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[Media Release - MFAI] Turou Cook Islands Consul General to New Zealand

Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 – 10:00

The Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand, Her Excellency, Elizabeth Wright-Koteka joined with Cook Islands Auckland Community leaders, members of the Local Boards from Mangere, Otahuhu and Papatoetoe, the Cook Islands Auckland Religious Advisory Council (RAC), members of the Consular Corps, representatives of key agencies working with Cook Islands communities, family, and friends to officially welcome Mr. Keutekarakia Mataroa to his post as Cook Islands Consul General to New Zealand. Also joining this momentous occasion was Cook Islands Minister of Health, the Honourable Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown and Mr Taoro Brown.

The event started with a turou and the blessings from the Cook Islands Auckland RAC before High Commissioner Wright-Koteka formally introduced Mr Mataroa to the gathering.

Keutekarakia (commonly known as Keu) Mataroa takes over the role from Mrs Rosaline Blake who has served as Cook Islands Consul General from 2013 – 2020.

Consul General Mataroa comes into the role with a wealth of experience in Cook Islands Government, the Cook Islands Non-Government sector and as an active representative of the Cook Islands within the Pacific region. He also holds the traditional title of Te Pini Rangatira under Tinomana Ariki, is a Deacon of the Arorangi Cook Islands Christian Church and has family ties to Tainui of Aotearoa.

In welcoming Consul General Mataroa, High Commissioner Wright-Koteka paid tribute to Mama Rosie for her service to the Government of the Cook Islands and her service to the Cook Islands community in Auckland in seeking to unify our people and maintaining their connections with the homeland.

To CG Mataroa, the High Commissioner had these words of encouragement “We wish you all the very best, as you build on the work that your predecessor has achieved in this role and I humbly ask that our people give you support as you work to find ways to better the lives of our people both here and the homeland, and in uplifting the honour of your office, the Government and people of the Cook Islands. We all pray that God gives you the knowledge, understanding, wisdom and strength as you take on this mantle of service,” said High Commissioner Wright-Koteka.

In response, Consul General Mataroa, thanked all those present for the moving welcome, acknowledging the leaders present, his fellow Consular colleagues, Cook Islands service providers in Auckland and his family and friends. “I thank the Cook Islands Government in giving this honour to act as Consul General in New Zealand. In fulfilling this role, I will uphold the mandate that has been given to me to serve our people

and will ensure the work of the Consulate align with the four strategic priority pillars of security, prosperity, leadership and innovation for the benefit of all Cook Islanders, as articulated by the Statement of Strategic Intentions of the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration – Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki. I urge that we unite and work together if we are to succeed. My staff and I look forward to working with you all,” said Consul General Mataroa.

The former Consul General, Rosaline Blake; Honorary Consul for Panama; the Consul General for Samoa, Mama Vero and Tumu Korero of Pa Ariki also offered Consul General Mataroa words of congratulations and encouragement, before ending the celebrations with a feast hosted by the Cook Islands community in Auckland.

Queries for the Cook Islands Consulate in Auckland can be directed to Executive Officer Tarita Puna at tarita@cookconsulate.org.nz