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In 2015 the New Zealand (NZ) government gifted $11.7 million to the Cook Islands (CI) for Stage 1 of the Redevelopment of Tereora College (TCR) in celebration of the Cook Islands 50 years of self-governance in free association with New Zealand. The redevelopment is a ten year plan for the national college and is intended to transition it from an outdated asset into a purpose-built modern learning environment. Stage 1 was the building of the Administration/Library Block and a Technology Block. Design and construction were conducted from 2016-2017.

The purpose of the evaluation was for the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and CI Governments to consider if the buildings are well built, fit for purpose, and whether they were built in a cost-effective way; and identify lessons learned that could be applied to projects of a similar nature, including any future stages of the TCR.

The evaluation found that Stage 1 of the TCR was successful overall. Success factors included clear and simple goals, good governance and planning, good project management with design support from New Zealand to complement Cook Island resources, local ownership of the project with strong community involvement, strong communication between parties involved in the project, and local contractor with good capacity and capability for projects of this size.

The conclusions from Stage 1 of the TCR and lessons learned have been documented so that they can be applied to future MFAT and CI infrastructure investments. Recommendations and “next steps” have been made for MFAT and the CI government to successfully implement the lessons learned. These will contribute to improved planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of infrastructure investments in the Cook Islands and the Pacific.

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