22 July 2022
Government of the Cook Islands
Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration
Permanent Resident (PR) recipients in the Pa Enua recited the Oath of Allegiance to the Cook Islands by virtual means yesterday morning in the presence of His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters, Queens Representative but there was no less emotion expressed than during the PR ceremony held in Rarotonga last week.
Recipients from Pukapuka (3), Palmerston (2), Mangaia (1) and Aituitaki (1) all recited the Oath in yesterday’s ceremony, the connection made possible through each Island’s respective Island administration offices. In attendance with the recipients were families and friends
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) Immigration Officer Phillip Metuariki, who together with Compliance and Office Manager Chere Arthur have led liaison with applicants and recipients of PR over recent weeks said, “You could almost feel the excitement and emotions come through the screen!”.
Yesterday’s ceremony, presided over by the Queen’s Representative commenced with a prayer from Papa Manila from Pukapuka, a welcome address by MFAI’s Principal Immigration Officer Kairangi Samuela after which each of the recipients were invited to recite the Oath. Sir Tom Marsters in his address and congratulations to the recipients acknowledged the honour and privilege that came with being bestowed with PR noting this was also acknowledgement of each recipients contributions to the respective Pa Enua.
One of the recipients, a citizen of Kiribati, Karanga Ukeria, has been teaching on the island of Pukapuka for the last 15 years. All email correspondence from Ukeria to MFAI had been written in the Pukapukan language. PIO Samuela said “Fluency in the Pukapukan language is affirmation of immersion in Pukapuka culture and custom – it was a real pleasure to experience.
MFAI Secretary joined in congratulating both recipients and MFAI’s Immigration team for what has been the first iteration of PR processing under the new Immigration Act. “I could not be prouder of our Immigration team’s oversight of this year’s PR process and ceremonies. Given transport connectivity challenges, we were delighted to be able to use modern technology to support yesterday’s granting of PR for our pa enua recipients. All the more as it enabled their families and friends in the pa enua to participate fully through technology.”