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Cook Islands Trade delegation to Pasifika 2005

2 March 2005

Cook Islands Trade delegation to Pasifika 2005 hit by cyclones

After four devastating cyclones the Cook Islands trade delegation to Pasifika 2005 in Auckland next week has been cut back.

Three exhibitors who were due to attend the festival, were so badly effected by the storm, they will be staying away.

Mr Jack Cooper, whose bar and restaurant in Rarotonga called Trader Jacks was washed out a few weeks ago by Cyclone Meena. Since then, Mr Cooper has not been able to gather enough product for the festival and he cannot attend.

Mr Hugh Baker a papaya vendor will have none to sell at Pasifika 2005 because 90% of the Cook Islands pawpaw produce was lost during the cyclones. The Rama Nui Performing Group, traditional performers of Cook Islands song and dance will now forgo the festival.

Mr Teremoana Mato of Small Business Enterprise Centre – Te Mato – Tupuranga says that understandably they have been forced to make significant changes to their marketing plans for Pasifika 2005 - but so far the circumstances have been beyond their control.

The Cook Islands trade delegation was headed to Auckland’s Pasifika 2005 on 12 March 2005 with 10 exhibitors but that has now been reduced.

Since 1998, The Cook Islands Development and Investment Board (CIDIB) along with the Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) have supported the Pasifika festivals by adopting a highly professional approach.

This year the group was also relocated to a new area by the Air NZ stage and were planning to set up their own authentic village.

Pasifika 2005 is an extremely important marketing vehicle for the Cook Islands Development and Investment Board.

CIDIB team leader Justine Cook said Pasifika is an important marketing tool not just for on the day sales but also for making long term trade contacts.

Pacific Island Trade & Investment Commissioner Mr Chris Cocker praised the spirit of the Cook Islands and said, "Although the Pacific is prone to cyclones, Pacific people are resilient and find ways to continue with their lives. The Cook Island's private sector has demonstrated this die-hard spirit. PITIC supports the marketing initiatives because they assist the local businesses and their communities.”

ENDS

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