Author Archives: Helina Glassie

Media Release – September Price Order

MEDIA RELEASE

SEPTEMBER PRICE ORDER

The Price Tribunal has issued the September Price Order 05/2017 for Rarotonga and all islands reflecting reductions in prices for petrol, diesel and LPG.

There is a 6 cent per litre decrease in the maximum wholesale and retail prices for petrol on Rarotonga, a 5 cent per litre decreases for diesel and a 12 cents per kg decrease in LPG. The maximum retail price that petrol can be sold to the public on Rarotonga is $1.97 cents per litre, $1.95 per litre for diesel and $4.04 per kg for LPG.

Price Order 5/2017 sets the maximum allowable retail prices for petrol, diesel and LPG on Rarotonga and all Pa Enua. Full details of the new prices are contained in the new published price order and can also be accessed by contacting the Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on phone number 29370.

The new prices will take effect as of today 15 September 2017 and will remain in force for the next two months until the next price order is issued in November 2017. Price inspections will be carried out and breach orders will be issued where there is non-compliance.

Consumers should expect to see the new prices clearly displayed at service stations for these price controlled products. Service stations are obligated to ensure that the new prices come into immediate effect.

Price Order 05_2017 (Sep)

 

END

Contact:

pricetribunal@cookislands.gov.ck

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Price Order 05_2017 (Sep)

 

Cook Islands Social Impact Fund – Request for Proposals – Project Funding

 

Request for Proposals – Project Funding

The Social Impact Fund (SIF) is a contestable fund to

assist delivery of priority social services by Civil Society Organisations and is administered by the Ministry of

Internal Affairs. Registered Civil Society Organisations

are now invited to tender for Project Funding in

the following priority areas:

Gender Equality; Children & Youth; the Elderly; Disability;

Domestic Violence; and Mental Health.

For further information and tender forms please visit the

Ministry of Internal Affairs website http://.intaff.gov.ck

or contact person: Angeline Tuara, angeline.tuara@cookislands.gov.ck, Tel +682 29 378.

Applications close 3.00pm Wednesday 13 October 2017

Documents attached;

Social Impact Fund Guidelines – 2003 version

SIF PRJ Proposal

SIF Policy edit

Reporting Template Final

PRJ Advert 2017

Evaluation Criteria

Contract PRJ 2017

 

Media Release – Cook Islands National Policy Framework For Children 2017 – 2021

Cabinet on Tuesday 5th September endorsed the Te Pito Manava o te Anau – Cook Islands National Policy Framework for Children 2017 – 2021. This is a milestone for our country since we ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1996.

This Policy is unique as children on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mangaia and Atiu were consulted and their views contributed to the foundation of this Policy. Wide consultations across the communities were also conducted and is contributed to this Policy.

“A total of 559 primary school children and 176 secondary school students were interviewed during the development of this Policy. This inclusive collaboration is remarkable given the importance of the Te Pito Manava o te Anau – our 1st National Policy for Children in the Cook Islands and I am very pleased with it,” stated Mr Paul Allsworth, Acting Secretary of Ministry of Internal Affairs.

This Policy outlines Government’s key commitments to our children for their safety and protection of their rights, be heard and valued for who they are so that they become better leaders of our country in the future.

The Government of the Cook Islands is grateful to UNICEF Pacific office for the core support of the development of the Te Pito Manava o te Anau – Cook Islands National Policy Framework for Children.

 

 

Press Release: Recruiting Filipino Workers in the Cook Islands

Many employers in the Cook Islands seek to employ Filipino workers in their businesses or private homes as they offer skills in a variety of areas such as care and nursing, housekeeping, accountancy, mechanics, retail, hospitality, food and beverages or even agriculture. Immigration has approved 101 new applications for work permits for Filipino workers since the beginning of year 2017. However the recruiting process for Filipino workers is quite different from that of other nationalities of migrant workers since the Government of the Philippines established and enforced the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to facilitate the generation and preservation of decent jobs for Filipino migrant workers, promoting their protection and advocating their smooth reintegration into Philippine society after their period of employment overseas.

Any employer in the Cook Islands interested in recruiting a Filipino worker would have to go through a formal procedure with a POEA approved and licensed Philippine recruitment agency. This is mandatory and a list of the approved licensed recruitment is available online. In addition, a number of local recruiting agents can assist employers to go through this process against a service fee. Most importantly, the POEA has a standard contract for all Filipino workers going overseas and while it is possible for employers to add on or renegotiate the terms of the contract, it is the POEA who gives the final approval on the contract before releasing the worker to go overseas. This POEA approved contract is the one that legally binds the worker and the employer here in the Cook Islands. It is therefore illegal to offer Filipino workers substitute contracts once they arrive in country and both the employer and the recruiting agency can be liable under Philippines legislation to a penalty of imprisonment and a fine of approx. 50’000 NZD. Furthermore, even without any formal filing of charges, there are administrative mechanisms that can suspend, revoke or ban the recruiting agency and employers can be put on a watch list that will then prevent them from hiring any other Filipino workers and be prevented from entering the Philippines.

The Government of the Cook Islands sought clarification directly with the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines on the above matters following queries from both employers and Filipino workers in country. The President of the Filipino Community (FilCom), Vicente Aydalla, expressed the community’s appreciation in getting the much needed clarification to ensure that Filipino workers are being treated fairly in our little paradise.

If any employers or future employers are interested in getting more information on the process of recruiting a Filipino worker, they are welcome to contact the Labour Division on intaff.employment@cookislands.gov.ck or phone 29370.

PRESS RELEASE – Youth & the future of Work in the Cook Islands Survey – August 2017

Youth and the Future of Work in the Cook Islands

 

Survey-August 2017

 

 

 

Recently, the Labour and Consumer Division attended two important meetings under the International Labour Organisation (ILO), one regional with other pacific island member states and one international with all member states of the organisation. Attendance at these meetings resulted in an awareness of the fact that around the world, profound changes in the nature of work are underway. Numerous drivers such as demographic shifts, climate change, technological innovation, poverty and growing inequality, economic stagnation, account for these changes and has urged the ILO to launch the Future of Work (FOW) Centenary Initiative in 2013. Youth and climate change have been two most critical issues of the future of work in the Pacific region.

 

Future of Work is a theme from the ILO, which explains the initiative to think, discuss and become proactive about work-related issues in our future. It is seen as a contribution to the cause of social justice and was launched in a context of great uncertainty and insecurity, and of fear that direction of change in the world of work is away from, not towards, the achievement of social justice.

 

 Youth play an important role towards nation building and its future aspirations. The high youth unemployment rate is a chronic issue in the Pacific and will impact negatively on future economic development. The urgency therefore lies with the need to find potential and viable strategies that would encourage youth entrepreneurship and putting more youth in employment and to positively harness young people’s potential across the national and international labour markets.

 

For small island states of the Pacific, the physical impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters is phenomenal and particularly devastating.  Climate change poses an enormous dilemma for the governments of the pacific region to retain the balance of development at home and decent job opportunities for youth migrating to other countries. The aftermath of devastating natural disasters results in dysfunctional social and economic systems and the questions around policy response to such negative impacts are important. In addition, concerns lay also on the importance of building the resilience of our youth to prepare, prevent and minimize the negative impacts of climate change in their future of work.

 

 The purpose of the Youth and Future of Work in the Cook Islands Survey is to have first-hand feedback from the Youth of our country. Our national economy is hugely reliant on tourism which is itself dependent on climate change. The questions to our youth are about their aspirations as future employers, employees of our country and their vision of how they will be contributing to our economic development. Most importantly, their contribution can inform us on the strategies we need to put in place now to allow positive harnessing of their potential and assist them in their development and transition from school into the world of work.

 

 The survey is a collaboration between the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Youth and Labour Division) and the Ministry of Education. The Government would like to include all Youth into this dialogue, starting with the ones who are within the formal education structure. The survey is available online through our websites (MOE and INTAFF) as well as on our face book pages (INTAFF and Labour and Consumer page). The link will be shared to all general stakeholders, encouraging them to engage their children in the activity for maximum participation.

 

 

 

The link to the Survey is:

 

http://survey.education.gov.ck/index.php/997111?lang=en&encode=

 

 

Join Us in shaping the future of work in the Cook Islands !

 

  

 

 

Contact: Labour and Consumer Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs. Sandrina.thondoo@cookislands.gov.ck

 

 

 

Press Release – Accidents on the work place

All accidents causing death or serious bodily injuries to workers need to be reported directly to the Labour and Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as soon as practicable, within 48 hours after the incident. Any injury that leads to hospitalisation of the worker for 48 hour within 7 days of the accident is considered as being serious.  

The Employer should conduct an internal investigation on the circumstances of the accident, including the worker’s feedback and provide a report of accident to the Ministry. The report should mention the nature of the accident, the details of the injured worker and the measures taken by the employer as a result of the accident.  

In some cases, the accident may lead to an application for workers compensation if the worker is not able to return to work for at least 4 days.

 Should the accident be a minor one and the worker is able to resume work without difficulty, there is no obligation to report it to the Ministry. But the employer must still list the incident in a register of accident as such register can be requested for sighting by the labour inspector during a site visit.

 For further enquiries related to accidents on the workplace or general labour and consumer related matters, kindly contact the Labour and Consumer Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs, on 29370 or by email intaff.employment@cookislands.gov.ck

 

Press release

Press release

Labour and Consumer Division meet with the Students Entrepreneurs.

 

The Labour and Consumer Division from the Ministry of Internal Affairs met with the students from the Pa Enua, participating in the BCI Business Challenge Trade Day.

 

This was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the legal rights and obligation in the business world. As the Director of Labour and Consumer explained, these young entrepreneurs represent the future of our economic prosperity. They are the next generation of employers and traders and therefore should be made aware of the legal responsibility coming with that status. The aim of the presentation was to expose the students to the contents of the Employment Relations Act 2012, the Fair Trading Act 2008 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 2008. Acknowledging the importance of financial literacy as well as entrepreneurship skills, the Director added that knowledge and awareness of the legal framework was also key to owning and driving a successful business. The feedback from both the students and the teachers was positive and request was extended to have this presentation included in the regular annual preparation for the BCI Business Challenge Event.

July Price Order

The Price Tribunal has issued the July Price Order 04/2017 for Rarotonga and all islands reflecting reductions in prices for petrol, diesel and LPG.

There is a 7 cent per litre decrease in the maximum wholesale and retail prices for petrol on Rarotonga, a 2 cent per litre decreases for diesel and a 5 cents per kg decrease in LPG. The maximum retail price that petrol can be sold to the public on Rarotonga is $2.03 cents per litre, $2.00 per litre for diesel and $4.16 per kg for LPG.

“The price reductions reflect an oversupply in fuel which has placed some downward pressure on global prices for petrol and diesel,” stated Price Tribunal President, Tatiana Burn, “however, despite the marked drop in global prices for LPG over May and June, we are expecting larger LPG price reductions to the Cook Islands will appear over future price orders later this year.”

Price Order 4/2017 sets the maximum allowable retail prices for petrol, diesel and LPG on Rarotonga and all Pa Enua. Full details of the new prices are contained in the new published price order and can also be accessed by contacting the Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The new prices will take effect from 15 July 2017 and will remain in force for the next two months until the next price order is issued in September 2017. Price inspections will be carried out and breach orders will be issued where there is non-compliance.

Consumers should expect to see the new prices clearly displayed at service stations for these price controlled

Price Order 04.2017

Contact:

pricetribunal@cookislands.gov.ck

Ministry of Internal Affairs

 

Media Release; Women’s Business Forum, 9-10 March 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Women’s Business Forum, 9-10 March 2017

Excitement is building with the preparations of a series of activities next week, including a Women’s Business Forum, in commemoration of the annual International Women’s Day that will be celebrated on 8 March 2017.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has been working with the National Council of Women (NCW) and Cook Islands Business and Professional Women Association (BPW) in bringing together women and relevant agencies to discuss the challenges and barriers that affect women’s participation in business and employment and to identify practical solutions that can make a difference for women.

“It will be an exciting week with the parliamentary training for women commencing Monday 6 March with a Practice Parliament on Wednesday 8 March,” stated Secretary of Internal Affairs Bredina Drollet.

“This will be followed by a one day Women’s Business Forum on Thursday 9 March where we are hoping to have open and honest discussions and the challenges facing women, but more so, identify what can individuals and agencies do to make a difference to assist women better access economic opportunities”.

On Friday 10 March, the Forum will operate as an exposition of support services that are available to women looking to enter business as well as a trade fair for women to exhibit their products.

“We have been encouraged by the support of BPW who will have a central role to play in the Business Forum and we thank Rangi Johnson and Teina Mackenzie for their active interest in the preparation of this event.”

 

In addition, on International Women’s Day, there will be a special breakfast jointly sponsored by the Ministry, Parliament and BPW on 8 March with guest speaker Lisa Marklund.

The Forum will be held at the Rarotongan Resort on 9-10 March. For further information on the International Women’s Day activities next week, please contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

Contact:

Bredina Drollet, Secretary of Internal Affairs, bredina.drollet@cookislands.gov.ck