23 Dec 2022

Cook Islands families forced to wait for Christmas boxes

11:37 am on 23 December 2022
Christmas box member showing sticker.

Photo: Tina Iro

The annual Cook Islands Christmas Box project will bring donated goods to families in the islands later than expected.

Due to Covid-19 delays and lack of funds, some boxes won't arrive until after Christmas to some families.

The annual project sends food, various goods and presents to more than 1000 families across the islands of Nasau, Pukapuka, Atiu, Manihiki, Penrhyn, Rakahanga, Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Aitutaki and Palmerston.

Christmas Box team leader Tina Iro said the list of families was shortened.

"Yeah I think we could have actually done better with double [funds] to be honest.

"That's why I've had to call them [families] and strip their listing down to ask for less and focus on families that are most vulnerable. Because this year is the worst, like anywhere else I'm sure."

Team packing boxes with goods.

Photo: Tina Iro

"So all of those islands have sent us the new listings of all of the families that need assistance.

"All of them will be getting their Christmas boxes but because the shipping came late some of them won't be getting it until after Christmas. It would be very nice if we could airfreight them but we couldn't get enough funds to do that this year."

The team currently has 427 boxes left to ship.