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July 2004


Dear Members, Partners & Friends,
Kia orana & greetings.

The following is an update of the society's activities during the first six months of 2004, both completed projects and those that are still in progress.

UNESCO Small Islands Voice Projects:
A work plan and budget for the above activities was submitted to UNESCO, in compliance with the due date. The activities included purchase of a mini-DV camera, duplicating the footage shot during the rat eradication project and organizing a capacity building workshop in video skills for Outer Islands participants. A final report of all activities has now been compiled and submitted to UNESCO, together with samples of the Suwarrow VHS tape and DVDs and the six 30-second video spots produced as part of the video skills workshop. After receiving these samples, UNESCO have sent back very favourable comments on the quality and usefulness of the video products. Congratulations to Richard Wachter and his team for a job well done! More details of the individual projects below.

February 2004 Purchase of Video Equipment:
A Sony digital camera and accessories, including tripod, were purchased after obtaining quotes from two different suppliers. Funds were transferred to Auckland, New Zealand which enabled the President of the Society to pay for the equipment from Digital Video Technologies and arrange for it to be airfreighted to Rarotonga, Cook Islands. On arrival, a local company completed Customs clearance for a small fee.

March 204 Duplication of Suwarrow DVD
Duplication of existing film footage and creation of suitable packaging was arranged through Stebbing Recording Centre of Auckland. Airfreight of the VHS tapes was arranged by Imogen Ingram in Auckland, while Stebbing Recording Centre arranged the airfreight of the DVDs. A local firm in Rarotonga completed Customs clearance, and the transfer went smoothly. There was initially some delay in locating the artwork for the sleeve of the VHS tapes, which resulted in the duplicate VHS tapes having plain white cardboard sleeves. Another difficulty was that the firm was fully committed just before Christmas, so duplication of the DVD's was delayed one month. By then, the artwork had


been located and was used for the DVD cases. At the public launch of the Suwarrow DVD and VHS tapes at the Punanga Nui market on Saturday 24th April 2004, UNESCO Small Islands Voice funding to help achieve the objectives of establishing a trans-boundary World Heritage Park was highlighted.

April 2004 Video Skills Workshop:
A capacity-building workshop for participants from the Outer Islands and Rarotonga in the use of video equipment was carried out from 14th to 20th April 2004. . Otheniel Tangianau from the Office for the Ministry of Island Administration (OMIA) liaised on behalf of TIS with the Island Secretary on each Outer Island in order to select the most suitable participant. Many thanks to Otheniel, this was a great help in communications and logistics. Due to air transport restrictions, it seemed that participants from the Northern Group would not able to attend. However, 2 participants from Rakahanga and Manihiki travelled to Rarotonga on an unscheduled charter flight, and later returned to their home islands by ship. In total, there were 7 participants from the Outer Islands, 1 from WWF Rarotonga and 2 from TIS.

Photo 1 Tiare Taia from Mitiaro receives her Certificate of Attendance from Imogen Ingram

The opening of the video skills workshop by the Auntie Mau Munokoa as Minister of Environment was reported on local TV news, and in the Cook Islands News.

Photo 2 Ngamau Munokoa (Minister for the Environment) and Stu Davies (CEO for Telecom Cook Islands) with Imogen Ingram at the opening of the video course


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CIANGO representatives attended the opening, together with members of the Cook Islands Christian Church. Telecom Cook Islands Ltd very kindly offered TIS the use of their training facilities as a venue for the workshop. This was especially valuable because of the overhead projector, which enabled computerized editing techniques to be available to all the participants simultaneously.

Richard Wachter did the technical set up for the workshop, while Imogen Ingram took care of travel and expenses. At the close of the workshop, Certificates of Attendance featuring UNESCO Small Islands Voice were distributed to all participants and they enjoyed a barbecue sponsored by Telecom Cook Islands.

Photo 3: Back Row L-R Tinga Kutia, I. Ingram, Laura Hewitt, Takai Hagai. Seated L-R: John Hart, Tiare Taia, Ron Henry, Enua Teina, Piitiiki Tepaano, Mona Matepi

Suwarrow Poster.
A poster of the National Park was developed from the artwork used for the DVD cover from a photo kindly provided by Ewan Smith of Air Raro. Copies are available from the TIS Office at $15 and also from the Cook Islands Library & Museum and Jean Mason's stall at the Punanga Nui. TIS also hopes that Tarani 's Island Crafts will consent to stock and sell TIS products.

Future Project - Computer Access:
One problem was that many of the participants did not have access to a computer, for use in editing footage. Some participants have since applied for other grant monies through their MP's for funding to purchase the necessary equipment

Future Project - Visits to Schools:

This activity has been left until the second half of the year.. Because TIS has only a small number of active volunteers, it is unrealistic to run the various activities concurrently. School visits will take place in the second half of this year, which will stress the involvement of UNESCO Small Islands Voice project.

Small Islands Voice page in Cook Islands News:
Due to unavailability of volunteers, TIS has relied on input from other contributors for continuation of the weekly Small Islands Voice Youth Page. Payment towards expenses has been made direct to the Cook Islands News.

Persistent Organic Pollutants
The Cook Islands Government acceded to the Stockholm Convention on 29th June 2004, at the same time as it acceded to the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions (on waste management). IPEN ("International POPs Elimination Network") has asked Imogen Ingram to prepare a template for lagoon water quality testing for POPs which could be used by other Pacific Islands.

Future Project - Refresher Course:
This first workshop just kept to the basics of how to shoot a short news item and to edit it down for local broadcast on the home islands of the participants. During the closing speech of thanks from the participcants in the Video Skills Workshop, there was a request to run more course of s similar nature, in order to build on skills and teach advanced techniques.

Future Project - Island Identities:
Long-term plans for TIS include a proposed series on "Island Identities", which would be an effort to capture the traditional knowledge held by older citizens, before they pass on.







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P O Box 649, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Ph: (682) 21-144         email: 2tis@oyster.net.ck