The National Environment Service (NES) partnered with Tereora College to launch the National Environment Policy 2022-32 following Cabinet approval in January 2023. The launch was a speech and debate competition by Year 13 Tereora students, designed to engage with our youth and hear their perspective on the plans to protect our environment.
The Tereora College Deputy Principal, Ms Rauhina Tipuna, delivered welcoming remarks and was followed by the opening speech by the Minister of Environment, Hon. Albert Nicholas. The Minister called for stronger collaboration and participation of key stakeholders in addressing environmental issues.
In the first judged event, six Year 13 science students were selected to deliver a 5-minute speech on a Goal under the National Environment Policy 2022-32. The students were:
· Goal 1: Land – by Tamarua Pureau-Pukeiti
· Goal 2: Marine – by Athina Karika
· Goal 3: Biodiversity – by Ngatupuna Kae
· Goal 4: Water – by Tuaorua Puna
· Goal 5: Air & Climate Change – by John Simpson
· Goal 6: Waste – by Isabel James
The students then grouped to two teams to debate on ‘Our environment is well protected for our future generations’. The affirmative team was Tamarua Pureau-Pukeiti, Athina Karika and Ngatupuna Kae. The negative team was Tuaorua Puna, John Simpson and Isabel James.
Tuaorua Puna took the top prize for the best speech and the Negative team won the prize for the Debate.
Mr. Johnjones Elia, Head of Science at Tereora College, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to host the launch event. He said, “It was an honor to host this event, and I am proud of our students for their hard work and dedication to protecting our environment. They have demonstrated that they are well-tuned in their environment goals and are ready to take action.”
Halatoa Fua, NES Director, acknowledged the overwhelming support from key Government agencies that showed great support of this initiative. He stated ‘may I take this opportunity to thank our judges and agencies that offered internship for the students as follows:
Garth Henderson I Secretary of Finance, MFEM – Judge #1
· Danielle Cochrane I Secretary of MOE – Judge #2
· Imogen Ingram I Koutu Nui & NGO – Judge # 3
· Temarama Anguna I Secretary MOA – offered internship for Tamarua Pureau-Pukeiti
· Pamela Maru I Secretary MMR – offered internship for Athina Karika
· Elizabeth Munro I Manager Stewardship NES – offered internship for Ngatupuna Kae
· Apii Timoti I CEO To Tatou Vai – offered internship for Tuaorua Puna
· Wayne King I Director Climate Change Cook Islands – offered internship for John Simpson
· Elizabeth Wright-Koteka I Secretary ICI – offered internship for Isabel James.
Finally, NES would like to acknowledge the hard work of Tereora College in preparing the students despite a busy start to the year. Halatoa Fua stated “ may I thank Teremoana Ngaau, Johnjones Elie and Rauhina Tipuna for your dedication and time allocated for this launch. A big meitaki maata to our six students who delivered an exceptional presentation today’.
The National Environment Policy 2022-32 is a comprehensive plan to protect the environment and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources for the next decade. It outlines specific goals and objectives for Land, Water, Biodiversity, Marine, Air and Climate Change, and Waste, and sets out a roadmap for achieving these goals.
The launch event at Tereora College was a resounding success, and the National Environment Service looks forward to working with the government, stakeholders, and communities to implement the Policy and achieve its objectives.
Click here to view NEP 2022-32