The million stars weaving galley show at Bergman & Sons

The White ribbon day campaign came to a close with the million stars weaving project gallery show at Bergman & son facilitated by Merita Wi-Kaitaia and well known artist Ani O’Neil in collaboration with Punanga Tauturu Inc. Winners of the stars weaving pledges were also announced on the night.

The Million stars weaving gallery show.
The many beautiful million stars on display.
The huge overwhelming support from the community.

Thank you to the New Zealand High commissioner for the grant funding support towards the million stars weaving project. A huge thank you to Bergman & sons ongoing support and the provision of a space for the stars.

The million stars weaving opening ceremony.


For more information connect to the Million stars weaving project face book page.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

BCI – million stars project pledge

On the 1st November 2016 the BCI Manager Vaine Arioka a strong advocate against domestic violence and  committee member of PTI presented their over two thousand stars weaved by staff. This was received by the PTI president Inano McMurchy. The PTI manager Nga Teinangaro explained the originality of the Million stars project and how pledges all over the world is an instrumental awareness tool against domestic violence and to shed a little light in victims or survivors living in a domestic violence situation. BCI manager also request for PTI counselor to talk about mental health issues in relation to domestic violence victims or survivors and the white ribbon campaign.

Presentation of over two thousand stars by BCI staff members.

It is so great to see the overwhelming support from BCI.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Bluesky Human resource – Basic counselling skills training

Basic counselling skills was delivered to the Bluesky Human resource personnel as part of their professional development training and to assist with their management skills in being able to provide the appropriate support and assistance  to Bluesky staff. The training also focused on picking up early at risk signs among the staff in relation to the increasing number of suicide attempts identified in the Cook Islands who are unable to cope with relationship issues, staff experiencing domestic violence, grieving when loved ones passed away and everyday frustration or stresses in life. The Human resource personnel will also be trained on how to deliver mediation counselling for the staff as well as division line managers.

The basic counselling skills was delivered for four half days beginning at 9 am and ending at 1 pm. At the end of the training a certificate was presented to the participants on completion of the training. PTI Counsellor Nga Teinangaro provided a group session for one division in relation to grief and how to deal with it especially with the passing away of loved ones.

Bluesky Basic counselling skills training with the Human resource.

 Thank you Bluesky for the donation & very much appreciated from all the PTI staff, president and committee members.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Lets talk about it – Radio talk show

A Radio talk back show in relation to the White Ribbon campaign was organised by George George the male advocate officer against domestic violence as a support to PTI. The Cook Island assistant DV unit Police officer  Teau Rakei and the New Zealand DV unit Police officer Charlene Peters discussed about the domestic violence procedures when domestic violence incident occurs and to further discuss about the Police role in the White ribbon day campaign.

  New Zealand DV unit Police officer Charlene Peters with PTI president Inano McMurchy.

The Lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen represented PTI on legal matters regarding domestic violence incidents and Non molestation orders or court orders or the rights of the victims and perpetrators and the appropriate procedures to follow in relation to domestic violence. Further discussion on the Domestic violence section in the Family Law bill and issues regarding the Crimes Act in relation to the Family law bill.

The Ministry of Education Eitiare Vano was also present to raise awareness about the parenting tool as an early intervention strategy to break the domestic violence cycle. The effective parenting focused on how to rear and nurture children appropriately and in strengthening good or strong family bond to maintain a healthy relationship within the family unit.

 PTI information booth with committee member Ann Taruia.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

The 16 Days Campaign to White Ribbon Day

Part of the campaign was not only to raise awareness on Family violence but was used as an opportunity to raise funds for small projects, future white ribbon assistance, resources.  T-shirts were sold at $25.00 as well as the  distribution of the white ribbon to the general public with gold coin donation. PTI continues to sell t-shirts from its office to members of the public and we hope to build on the momentum from this year to plan in advance for the White Ribbon Day campaign for 2017 with continual partnership with all key stakeholders.

Ura fitness organizers Avera Hunter and Alana Short offered their time to organise a Ura fitness activity on the 1st November 2016 as one of the 16 days campaign for the month leading to the actual white ribbon day. Tickets were sold and presold leading to the activity aimed to take place outside the Auditorium on the allocate day and donated to assist and support PTI. The ura fitness also advocates awareness on domestic violence aimed for women living in such a situation and to use ura fitness as part of their health coping mechanism to ensure wellness. Key stakeholders, PTI clients, Honorable Rose Brown was also present identified as one of the strongest advocate on domestic violence, Bredina of INTAFF, BCI manager Vaine Arioka & staff, Rotoract, youth, NGOs and many people in the community attended the activity. Thank you for the HUGE support.


Coordinated by Avera & Alana
URA FITNESS activity on the day.



URA FITNESS as one of many coping mechanism skills.


Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

White Ribbon Day: 2016

Ministry of Internal Affairs
Say No to Domestic Violence!
Church service to open the White Ribbon day.

White ribbon.svg

The white ribbon campaign throughout this month is aim to ELIMINATE men’s violence towards women by encouraging men to take ownership of this important issue and model good behaviour that can change attitudes. The first WHITE RIBBON campaign was launched by a group of men in Canada following a brutal mass shooting of 14 women in their country on the 6th December 1989 also known as the MONTREAL Massacre. The campaign runs from the 25th November recognised worldwide as the “INTERNATIONAL day for the Elimination of Violence against Women “until the 6th December.

Punanga Tauturu Inc in partnership with the Cook Islands Police with support from the PPDVP- Teau Rakei (Cook Islands Police & Charlene Peters of the NZ police, INTAFF, Cook Islands Police, Ministry of Health, NGOs such as Te Kainga, Creative centre, Disability & Te Vaerua, NCW, Rotai’anga, Ministry of Education, Tourism, Bluesky, BCI, small businesses, Vaka Iva, CITC, Cook Island Radio, George George the male advocate against domestic violence & the community celebrated The White ribbon day in the Cook Islands on the 25th of November 2016.

PTI committee members strongly say NO to violence against women & Children.
The men Mentor & Support group.

Of significance to PTI and the community was the visible involvement of the Cook Islands key stakeholders working collaboratively in support of the White Ribbon day programme which was held at the Banana Court Park. The programme kicked off with a service at the Avarua Catholic Church, marching and flag raising by the Cook Islands Police in front of the Police headquarters in Avarua. The activities on the day included the white ribbon HOPE tree by the acting Police Commissioner and prominent members of the community as an indication of their commitment to eliminating violence against women in the community.  The acting Police Commissioner in his speech reiterated his personal commitment to ensuring that women feel safe in their home and advised that Domestic violence is a priority area for the police and has been included in their strategic plan as a key output.

Punanga Tauturu Inc organize events prior and after the White Ribbon day and not only on the day but also activities during the 16 days commemoration period beginning with the White Ribbon Day.

STOP the Violence community support.
The symbol of HOPE !
Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Atiu Takes Part in Mental Health Awareness Programme


Punanga Tauturu Violence Against Women and Children Co-ordinator Rebeka Buchanan travelled to Atiu at the end of July to deliver our Gender-Based Violence awareness programme as part of Te Kainga o Pa Taunga Mental Health Centre’s Mental Health Awareness workshop. She joined the team including Co-ordinator Mereana Taikoko and Committee Member Mavis Tere of Te Kainga and Ministry of Education staff Eitiare Vano.

Left to Right: Punanga Tauturu Inc VAWCC Rebeka Buchanan, Te Kainga Co-ordinator Mereana Taikoko, Ministry of Education Parenting Programme Co-ordinator Eitiare Vano.


The Mental Health Awareness programme aims to empower different people in the community with the knowledge to better help their family and friends who are in their old age, have a disability or facing violence. Rebeka spoke about the philosophy behind Gender and Gender-Based Violence, why we are advocating to end it and how the Cook Islands has an obligation to end violence against women and children after signing to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Coping during difficult times and dealing with anger management are both difficult habits to achieve, Rebeka also had participants take part in our Basic Counselling Skills activities and Communication Skills programme.

Part of the programme also looked at resilience building . Presentations included improving communication and active listening with youth and the elderly, learning different parenting skills and understanding dynamics in love and marriage relationships. Mereana presented Te Kainga’s Suicide Prevention Strategy that emphasises measures the community can take to reach out to those who may be struggling or have become disconnected from others. She also spoke about how important it is to also talk with and listen to anyone who may experience a loved one commit suicide.

Te Kainga also took their Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme to the island. Mereana also spoke about this day programme and the importance of having a day of activity and social contact for the elderly and disabled. Those who have caretaking expertise living on each island manage the PSR programme and plan to run it each week. The programme includes starting the day with devotion, a form of simple exercise, morning tea or lunch and activities such as art, singing or yoga. Contact Te Kainga o Pa Taunga for more information on 20162.

Mereana presenting Te Kainga’s Suicide Prevention Strategy

Presenting the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme


Following on from resilience building, Ministry of Education Parenting Programme Co-ordinator Eitiare Vano presented a Parenting Skills programme that Ministry of Education have endorsed for the community to access. Examples of topics included in the Programme are parenting styles, peer pressure and the “V of Love” parenting model that explains the importance of having boundaries to keep your kids safe and widening those boundaries as they become more independent. Training on parenting for specific age groups of children was something that was felt might be needed more. You can contact Eitiare Vano at Ministry of Education for more information about the Parenting Programme on 29357.

Around 60 participants came and went through the various presentations, including High School students, parents and grandparents. The Programme was funded by Social Impact Fund and Australia Aid.

Rebeka presents on Communication Skills at the Enuamanu School.

Participants at the workshop included NGO volunteers. In this photo Paul Maaka from Public Health is pictured in the centre.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Mauke: Local NGOs and Government deliver second round of MH training

Punanga Tauturu Inc. VAWCC Rebeka Buchanan (top right) with Mauke au mama enjoying a taste of what Te Kainga’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme for the elderly, mentally ill and disabled.

Empowering changes in attitudes towards mental health, disabilities and gender-based violence was the aim of a recent follow-up trip to Mauke by NGOs Te Kainga o Pa Taunga, Punanga Tauturu Women’s Counselling Centre and the Disability and Child and Family Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Around 70 people attended the four day programme that focused on fostering positive communication and action to help lift the burdens facing people with mental illness, disability, old age and living with violence.

Te Kainga Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre Co-ordinator Mereana Taikoko, who organised the programme, said the workshop was based on a previous programme implemented in 2014 which Mauke residents wanted to host again with topics on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Gender-based Violence and training for elderly and people with disability carers.

“This time we had to partner with Punanga Tauturu and the Ministry of Internal  Affairs, we were able to deliver a wider range of topics based around the same social issues,” said Taikoko, “one of our issues in the Pa Enua is community-wide communication and initiative on what to do to alleviate the burden of living with mental illness, and lack of resources adds to the problem. The topics we presented centred around effective and non-violent communication in family relationships, and the values of respect and patience.”

Ministry of Internal Affaris’ Lanieta Matanatabu (top) and Annafaye Newbigging (right) with mama Irene Tuara of Mauke.


Five trainers flew to Mauke to deliver the programme, which was funded by Australia Aid and Social Impact Fund, with sponsorship from Air Raro, The Sterling Foundation Fund and Ministry of Marine Resources. Trainers included Mereana Taikoko, Mangaia Fisheries Officer Tua Matepi, Punanga Tauturu VAWCC Rebeka Buchanan, Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Lanieta Matanatabu and Annafaye Newbigging.

The target participants for the programme were Mauke youth and senior school students, however young and old attended the workshop. The team reported the participants enjoyed the workshop, and while for many the topics discussed were a refresher, for some it was an eye-opener.

Taikoko delivered training on suicide prevention, the ageing process and basic care skills for parents and caregivers of those with disabilities or mental illness and caregivers of the elderly. She also helped establish a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme for Mauke residents similar to the one offered at their Centre in Rarotonga.

Tua Matepi of Ministry of Marine Resources presenting to Mauke School senior students about Acohol and Drug Abuse. In the past, Matepi has been an active supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous and education on responsible drinking in the Cook Islands.


Fisheries Officer Tua Matepi, on behalf of Te Kainga, presented on Alcohol and Substance addiction, while Rebeka Buchanan of Punanga Tauturu presented on Gender-based violence, effective parenting and communication in family relationships.

“The baseline reasons for gender-based violence is power imbalance in relationships, instigated by the old social belief that women are not equal to men,” said Buchanan, “it is important to have our people be aware of the reasons domestic violence happens rather than blaming surface issues such as drinking too much alcohol.”

Ministry of Internal Affairs Child & Family Division’s Annafaye Newbigging spoke about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and families at risk and roles and responsibilities in the family. The general awareness and focus in her sessions comprised of both Care and Protection matters and Juvenile Justice issues.

“It is important that families and the communities get involved in finding solutions or alternative care for our children.” said Newbigging.

“Our children have been victims of neglect, abuse, truancy and other criminal activities. Adoption and other matters of custody and access of children, child support arrangements have also been seen at the Division and this can be dealt with between the parties involved, without any court proceedings, should they find the best, fairest and safe solutions suitable and in line with the best interests of the child,” she added.

Disability Division’s Lanieta Matanatabu presented on Early Identification and Intervention for people with disabilities, Understanding Persons with Disabilities, Caring for Persons with Disabilities and Basic Communication Skills with Persons with disabilities.

“The highlight of the workshop was the review of the Disability Action Plan for Mauke, which was developed around the same time last year as part of the Disability Inclusive Development Project, and although gradual changes have been identified, there is still alot of work to be done in the areas of accessibility and the elimination of stigma towards persons with disabilities,” said Matanatabu.

“Most of the challenges hindering the implementation of this Action Plan was due to the limited resources available on the island to cater for the specific needs of persons with disabilities” she added.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Puaikura residents gain Human Rights insight

Members of the Puaikura community joined us in our very first Puaikura Human Rights workshop held at Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute on the 16th and 17th of March. Speakers gave talks on Domestic Violence, Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Family Law Bill, amongst others.

We also had guest speaker Maryann Talia Pau join us and give a talk on her project One Million Stars to End Violence (check out her website here: Emotions were high as she spoke with passion of the project’s beginnings, the inspiriting women and men who have shared their stories and woven stars, and the passion with which Maryann has progressed the project to reach over half a million woven stars so far and become the main installation of the Arts and Cultural Programme at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018. Punanga Tauturu Inc signed the Cook Islands up as a Weave100 Community in November 2015, which means having the community weave 10,000 stars to contribute to the million that will be displayed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. We have 3,000 so far, and need 7,000 more!

Participants had fun learning about Human Rights with our consultant Kairangi Samuela who got us all in an activity describing a human being’s basic needs from birth to adulthood. This encouraged discussion on how basic needs such as access to food, education, safety and free speech are also basic human rights every human is born with. Kairangi told the participants HR is best thought of alongside the values of respect and responsibility. So Human Rights do also have limits, for example if you have assaulted someone you have taken away that person’s right to safety, so you must give up rights such as freedom of movement and privacy (you will be put on probation or jailed) as justice for what you did.

Participants Tangi (Pepe) Mataroa and Eitiare Vano describe to the group a young child’s needs.

PTI Human Rights consultant Kairangi Samuela described Human Rights as basic human needs. We cycled through the needs of babies, young children, teenagers and parents.

Police Domestic Violence Unit Co-Ordinator Sharon Kareroa gave a presentation on what the police currently do in response to a DV incident and their statistics on DV cases. Her and Inspector John Strickland both let the audience know that under the incoming Family Law Bill the police will be able to act faster and help survivors and sufferers of domestic violence gain swifter access to justice and safety. Parenting Training Advisor for Ministry of Education Eitiare Vano impressed participants with a presentation on an Effective Parenting course MoE provide for school PTA’s and any group of parents who are interested in the course. The course helps gain insight in the different parenting skills needed as your child grows up.

Touching on the Family Law Bill, Punanga Tauturu’s Legal Advice Service lawyer Rebecca Wood (nee Short) described the definition of domestic violence and what is meant by people being in a “domestic” relationship under the FLB. Although there is much much more to the Bill, we only touched on the Domestic Violence section and advised participants to read a copy of the Bill, available at Parliament for a small fee.

Photos by Violet Tisam and Merita Wi-Kaitaia.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Celebrating our Cook Islands Women with Are Pa Metua

Punanga Tauturu Inc administrator Merita Wi-Kaitaia popped in to Are Pa Metua to catch up with the mama and staff of the elderly support group, who were celebrating International Women’s Day today. “Pledge for parity” was the theme and the mama relayed to the group what that means for them. Nga Teao-Papatua, or Aunty Nga as she is well known, explained it meant to her “umuumu’anga no te aka’aere’anga tau” or a need for guidance.

The mama had been sewing pillowcases and weaving tairiiri (or fans) during their time together and had them out for display , Merita explained to the group that weave artist Maryann Talia Pau is on the island and keen to learn about local weaving techniques. They will be meeting Maryann on Thursday 17th March, will keep you posted on that!

A little info about Are Pa Metua: Are Pa Metua Trust caters for the needs of the elderly. The Trust operates 3 days a week providing a respite care programme for the elderly from the hours of 8am to 2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Transport is provided in a van donated by the Rotary Club of the Cook Islands. The elderly are picked up from their homes and brought to the centre on three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) to participate in social and community activities and they are provided with a meal.

Share this!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn