Rutherford High School in Auckland. I stayed with my sister.” High school was not for Tama so his sister arranged his first job making oil filters for cars. That didn’t last so he moved in with a cousin and started work with him as a furniture polisher. Tama then moved in with another cousin, this time in Wellington, where he started a spray painting apprenticeship. “By the time I reached 16, I felt like an old man who knew the world. I even hung out with gangsters! “Around that time I picked up on my rugby, playing every Saturday. I played half back and full back in the U-18 and U-19. On Sunday we played league.

“My biggest moment was when I got selected for the Wellington U-18s Rugby as open side flanker. I was playing a lot of rugby, and got a bad injury to my knee”. Around this time a friend, Hector George, who was in the army, wrote to Tama telling him: “This is the life!” “He was heading off to Singapore. I was 17 and wanted to be in the Police, so, I applied to both the Police and the armed forces. The response from the armed forces came first and I signed up as a rifleman for twenty years in the Infantry. “I went to Linton camp and worked for the training depot there. Years later, when I got out, Linton was my last posting in the army”. “I was an All Arms Instructor training office cadets, junior and senior NCOs.” Tama was in the army from 1976-1991. “My first posting was to the 2/1 RNZIR Battalion at Burnham. 1 RNZIR Battalion was in Singapore. NZ maintained its battalion in Singapore until 1989, peacekeeping. I served in Singapore for three tours. Our generation was called the ‘lost brothers’ - we didn’t get a chance to go anywhere, but we trained the ones that did!” Tama, or Tom as he was known in the army, became a number one machine gunner in the New Zealand Army. “I was the top machine gunner in both battalions and still hold the record for the highest score”. Tama was two times winner of SAFSIM Machine Gun Shoot (Singapore), and eight times winner of the Freyburg

Due to his persistent knee injury, Tama was medically discharged from the army in 1991 and was given his twenty years retirement. “On my return to Rarotonga I took a year off. I was in my early thirties and not married. I travelled to Tahiti on the Vaka Te Au O Tonga.

“When I settled on Rarotonga, I met my wife Lynn and we married four years later. We have a boy and a girl.” But before he was married, Tama worked with Aqua Sports, a small boat operating on Muri Lagoon taking tourists snorkeling. He worked with Junior Ioapa (who now has Marlin Queen Fishing Charters). At one stage Tama ran the boat whilst Junior went to Hawaii for eight weeks; he recalls enjoying the experience. “I also had a business mowing lawns and at the same time I worked at Tamure Restaurant as a part-time barman, where Club Raro is now. That’s where I met Lynn. It was turning into a fulltime job, which I didn’t want”. Tama said there was a glass bottom boat that operated out of Pacific Resort and the general manager, Thomas Koteka, asked if he wanted to run the boat for Pacific Resort.

“I said I would only do it if I ran it for myself as I didn’t want to work for anyone anymore. Thomas agreed to rent the boat to me. “Business began slowly, then Lynn made up a promotional pamphlet and we named the boat the Pacific Coral Cruiser.”

At that time Tama worked for himself, so not only did he captain the boat, he entertained guests with his ukulele, tied the pareu, cooked the BBQ on the motu, and climbed the coconut tree.

The reputation of the Pacific Coral Cruiser experience picked up and the business grew. “People started calling me Captain Tama. It got to the stage that I needed some help so I trained up a local guy, who I called Captain Pinky.”

“Tama, or Tom as he was known in the army, became a number one machine gunner in the New Zealand Army”. After six months, Tama bought his first boat from New Zealand. He designed it and it was purpose-built to carry up to 29 passengers. “We started running two cruise boats a day. One leased off Pacific Resort, the other mine.

“This was about the time Brother Love came in and worked for me around 1994, before his famous career began.” Brother Love (Rahui Vaka) became one of the best-known names of Cook Islands music, credited for bringing the Blues to the islands.

“It was also the time Pacific Resort decided to bring in their

own boat, so they asked me to move out of the resort. We moved to our current location next to the Rarotonga Sailing Club, and I eventually bought the Aqua Sports boat.

Today Captain Tamas Cruizes have four cruise boats, numerous sailboats, snorkelling hire, and windsurfing. “I recently donated two sailboats to the Sailing Club for the kids. I’ve been involved in the local community since I started the business, mainly though sport and the church.”

As a politician, political reform has always been on the top of Tama’s agenda. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and a former Deputy Leader. “My family have always been involved with the Democratic Party; my sister was the member for Matavera, and a cabinet minister.

“I represent Ngatangiia. My pet things are roads, the Muri lagoon, and reticulation in my village.”

Looking back, Tama is proud that Captain Tamas Lagoon Cruizes celebrated 25 successful years in 2017, and that the business is a past recipient of the prestigious Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards (Culture 2011). The future looks bright for Captain Tamas Lagoon Cruizes.

“Cook Islands Tourism is doing a great job, but I worry the infrastructure is not there, especially on Rarotonga.

“I want to expand Captain Tama’s outside of Muri. Maybe a glass bottom boat that is bigger; there could even be a submarine! I also want to expand into other businesses”. There was a twinkle in his eye when Tama talks about ‘other opportunities over the reef.’


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CoOK ISLANDS SuN

LOCAL HISTORY

Tiare Maori: beloved flower of the Cook Islands by Jean Tekura Mason, curator, Museum Cook Islands at Taputapuatea. LIKE EDELWEISS IS TO THE AUSTRIANS, SO THE STAR-LIKE TIARE MAORI (GARDENIA TAITENSIS) IS TO COOK ISLANDERS. TIARE MAORI IS OFTEN USED AS A METAPHOR IN MAORI POETRY AND SONG, TO DESCRIBE BEAUTY, OR A LOVED ONE. THIS FLOWER WITH ITS GENTLE FRAGRANCE, IS THE MOST BELOVED OF ALL FLOWERS AND HAS ALSO COME TO SYMBOLISE PURITY, ROMANTIC LOVE, LOVE FOR HOMELAND AND A LINK TO THE ANCIENT LAND OF ORIGIN, ’AVAIKI (HAWAIKI).

T

he waxy-leafed plant, which belongs to the Rubiaceae plant family, a relative of the coffee plant, originated in Asia and arrived in the Cook Islands with the early Maori settlers. Tiare is the generic Maori term for flower, but this flower is the only flower called ‘maori’, which means 'indigenous' in the Maori language of the Cook Islands. The plant’s common name Tahitian gardenia is a misnomer because it is not native to Tahiti. Its Latin name was derived from the specimens first collected in Tahiti by the French explorer, Dumont d’Urville, in 1824. There are many exotic and colourful plants in gardens in the Cook Islands, but none have the elegance and simplicity – and most of all – a place of reverence in the hearts of Cook Islands people. Tiare maori predates all other flowering plants in those gardens. A thick ’ei (garland) made from nearly-open tiare maori is considered the most prestigious of all ’ei and to have such garlands placed on your head and shoulders by friends or family shows the great love and respect they have for you. Tiare maori ’ei are given at weddings, graduations,

welcoming ceremonies, and at funerals. At a funeral, it is not uncommon to see the body of the dead, or the coffin, or grave layered with long wreaths of garlands made from this flower. It is also a custom in the Cook Islands to plant a tiare maori shrub on top of an ’enua (placenta) buried in the soil after the birth of a female child. Tiare maori is always picked in the evenings, just as the sun goes down, for this is when the flower opens. The flower that has been open for a day is never collected as it’s considered unsuitable for ’ei-making, although it may be used for other purposes, such as scenting coconut oil. Once used, a tiare maori ’ei is never thrown away – attempts are always made to prolong its life, either by putting it in the fridge (wrapped in a wet tea towel), or wrapping it in pawpaw leaves. Tiare maori 'ei may also be given to people to use to adorn themselves for a night out, or it is placed on the grave of a loved one. Sometimes, even after the flowers in the ’ei have turned brown, people will hang it in the bathroom or other room of the house for its fragrance, which seems to heighten as the flowers fade. This is Maori potpourri.

Many Cook Islands Maori people grow tiare maori shrubs around their homes and it is not uncommon to see Cook Islanders wearing the flower as part of their everyday dress, either behind the ear or in a coronet on their heads. A flower is also worn singly: men usually wear a bud behind the ear, women wear an open blossom either behind the ear, or in their hair. Not only is the flower used for ornamental purposes, the buds, flowers and leaves of this tree are used in traditional

Atiu warrior, Taratoa, is said to have planted one and the other two were planted by his companions in war: Marouna from Aitutaki and Ūe from Mangaia. The men, who fought some famous battles together, such as defeating the aitu (probably Tahitians) who had invaded Aitutaki, are said to have planted these trees to commemorate their friendship. On Manuae, near Aitutaki, there was known to be a very old tiare maori tree planted by Ruatapu, an explorer, about 800 years ago.

A popular song, composed by the late Mamia Tunui-Savage, a well-known dancer, singer and composer (died aged 48 in 2002), who originally hailed form Aitutaki, perfectly summarises the reverence held by Cook Islanders for this white, star-like flower: E tiare oki koe No te enua o te ui tupuna Te ei nei au ia koe Te poe nei ki taku taringa Kua riro te reira ei itiki i to taua inangaro E tiare maori Tupuanga toou mei ito mai Kia akaperepere’ia koe Kia vai uatu ei ruperupe No te enua Kia tanumia ia koe Ki te au tuaivi o te au maunga Koe rai taku purotu E tiare tupuna oki koe no taku ipukarea

Translation: You are the flower From the land of the forefathers I wear you as a garland I wear you on my ear It symbolises our binding love Tiare maori You have thrived since ancient times May you always be cherished May you always remain a symbol of the land's richness May you be planted On the hillsides You are my beauty An ancestral flower of my homeland. Acknowledgments: family of the late Mamia Tunui-Savage, Essie Mokotupu, & Bobby Browne.

medicine, especially for curing migraines, headaches, eczema and sinusitis. The flower of this plant is used to perfume coconut oil, which is massaged into the skin and hair; the waxy leaves of the plant are turned into funnels to pour coconut oil into the bottle, from which the oil is to be dispensed. Tiare maori plants thrive best in an area by itself - Maori people say it is a ‘jealous’ plant, not thriving when it is planted too near other plants. It grows well in sunny locations, in loose, loamy soil in coastal areas. Older plants can reach up to heights of 4-5 metres.

There are usually 5-7 petals in the flower but occasionally there are more and, like the four-leafed clover, this attracts attention.

TIARE MAORI IN FOLKLORE

For the first settlers of the Cook Islands this plant brought with it the memory of the original Polynesian homeland, ’Ava’iki, and the relatives left behind. The tiare maori remains today a tangible link to that proud past. In Mauke, at Oneunga, there were until recently, three tiare maori shrubs with very gnarled trunks. About 650 years ago the famed Mauke-

E

VISIT

njoy the exhibits and rare book collections at the Cook Islands Library and Museum, an organisation dedicated to the preservation of the history and culture of the Cook Islands. Located opposite the University of South Pacific; turn off at the Beachcomber Building (Uptown Avarua).

Opening hours Monday-Saturday: 9am-1pm Tuesday evenings: 4pm-7pm T: 26 468 E: librarymuseum@ cookislands.org.ck


CoOK ISLANDS SuN

A I T U TA K I

23

Stay a while in

Aitutaki

FAMOUS FOR ITS VAST BLUE LAGOON AND PALM-FRINGED BEACHES, AITUTAKI IS MORE PEACEFUL AND LESS CROWDED THAN RAROTONGA.

Image credit: Zhang Da Qiang

O

nly a forty five-minute flight from Rarotonga, Aitutaki is a peaceful little island paradise with lots to do…or nothing to do! The ‘lots’ include snorkeling, scuba diving, wind surfing, game and bone fishing, eating and drinking! The ‘nothing’

involves peace and quiet, relaxation and rejunination. Enjoy a combination of both!

Cook Islands, and some of the biggest banyan trees.

Aitutaki has a population of around 2000 and no dogs! The island was the first of the Cook Islands to embrace Christianity back in the early 1800s and it has the oldest church the

If you can’t stay a while in Aitutaki go for the day! Air Rarotonga’s Day Tour is a ‘great day out’ option for those who are only in the Cooks for a week or so.

THE AITUTAKI DAY TOUR – A GREAT DAY OUT! A

ir Rarotonga’s inclusive Aitutaki Day Tour operates Mondays to Saturdays departing at 8.00am, returning by 5.30 pm.

Only 45 min utes

to Aitutaki wit

h Air Rarotonga

On arrival you are taken on a onehour island tour by 'le truck'. This is followed by the Vaka Cruise aboard the 21m vaka (catamaran), Titi-ai-Tonga, which offers comfortable seating and deck sun loungers. There is time for snorkeling, swimming and beachcombing on the little islands in the lagoon, working up an appetite for a barbecue lunch cooked on board. Included in the Aitutaki Day Tour price of NZ$493.00 (including VAT) per person: • Pick up/drop off from/to your accommodation on Rarotonga. • Return flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki. • The Aitutaki Island Tour. • The Vaka Lagoon Cruise with stops on islands in the lagoon. • Snorkeling equipment and towels. • BBQ lunch, tea, coffee and water.

Book with the Air Rarotonga Tour Desk at Rarotonga International Airport or call 22 888 seven days a week. Enquire by email at bookings@airraro.co.ck or visit www.airraro.com

Te Vaka Cruise in Ai tut

aki lagoon .

Ima ge cred it: Dav id Kirk

land

Our well-maintained and modern fleet includes • small 4 door hatchback cars • 8 seater MPV's • 15 seater vans • automatic scooters Phone: (682) 31379 Email: fishing@aitutaki.net.ck www.popoaraoceanbreeze.com


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CoOK ISLANDS SuN

A I T U TA K I

Wet & Wild in Aitutaki – too much fun! A CHAT WITH QUINTON SCHOFIELD, OPERATOR OF THE LOCALLY OWNED AITUTAKI ADVENTURE BUSINESS WET & WILD. Tell us about your connection to Aitutaki

M

y connection to Aitutaki comes from my mother and her Aitutaki bloodline. Even though she grew up in New Zealand, it was her dream to come to Aitutaki and live. My father is from Australia, where I was born and grew up. They met living and working in New Zealand, then moved to Australia, and then Aitutaki. It’s great to have family and friends everywhere. I enjoy the best of three different worlds. I have been here for 19 years now.

Why and when did you start Wet & Wild? I started Wet & Wild a few years after I moved here. I used to help out Dad with building the bungalows at Ranginui’s Retreat in Ootu Beach, where our land is, and where we live. It was Mum’s dream for the family to move back to the Aitutaki together and build this place. We are happy she got her dream before she passed away, which is why on the front of the sign at Ranginui’s Retreat it says Moe Moe a Moana (Moana’s Dream).

I’d think to myself: “Man,

The first two years of the business, I would take people swimming with the dolphins every morning as part of my cruise, and would take ten on board. At the time there was no-one advertising private charters, so people started asking me for them and after a while I just went with it, so now I mainly just do private charters.

activities for tourist to enjoy. Now I do all the things I love to do, and I make a living from the business! It was difficult at the beginning. We opened and closed the business a couple of times, as it was not yet the time of the tourist boom we had all been waiting for.

Tell us about what visitors can do with Wet & Wild

On the weekends, when Mum was alive, I’d go out on the Quinton and Quinton Jr cruise boats that were operating at the time: Bishops, Paradise Island and Kit Kat cruises. I loved the job and life the crew had working on the best lagoon in the world: every day snorkeling, swimming with the fish and turtles, and visiting the motus (little islands).

“One of the best things about living in Aitutaki is the freedom”

One time comes to mind: we were out fishing, casting for GTs (Giant Trevally) and hooked up on a monster. The guy reeling in the fish got so tired he ended up laying on the deck on his back with his feet up on the side of the boat, and the rod poking out the top of the boat while still fighting this huge GT. I have never seen anyone fight a fish like that before. Not sure I ever will again unless, he comes back (ha-ha!)

Do visitors want private charters or do they ask to share a day out?

I wish I could do that for a permanent job”. Then a light went on in my head: “You can do that! But, what can I do to set myself a part from the rest”. In Australia, Dad had taken us fishing, hunting and camping. We grew up in and on the water. So I decided I wanted to blend everything in together fishing, water sports, with the beauty the lagoon had to offer. There were only two commercial fishing boat operators at the time, Foxy Lady and Baxter’s fishing boats. There was plenty of room to introduce more

Have you had any humorous experiences with clients of Wet & Wild?

opportunity, is swimming with the humpback whales while snorkeling along the drop off of the outer reef.

We’re into whale watching season. Does Aitutaki get its share of passing whales? We have some of the best whale seasons here in Aitutaki. When they are here, we head out each day and have up to a

90% sighting rate! Aitutaki is pretty much their destination. They are not just passing by. They stay for a few months with their calves, always playing and having fun. In the past, we have been really lucky to be able to swim next to these beautiful animals - an amazing lifetime experience - though it is important to be safe and have respect for the whales.

What do you like most about living in Aitutaki and running Wet & Wild? One of the best things about living in Aitutaki is the freedom. Having Wet & Wild allows me to do all the things I love, and I get to share amazing experiences with the world, through visitors! For more: www.wetnwild-aitutaki.com wetnwild@oyster.net.ck +682 31651

Visitors can do just about everything with us including deep-sea fishing, spear fishing, kite boarding, wake boarding, water skiing, tube riding, snorkeling, island hopping, sightseeing and whale watching. And, we provide a water taxi service. Anything to do with water and a boat, that’s us! All things Wet and Wild!

What makes enjoying the lagoon and ocean around Aitutaki so special? The best thing about Aitutaki is that is a long way from the rest of the world. It is a beautiful and remote place, with one of the most beautiful lagoons on the planet. When visitors leave, they say: “Oh well, it’s time to go back to the real world!” But I think they all have it wrong. I think that this is the real world, and this is the lifestyle we should all have, and this is how it should be. For me, Aitutaki is the best place in the world!

What is the most ‘ask for’ water experience in Aitutaki? Because we cater for so many activities and options, clients often try everything they can in the time they have on the island. But, probably the best ‘lifetime experience’ for those clients who have the

Kite Surng Tube Riding Water Skiingg Wake Boarding ing Snorkelling Boat Charters rs Deep Sea Fishing Spear Fishing Water Taxi Whale Watching (seasonal) Beachfront accommodation

E: wetnwild@oyster.net.ck T: 31651, 56558 or 75980


CoOK ISLANDS SuN YES, we do it all. Let my husband

andgreat I take you out on one A day out! of our Personalised Charters.

A I T U TA K I

CK PEARL A L B CHARTERS 1.DEEP SEA FISHING - Fish the FADs and drop offs for Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. Other fishing available, jigging, live baiting, bottom fishing and casting for GTs. Experience not required.

All Charters include, transfers, breakfast or lunch, hot and cold drinks, towels, snorkelling equipment, etc. Certificate of Excellence

2. PRIVATE LAGOON / SNORKELLING TOURS - Enjoy a day exploring our lagoon without the crowds. More snorkeling than any other operator, including the outer reef. Visit as many islands as time allows and enjoy a BBQ on One Foot Island. Timings are flexible and families welcome. Half days also available. 3. SPEARFISHING - Spearfish your own lunch or dinner, experience not required. Phone Give us a call for details. 31125 home

www.blackpearlaitutaki.com

52 125 mobile Email: tekotia@aitutaki.net.ck

Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar +682 31009 reservations@aitutakivillage.com www.aitutakivillage.com

Ph. [682] 31 810 Fax. [682] 31 816 reservations@tamanubeach.com A I T U TA K I • C O O K I S L A N D S www.tamanubeach.com

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CoOK ISLANDS SuN

AT I U

Enjoy

Atiu

JACKEY TANGA WAS BORN ON ATIU BUT SPENT MANY YEARS IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA BEFORE ‘COMING HOME’ IN 2011. SINCE RETURNING, JACKEY HAS WORKED AT ATIU VILLAS. HERE SHE SHARES SOME INSIDER TIPS FOR VISITORS WHO WANT TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THEIR TRIP TO ATIU.

Best place to meet the locals is at a tumunu

ATIU ISLAND, ALSO KNOWN AS ENUAMANU (LAND OF THE BIRDS) LIES 187 KILOMETRES NORTHEAST OF RAROTONGA.

Best place to watch the sunrise and the sunset on Atiu.

T

he best place to watch sunset is Taungaroro beach, and for sunrise - Oneroa beach. Personally, my favourite is watching the sunset at Taunganui Harbour. If you’re watching it from the top where all the tables are, looking across the horizon, you feel small compared to the ocean, and problems seem to fade away.

Best way to get see the island Depends on how long you have on Atiu. If you have more than three days, then I recommend walking or motorbikes. And, don't worry; traffic does not exist on Atiu! If you only have two nights, an island Eco tour with Birdman George, or the Island Discovery tour with Marshall is the way to go.

“Everyone is so friendly, that you could say hi to the same person five times today and they will always wave back!”

Top ‘must do’ activities One off my favourite ‘must do’ activities is dinner at Kura's Kitchen at Atiu Villas. The bar opens at 6.30pm most nights, and guests and visiting diners mingle and get to know each other in a nice atmosphere. But not only that, they get to meet the locals. There’s Ina (the chef), Mags or Denisha (the chef ’s assistant), Andrew (barman) and me (Jackey, your hostess) Also, it’s a good place to organise tours and learn local knowledge.

Best beach experience on the island Best question to ask yourself is, do you want a beach to yourself or not. Our most popular beach is Taungaroro beach, and like most beaches around Atiu it is most likely empty, with no signs of human life. So if you do go to Taungaroro and there is already someone

Jackey Tanga works is an all-rounder for Atiu Villas

around, you just ask yourself the question: ‘to move or not to move to another beach?’

Best cultural activity(s) for visitors The cultural experiences depend on the month you travel to Atiu. For example, in July there is Constitution week (aka Independence week). This is a time where you will witness locals creating costumes, practicing their singing and dancing - a lovely cultural experience. I also love December because it is time when all our families come back to Atiu and hold different functions. You might get invited to celebrations such as weddings and birthdays - a real way to immerse yourself in local family celebrations.

Andrew takes you to the best places to go fishing. It’s always a nice experience going with the locals, often you’ll see children learning how to fish from their parents.

Best long walk on the island If you have 4-5 spare hours, the best walk is from Matai beach to Orovaru (Captain Cook’s Landing). Matai beach is about 30 minutes from Atiu

Villas. The walk from Matai and onwards is quiet and peaceful. Secluded, but not lonely, the walk experience is tranquility in itself. The roads are shaded most of the way so getting a sunburn is not possible. And, most likely, there is not a person around, except wildlife. Most of the area is a conservation site. Don’t forget to take a bottle of water, mosquito repellants, camera, and if you want a rest and a swim, there’s plenty of beaches to have a picnic on.

Best place (s) to meet the locals The tumunu. Best place to meet people, but also learn about the traditional method of brewing beer. Because everyone’s tongues are loose, thanks to the brew, it is very easy to learn new things about Atiu. Local gossip is what most people would call it.

Something interesting about Atiu that all visitors should know Everyone is so friendly, that you could say hi to the same person five times today and they will always wave back!

Don’t leave Atiu without ... Trying the island night. If you can organise an island night for more than 10 people, then it is on. The island nights are a way for you to see young kids dancing but also enjoying themselves. And the elders singing and playing their instruments. More information: www.atiu.info www.atiuvillas.com

Best fishing experience

Cook’s Landing is a tiny and secluded beach

When going lagoon fishing with Andrew (tour guide) you’ll learn lots of local knowledge, especially if there are other locals around.

Cook Islands specialists for inter-island packages, local tours and activities Foreign Exchange and Money Transfers A one-stop shop with personalised service

INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC AIRFARES & ACCOMMODATION Located Main Road, Avarua | jetsave@cooks.co.ck www.jetsave.co.ck | CALL 27 707

Your hosts Roger and Kura will make your stay an exciting adventure Phone: (682) 33 777 | Email: roger@atiuvillas.com On-line bookings at www.atiuvillas.com - Free email & internet For more information on Atiu Island visit www.atiu.info


CoOK ISLANDS SuN

ISLAND LIFE

A1 Meitaki Awards Explained By Metua

Vaiimene | Director of Destination Development Cook Islands Tourism Corporation

Why were the A1 Meitaki Awards introduced, when, and who is eligible to be nominated?

What rewards do businesses receive when reaching the Top 30?

T

he Kia Orana Values program was launched in 2015 and one of the values we have is Tupuranga Tangata or the development of our people. This principle means that we will invest in our people in the tourism industry.  Part of this investment is rewarding and recognising the hard working members of the tourism industry in all facets of the business.  The A1 Meitaki Awards recognises outstanding customer service.  Visitors receive good customer service and can nominate an individual or a business to receive an A1 Meitaki Award.  Only those who receive multiple nominations will be eligible for the awards, and only the top 30 who receive the most number of nominations will ultimately receive the award.  This reward and recognition is one way to reinvest in our people who are the essential ingredient in our tourism industry.  What is the role of

Cook Islands Tourism in the process of nomination with the business community and the visitors?

The nomination process is secured by Cook Islands Tourism through the entry bins located in their information offices and at the Rarotonga Airport.  CI Tourism monitors the nominations during the year, collates these and goes on to coordinate the awards recognition ceremony.  Currently this ceremony is held every year around World Tourism Day in September.  CI Tourism helps to highlight and recognise these individuals and businesses through the awards ceremony, and awareness and promotion through our social and other media channels.  Our main partner in this program –

Metua Vaiimene, Director of Destination Development for CI Tourism

Cook Islands Sun – also highlights the A1 Meitaki Awards and the winners.

Describe the response to date from both visitors and the business community, and maybe give some 'role model' examples of businesses and visitor comments. Hundreds of nominations have been received in the two years since the awards started.  This is an indication that visitors appreciate this opportunity to recognise those who have helped

No Cook Isl

ands event

is com plete

make their stay enjoyable, but also that members of the tourism industry are indeed providing exceptional

customer service. A number of both businesses and individuals have twice received A1 Meitaki Awards (2016 & 2017), further validating their place as a recipient of an A1 Meitaki Award.  An example of this is Alone from Aroa Beachside Inn, who has received multiple nominations each year.  Aroa Beachside Inn – Alone: ‘Fabulous people skills, friendly and a true example of the Cook Islands Kia Orana Spirit’ was one of the comments received for this outstanding

without m us

ic

employee. The friendly nature of the people of the Cook Islands is exactly what the A1 Meitaki Awards highlights.

ound), and the Hen ry Puna (foregr celebrations & Minister for Tourism cam era) attend the The Prim e Minister th (wi Fua a ato Hal CEO of CI Tourism ,

Club Raro – Louisa Charlie: ‘always smiling, very welcoming, went the extra mile for us, and others. Made our trip worthwhile. We will always stay at Club Raro, because of Louisa’. This comment epitomises why we have the A1 Meitaki Awards. This highlights the value of customer service and the return that businesses can get by investing in their staff.   Since the first awards ceremony it has been great to see businesses proudly displaying their A1 Meitaki Award Certificates and those of their employees for customers to see.  This is one reward that businesses receive when they, or their employees, reach the Top 30. 

“The friendly nature of the people of the Cook Islands is exactly what the A1 Meitaki Awards highlights”. The other is the recognition that those businesses can now give to their employees over and above that given by their customers. Through these kinds of awards more and more businesses are realising the value of investing in key staff and how great customer service adds to their viability.  A number of business owners have personally thanked us for the awards and the way the awards have helped them to relook at their human resources.  One business owner did not realise the level of interaction between their guests and their non-front line employees.  Others have thanked us where the awards have validated their development and investment in a particular staff member.

What is your message to the business community, and to visitors, regarding future A1 Meitaki Awards? We encourage our visitors to continue to highlight the positive and negative experiences they have when visiting the Cook Islands.  Feedback received through the A1 Meitaki nominations and other means is essential to building a sustainable tourism industry.  We encourage businesses to have their own staff development and recognition programs.  We look forward to more A1 Meitaki awards and are confident that the fun and exciting model that has been used in this instance can be replicated to target other areas of human resource development. Metua Vaiimene 

Smiles all around from CI Touri

lie from Louise Char

Ikurangi Ec

o Retreat ar

Club Ra ro re

e in the top

Captain Tama congratulates

Paul Ash collect s the

sm staff mem bers

ceives her ce

30 for the se

rtific ate

cond tim e

staff mem ber Antonia Poa

awa rd for Castaway

Resort Restaurant

SEE MORE RECIPIENTS ON THE BACK PAGE

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CoOK ISLANDS SuN

COMMUNITY

28

COOK ISLANDS SUN SUPPORTERS

A1 Meitaki Awards Presentation WORLD TOURISM DAY 2017 WAS CELEBRATED IN TRUE ‘KIA ORANA STYLE’ WITH THE THIRD A1 MEITAKI AWARDS PRESENTED BY THE PRIME MINISTER (WHO IS ALSO MINISTER FOR TOURISM), THE HONORABLE HENRY PUNA, AT MAIRE NUI PARK IN AVARUA.

V

isitors to the Cook Islands, who complete a simple nomination form at the Tourism Information Office in Rarotonga or Aitutaki, or at Rarotonga Airport, choose A1 Meitaki Award recipients. Cook Islands Tourism’s Director of Destination Development Metua Vaiimene was the master of ceremonies warmly greeting all those attending, especially the Prime Minister, and the New Zealand High

Commissioner, Peter Marshall. Over 30 people were awarded for providing exceptional customer service to visitors. “Through their friendly and professional customer service, members of the community continue to ensure that any of our visitors can access the wonders of our little paradise,” Vaiimene said.  PM Puna congratulated each recipient of an A1 Meitaki Award.

VIPs included the New Zealand High Commissioner, Peter Marshall and the Air New Zealand Country Manager, Marissa Newman

with esian Rentals g from Polyn Kristian Youn urism ’s Aunt y Na ne To Cook Islands

NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR AN A1 MEITAKI AWARD Simply complete an A1 Meitaki Award form at any Cook Islands Tourism Information Centre, or at Rarotonga International Airport, and nominate an individual or a business in the Cook Islands for excellence in service to a visitor. When an A1 Award is given, the recipient receives nothing more than grateful acknowledgement and a certificate.

YOUR CHANCE TO SAY MEITAKI! Reward excellent service in the Cook Islands by nominating an individual or a business for an A1 Meitaki Award.

Direc tor of De stination Deve lop ment Metua Vaiim en e with tea m me mbers

Serena Hunter from Koka Lagoon Cruises Remiah from the Fudge Factory, Cooks Corner

Captain Moko and friends

rs from Team m em be es ur Ariki Advent

Alone (yes , that ’s her na m e!) from Aroa Be achside In n

Adventure Cook Islands Air Rarotonga  Alberto’s Restaurant  Anchorage Restaurant & Bar  Ariki Adventures Bite Time Café Body Fuel Café Ariki Adventures  Atiu Villas & Kura’s Kitchen Avaiki Cook Islands Pearls Boat Shed Restaurant & Bar Bishops Cruises Black Pearl Charters Blossom at id.CK Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar Café Jireh Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes Charlie’s Café & Beach Hire CIPS  CIPS Electronics/Jaycar  Coco Putt Bistro & Bar Cook Islands Real Estate Cook’s Fudge Factory  Crusoe’s Restaurant & Bar Deli-Licious Café Dive Aitutaki  Dive Centre  Edgewater Resort & Spa Factory Outlet  Farm Direct Pearls  FEXCO Money Exchange Flambé Restaurant Goldmine  Good Life  Highland Paradise Centre Id.CK  Island Car & Bike Hire Islander Hotel & Hula Bar Jetsave Travel  Kaingavai Water Garden Tea House & Vegetarian Eatery Kikau Hut Restaurant  KiteSup Watersports Koka Lagoon Cruises La Casita Café  Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro  Love a Little Pearl Marlin Queen Fishing Charters Matutu Brewery Moana Gems & Art Gallery  Oceans Restaurant & Bar  OTB Restaurant & Bar Pa’s Treks Pacific Weave Perfumes of Rarotonga Polynesian Rentals  Popoara Rentals  Raro Quad & Buggy Tours Raro Reef Sub Eco Tours Rarotonga Rentals Rickshaw Café Muri Rito Cook Islands Rumours Waterfall Spa Sabati Sails Restaurant & iSOBAR Salsa Café  Saltwater Café  Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar  Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar Spa Ariki Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill Tamanu Beach Tamarind House T&S ArtworX Te Tika Bioactive CI Oils The Café  The New Place  The Spa Tik e-Tours Tik e-Bikes Tivaevae Collectables Tokerau Jim Treasure Chest Tumunu Restaurant & Bar Waterline Restaurant & Beach Bar Wet and Wild Aitutaki Vaima on the Beach Restaurant Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant & Bar

19 1,23 14-15 14-15 18 14-15 14-15 18 26 6 23 25 25 2 2 14-15 21 14-15 2 2 14-15 9 2 14-15 14-15 25 18 10, 16  2 6 22 14-15 6 2 12  2 3 5, 14-15 26 14-15 14-15 19 19 14-15 14-15 6 18 17 6 14-15 14-15 19 2  2  1, 28 23 21 20 4  14-15 10 10 17 14-15 14-15 14-15 14-15 8,14-15 10 14-15, 16 24 14-15  24 11 14-15 14-15  8 18 20 4 8 8 14-15  14-15  24 14-15 14-15

Cook Islands Sun Jan-Jun 2018 edition  

Travel magazine for visitors to the Cook Islands, including See & Do, Eat & Drink, News & Reviews, Shopping, and Local Stories.

Cook Islands Sun Jan-Jun 2018 edition  

Travel magazine for visitors to the Cook Islands, including See & Do, Eat & Drink, News & Reviews, Shopping, and Local Stories.