Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon Henry Puna has welcomed the opening of the Australian High Commission in Rarotonga this week.
The announcement was made in Canberra earlier today by Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and follow on the heels of a series of high level engagements between the two governments over the last 12-18 months, including a visit to Rarotonga by Minister Payne in July this year and more recently, a high level mission to Australia last month by a Cook Islands Government delegation led by Prime Minister Puna.
“The opening of Australia’s mission in Rarotonga is a significant milestone in our bilateral relationship with Australia and affirmation of Australia’s commitment to its Pacific Step-up and deepening engagement with the Cook Islands and across the Pacific region,” said Prime Minister Puna. “Having on the ground presence in Rarotonga is going to greatly enhance and elevate our co-operation with Australia in tourism, trade, investment, security and people to people links.”
Cook Islands Foreign Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann met with Chris Munn of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Rarotonga last week to discuss mission set-up arrangements. Mr Munn, who arrived Rarotonga has been confirmed Charge d’affaires to oversee the set-up of the Australian mission in the coming weeks. “We acknowledge with deep appreciation the excellent co-operation and collaboration we’ve enjoyed in recent years with the Australian High Commission in Wellington, currently headed by Patricia Forsythe and look forward to working closely with Mr Munn, and his colleagues in Wellington and Canberra to expedite the set-up of the mission so we may focus efforts in the new year on an expanded elevated bilateral partnership that will be greatly helped by
Australia having on the ground presence here in Rarotonga,” said Ms Herrmann.
Further information on Australia’s High Commission in Rarotonga including contact details can be found on the website of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-locations/missions/Pages/australian-high-commission-cook-islands.aspx
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Photo credit: Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration