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Rarotonga Lagoon Day

Speech read by the Hon. Ngamau Munokoa the Minister of Environment of the Government of the Cook Islands

Kia Orana tatou katoatoa


Firstly, welcome all to this year’s Takitumu Lagoon Day.


This is only the second year of Takitumu Lagoon Day and it is already a success and therefore will only continue to get better every year.


I would like to extend appreciation and thanks to the Cook Islands Marine Resources Institutional Strengthening project, or CIMRIS and NZAid for the support over the past several years in building the capacity of our government agencies and our people. And of course your support in the Takitumu Lagoon Day, the annual report cards and water quality report cards.


The People of Takitumu, Teariki Matenga and your team and particularly to the Muri residents for hosting this year, Meitaki Maata.


The tireless efforts of all involved in the organizing of all the logistics, and especially after the minor set-back a few weeks ago, we are finally here to see these two days and the fruits of your efforts.

This is one of those times when everyone comes together for the environment including government departments, private sector, NGOs and the community. This is how it should be; achieving environment sustainability is EVERYONE’s responsibility.


This year is Pacific Year of Climate Change and so the focus is on actions that communities and governments need to take in order to build resilient communities.


The focus for this year’s Lagoon Day is on solutions . And it will be very interesting to see the various best practices and technology that can be applied to ensure our environment and particularly our lagoons have improved health, and especially in light of climate change, build resilience.


It is great to see school students be involved again as this really is about teaching our young generation, our future leaders, so that they grow up with the appropriate knowledge when they take over the custodianship of our land and environment.


The postponement of Lagoon Day did bring about one benefit and that is providing our outer island students, who have been here for the Careers Expo, with the opportunity to participate this year and they too will take back the knowledge gained from this experience to their island communities.


Lastly, I hope you all enjoy the next two days and absorb as much knowledge from each other and be able to take action in our everyday lives towards a better environment. On that note, I would like to humbly open this year’s Takitumu Lagoon Day.


Meitaki Maata

L-R: School students enquiring about the various species of fish & coral, students shown how water is tested.

L-R: Adults being informed by the staff of the National Environment Services and the Ministry of Marine Resources, Children answering the questionnaires

Above: A group photo of the participants