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[Media Release] NEW SEABED MINERALS COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCEMENT

By the Minister of Natural Resources and Minerals, the Honourable Mark Brown:

The Cook Islands Government wishes to announce the appointment of Ms. Alexandrya Herman to the position of the Seabed Minerals Commissioner, to take over the Seabed Minerals Authority for the next 3 years, from the 13th of January 2020. The position was advertised with the usual Public Service interview and appointment processes undertaken and finally approved by Cabinet last Wednesday.

Ms. Herman is a qualified local lawyer, with in-depth knowledge of the seabed minerals sector and was previously the first Legal Officer in the Seabed Minerals Authority, before moving to the Crown Law Office in 2016. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Seabed Minerals, the Hon. Mark Brown congratulated Ms. Herman and wished her all the best and looks forward to an exciting future in our national seabed minerals sector under her stewardship.

The Deputy Prime Minister also wishes to acknowledge the excellent leadership and service of the out-going Commissioner, local lawyer, Mr. Paul Lynch, who has held this Commissioner’s position for 2 terms since 2012. Mr. Lynch’s dedicated work in this sector is much appreciated, as it has greatly assisted the development of a collective approach to creating our fledgling national seabed minerals sector, based on best international legal and environmental standards. The Deputy Prime Minister said “Paul played an important role in bringing this emerging sector to where it is placed now. I have no doubt that Paul will continue to play a role in the seabed sector in other roles.

Our Seabed Minerals Authority has now become a very well-established, Government Minerals office, whose work is now well known and respected by numerous local, regional and international partners and stakeholders. Mr. Lynch intends to re-enter the private sector and re-establish his own private local legal/consultancy business.

The Deputy Prime Minister is confident our national seabed minerals sector will continue to be in good hands and will continue to progress, with the support and collaboration of government agencies including NES, Marae Moana, CIIC, MFAI, MMR and MFEM .

The seabed mineral resources of our EEZ have the potential to positively transform our small nation, so it is important we ensure continued responsible stewardship by those tasked with managing these early stages of our national journey. To that end, we say Meitaki Ma’ata to Paul Lynch for his role in bringing us to this point and Kia Orana to Alex Herman for accepting the challenge of leading the Seabed Minerals Authority into this next challenging, but very exciting, stage of licenced Exploration activities relating to our seabed minerals resource.

Kia Manuia.

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