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NZDF helps restock Cook Islands Libraries

A project by Cook Islands authorities to restock the public library in the capital and set up satellite libraries in outlying islands received a boost with the recent delivery of about a tonne of donated books by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Air Commodore Tim Walshe, the Air Component Commander, said a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules aircraft on a scheduled flight to the Pacific delivered the books to Rarotonga.

“We are pleased to support this noteworthy project,” Air Commodore Walshe said.
“We all know the value of a library, and the way in which a good book opens new worlds and possibilities for us. We hope that with the delivery of these books, these experiences will continue for the people of the Cook Islands.”

Jean Mason, the manager and curator of the Cook Islands Library and Museum Society, said the donated books from the Rotary Club of Otaki and the NZDF’s assistance in transporting them were a tremendous gift to the Cook Islands.

“A metaki ma’ata (huge thanks) to the NZDF and the Rotary Club of Otaki,” Ms Mason said.

“This shipment of books is great for Rarotonga locals and visitors alike, and even greater for the outer islands of the southern group, where we intend to set up several public libraries.”

Because of prohibitive freight costs, it had become increasingly difficult to source books in bulk from overseas, she said.

The NZDF sometimes gets RNZAF aircraft and Royal New Zealand Navy vessels on scheduled trips to the Pacific to deliver books and other charitable freight across the region. The Hercules aircraft that delivered the books to Rarotonga picked up aircraft equipment used in the Exercise Rim of the Pacific in Hawaii.

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