Te Ipukarea Society AGM

Te Ipukarea Society AGM

On Wednesday evening this past week Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) held its 26th Annual General Meeting at the Karika Palace. A large number of constituents from the general public, government and local NGO members gathered to hear about the achievements of TIS over the past year and elect an executive board for the coming year.

There was not a lot of change in the make-up of this year’s board, With Teina Mackenzie  continuing on as President for another term, as is Avaiki Aperau as Vice-President.  Anna Koteka retains the treasurer role, and Inano McMurchy has taken on the role of Secretary.  The meeting acknowledged the long term commitment of Jolene Bosanquet, a founding TIS member and the outgoing Sectertary, who was standing down for the coming year.  Other board members relected were Jessie Sword, Sabine Janneck, June Hosking and Natalie Telfer.

The past year for TIS has been a year of collaboration and growth. Through these collaborations with government and other NGOs in the Cook Islands, the Pacific, and Internationally, Te Ipukarea Society has been able to continue its valuable work.

Kelvin Passfield, Technical Director of Te Ipukarea Society, presented on a range of projects completed over the previous year, showcasing just how far-reaching and diverse the nature of the work done by TIS is. These projects focussed on biodiversity, waste management, deep sea mining, and youth and community education. This presentation also allowed TIS to acknowledge collaborations with Korero o te Orau, the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, the National Environment Service, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, the Tourism Industry Council and more recently a partnership with Cook Islands Family Welfare Association. Passfield also acknowledged the support of various funding partners including the United States Consulate General in Auckland, the GEF Small Grants Programme and UN Women.

Beyond the presentation, guests at the AGM were also treated to the premierre of a video produced by  Alanna Smith, Conservation Program Manager at TIS. The short film showcased some of the work conducted on the recent rat eradication voyage to Suwarrow, the Cook Island's first national park. During the 23-day expedition, the TIS team, in collaboration with the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, and the National Environment Service, spread hundreds of kgs of rat bait on two small motu.  They  believe they have now successfully eradicated the last of the Pacific rat population from Suwarrow. This is incredibly valuable work for the thousands of nesting seabirds which inhabit the the atoll.  However, success cannot yet be guaranteed until a moniring trip to the motu is completed in the next year or two.

In concluding the presentations it was noted that the year had been filled with many examples of concern, love and care for the environment. These examples were not only by staff  of the Society but also by all of its volunteers, members, donors and businesses who have continued their support throughout the year.

If you want to learn more about the work that Te Ipukarea Society does, visit their website http://wwwtiscookislands.org or drop in for a chat.   Their office is next door to Rarotonga Printing, about 200m on the Tupapa side of the Court House.  If are interested in becoming a member or a corporate sponsor for this next 12 months, please contact Te.ipukarea.society.inc@gmail.com