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My journey to achieve my community vision for the Cook Islands i.e. “A financially secure Cook Islands” encounters band-aid and short term visions/solutions as one set of hurdles or barriers constantly.

By working on the vision for a financially secure Cook Islands I remain passionate that every Cook Islander achieves independence and a sense of being able to create their own destiny purposefully. That the nation creates in itself a sense of its own ‘empowerment’ that there is no reliance placed on outside assistance. Hence this mission to create independence is as much a vision for every individual as it is for the nation.

This lack of a national vision, or possible lack of “promotion” of the national vision if one does exist, hinders greatly the convergence of diverse efforts in moving our country forward. Without first a long term national vision, allocations of country resources from a medium and short term perspective will be wasted resources, when long term goals are not met. Therefore more likely than not, resources are allocated to “immediate” needs that might address community issues as they are “defined” today, but the outcomes or impacts does not pave the way to a achieve a longer term benefit.

By creating strength in my VOICE through PulseWire (and the many other online networks and communities), I hope to be able to learn how to dialogue using the tools of Web2.0 to create awareness and identify solutions in my community. To confidently market our country vision, or to confidently CREATE through the collective collaboration of all Cook Islanders in country and overseas. This marketing and awareness should then create greater focused efforts.

The Cook Islands continues to show symptoms of various forms of “dependency” through its statistics with regards to Domestic Violence, Teenage reproductive health and pregnancy rates, gambling venues every night (although the only legal form at present is Bingo or as is called in the Cook Islands “Housie”), increasingly higher rates of petty crime (i.e. burglary of tourist units and theft of electronic equipment). Whilst these examples compare little to some world tragedies, they are the reality of Cook Islanders, and are present in various levels in EVERY country.

Each of the community issues mentioned have specialist Government and Non-Government organisational movements addressing the issue. I am currently President of Punanga Tauturu (Cook Islands Womens Counselling Centre) where our three core programs deliver activities around Domestic Violence, Children and Human Rights. What I would like to see with the creation of a National Vision is concerted efforts of the multitude of organisations, cohesively organised.

That’s the VISION!!!

Asia Pacific
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