[Media Release - OPSC] Secretary of Cultural Development Appointed

15 October 2021

Mr Anthony Turua. Image courtesy Ministry of Cultural Development..

Mr Anthony Turua has been appointed the Secretary of Cultural Development for a third consecutive term. Turua has almost 40 years of experience in the Cook Islands Public Sector, having held various senior management roles in MFEM and the Ministry of Education. He has a strong passion for the Cook Islands language, culture and performing arts. He served as President for the Cook Islands Workers Association for almost two decades, and is active at the management level of various sporting codes including twenty-two years as the Secretary and Treasurer for the Cook Islands Rugby Union.

During his previous two terms as Secretary of Cultural Development, Turua led the consultation and development of the first ever National Cultural Policy and Strategy 2017-2030 which was endorsed by Cabinet in 2018. He re-activated Te Kopapa Reo Maori Commission and in this vein has continued to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to deliver new Cook Islands Maori words for the Maori language curriculum at Primary and Secondary school level as well as for usage in our community. Under his leadership, MoCD has actively used online platforms to promote audio and visual services of our Cook Islands performing arts to a global audience. He has actively sought donor assistance from external partners to enable MoCD to procure much needed audio and visual equipment.

Turua’s focus for his third, 3-year term is to deliver the National Cultural Policy and Strategy which will focus amongst other things the strengthening of the language; preserving and promoting Cook Islands history and historical places; and promoting the Cook Islands cultural industry.

Heads of Ministries are employed under 3-year term contracts. Pursuant to the Public Service Amendment Act 2015-16 ("Amendment"), a HoM's employment may 'roll-over' into a second three year term contract with the approval of Cabinet, provided that performance criteria has been met during the HoM's first term. Following the completion of a second term, a HoM role will be advertised and incumbents can re-apply as part of the normal recruitment process. Turua was the first HoM appointed under the Amendment.

The Public Service Commissioner Carl Hunter, welcomes Turua’s contribution to the development of a creative space for the Cook Islands language and culture and looks forward to working closely with him over the next three years.


Enquiries regarding this media release can be directed to Teresa Tura, Corporate Services Manager, at or call 29 421 during Office hours.