Carteret Islands. Photo: Pip Starr

Council of Elders

In late 2006 the Council of Elders (CoE) of the Carterets Islands held a series of meetings to discuss the worsening effects of sea surges on their islands. The CoE were concerned that progress in establishing a relocation program for the Carterets people was going very slowly, while the erosion of their islands and the destruction of food gardens as a result of sea water surges was increasing at a very fast pace.   As early as 2001, the Bougainville government talked about relocation for the Carterets, but as nothing had ever eventuated, the CoE felt the process was not going to happen unless the Carterets people took charge and actively found a solution to their worsening situation.

The CoE contacted Ursula Rakova, the Executive Director of a significant local NGO, (Osi Tanata in Arawa, Bougainville) and requested that she bring her skills and experience ‘home’ to the Carterets to assist.  Ursula responded to the request.  She resigned from her paid employment and travelled back to her birthplace in the Carterets.

In December 2006, following a series of community meetings, the CoE decided to form the local NGO Tulele Peisa Inc.  It was decided that the Carterets people needed their own indigenous organisation to plan and implement a voluntary relocation program for the next 5-10 years.  Tulele Peisa therefore was set up to organise a well planned, staged program of moving Carterets people from their home atolls to the Bougainville mainland, where they could be safe and secure with access to economic opportunities as well as health and education services.

A constitution was drawn up and Tulele Peisa was incorporated (at that time as Carterets Relocation Program) in September 2007. In late 2007 the name Carterets Relocation Program was changed to Tulele Peisa (TP) Incorporated.

Council of Elders of the Carteret Islands

RUFINA MOI – WOMEN CHIEF, NABOIN

ROSE TSUBE – WOMEN CHIEF

CLARA TANGIN – WOMEN CHIEF, NAKARIPA

CLARA TAHOU – WOMEN CHIEF, LUMANKOA

MARTHA TOROVIA – WOMEN LEADER, NAKAS

KARLO TUGIER – CLAN CHIEF, NABOIN

RUTH TOHAKA – WOMAN LEADER

AUGUSTIN NAHIA – CLAN CHIEF, NAKARIPA

PAUL HAREHIN – CLAN CHIEF, NAKARIPA

ANDREW TAKIOMO – CLAN LEADER, NABOIN

PAUL T MAEKA – CLAN CHIEF, NAKAS

PAUL TAPAROHO – CLAN CHIEF, NAKARIPA

JOSEPH MOLOGAI – CLAN CHIEF, NAKARIPA

DOROTHY RENI – CLAN CHIEF, NABOIN

JOHN SAILIK – CLAN CHIEF

TONY TOLOGINA – CLAN CHIEF, NABOIN

SIMON WINCHA – YOUTH LEADER

NICHOLAS HAKATA – YOUTH PRESIDENT