8 May 2014

As part of the continued improvements for sanitation in the Cook Islands, WATSAN, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Service have combined forces to deliver an approach that offers advice, monitoring and enforcement of regulatory standards for the up keep of livestock.

 The partnership signifies an innovative approach maximising co-operation  between central government agencies to better coordinate and deliver programmes; a move that is fully supported by the Honourable DPM and Minister of Infrastructure, Teariki Heather and the Honourable Minister of Health, Nandi Glassie” said WATSAN Director Tekao Hermann.

 Over the coming months two newly appointed Sanitary Inspectors, Royston Jones and George Teiri  will visit all animal farms and sites in  Muri/Avana area . The aim is to make sure that all waste from animals and the animals themselves are managed in accordance with the law, so that pollution of streams and the lagoon is prevented.   Once their work in the Muri/Avana area is complete, Royston and George will begin visits to animal farms and sites more widely around Rarotonga.

 All partners are working to ensure that our farming and domestic livestock owners are aware and responsible under the regulations of the Public Health Act 2004, the Ministry of Health Act 2013 and the Environment Act of 2003

 The rules and regulations for the keeping of livestock varies depending on the size of the operation and intended use of the livestock for commercial or subsistence living. The overarching goal is to ensure that the all livestock waste is managed properly and does not affect our waterways.

The Sanitary Inspectors will also focus on a number of future projects including the Sanitation Upgrade Programme and the Commercial Warrant of Fitness scheme soon to be launched in partnership with the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council.

 Royston Jones has over 20 years work experience in the water and sanitation sector in New Zealand.  Royston’s recent attachments have seen him work in the Cook Islands since 2009, initially as a secondment from Manukau Water to project manage the Mauke Water Supply upgrade programme then onto a short term stint with Rarotonga Plumbing Contractors Ltd as Wastewater Technician and subsequently taking on the Senior Water Technician role with the Design and Planning division of ICI in October 2012.     

George Teiri is a returning Cook Islander who has worked in the wastewater sector in NZ for the last 12 years.  In 2002 George formed his own company, Ace Drainlaying and Excavation Services Ltd primarily responsible for the design and installation of on-site primary and secondary wastewater treatment systems in Auckland. 

 Royston and George bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to deliver the responsibilities expected of Sanitation Inspectors with sound and practical understanding of compliance and regulatory requirements

They will be spending much of their time in the field over the coming months, working with owners and operators of wastewater treatment systems, and with animal farmers, to find ways in which water pollution can be prevented or minimised.

 Anyone who would like to discuss any aspect of animal waste management or of the wider area of sanitation and wastewater can contact the WATSAN Unit on 20321

WATSAN’s public information video on managing animals and their waste is currently being broadcast on CITV and has been uploaded to our WATSAN facebook page so make sure you like our page to stay up to date on all our activities.