21 July 2022
Government of the Cook Islands
Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration
Welcome Home Te Kukupa II
Prime Minister and Minister for Police and Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Mark Brown was joined yesterday by the Queens Representative, Sir Tom Marsters, Lady Marsters, Ministers; Ms Catherine Bell, Director of Defence Cooperation for New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Timor Leste; Colonel Neil Peak, non-resident Defence Attaché to the Cook Islands; His Excellency Dr. Chris Watkins, Australia’s High Commissioner to the Cook Islands; Her Excellency Ms Tui Dewes, New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands; Deputy Police Commissioner Akatauira Matapo and members of our Police Force; Ministers, Members of Parliament; Heads of Ministries and the families of the crew of the Te Kukupa II to welcome the Te Kukupa II home after her maiden voyage from Perth, Australia to the Cook Islands.
The welcome ceremony was held at the Avatiu Harbour, Cook Islands where Te Kukupa II will shelter and call home. “The emotion at the farewell for her predecessor in February this year can now be replaced with elation in the safe arrival of our ship and the safe return of her crew. Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat Te Kukupa II will be embraced by our nation as enthusiastically as CIPPB Te Kukupa was over the last 30 plus years,” said Prime Minister Brown.
Class Patrol Boat –Te Kukupa II - held at the HMAS Stirling in Perth, Australia on the 10 June. The ceremony was hosted by the Hon. Matt Keogh, Australia’s Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. The handover ceremony at the HMAS Stirling epitomized “’Oa Tumanava” – the Cook Islands enduring partnership and friendship with Australia - woven together by shared maritime history, security and economic co-operation, cultural and sporting links and growing people to people ties. Also in attendance were members from the Western Australia Cook Islands Community.
Te Kukupa II is part of the Australian led and funded Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP). At least 15 Guardian Class Patrol Boats have already been handed over to Pacific Island Nations including Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Palau. Altogether, 21 vessels are expected to be delivered to Pacific before the end of 2023.
Prime Minister Brown highlights that “the CIPPB program is a cornerstone of our relationship with Australia and speaks of Australia’s commitment to supporting ensuring the Cook Islands and our Pacific’s security.” To further support the crew and operational activities of the Te Kukupa II the Maritime Surveillance Center in Avatiu is currently undergoing an upgrade to help bolster the Cook Islands maritime security capabilities. Australia further assistance with these upgrades of more than $1.6 million will upgrade the center’s electronic equipment and amenities.
A copy of Prime Minister Brown’s remarks can be found at the following link https://www.facebook.com/pmoffice.gov.ck/posts/442768071197797
For enquiries regarding this media release contact Tamarua Marsters on phone 29347 or email Tamarua.firstname.lastname@example.org