HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 577: 17 August 2011

Scenes from the Koutu Nui 2011 AGM
Newly elected Maine Akaterau of the Koutu Nui, Turi Mataiapo Maria Henderson caused quite a sensation at the AGM as the first ever outer islands member to become president. Her cousin, Katapu, also from the Vaka Mataiapo of Aitutaki was delighted to have been to witness this turn of event. However, it is to be noted that Turi M is based in Rarotonga having lived here for many years. The national Secretary is Paenui Rangatira Vereara Taripo, Tauturu Secretary is Itaata Rangatira Noeline Browne, Treasurer is Koro Mataiapo (Tamarii Tutangata) and Tauturu Treasurer is Te Pa Mataiapo (Imogen Ingram). Vice presidents are Apai Mataiapo (Keu Framheim) for Te Au o Tonga and Tautu Mataiapo (James Heather) for Puaikura with Vaka Takitumu yet to be decided.
In addition, four new members joined the Koutu Nui in a swearing in ceremony carried out by vice President, Apai Mataiapo. They were Maoate Mataiapo (Sir Terepai Maoate former DPM and Finance Minister), Araiti Mataiapo (Elizabeth Ponga), Teaia Matiapo (Tua Pittman the Vaka Navigator) and Rio Rangatira (artist and carver Eruera Love Nia of Ngati Makea).
During the two day event, the council of chiefs discussed a wide range of topics in a programme prepared by the late Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid and assisted by new Secretary, Paenui Rangatira (Mrs Taripo) who held the presidency for 15 years. These included presentations on seabed minerals by DPM Tom Marsters and his team; the proposed marine park by Kevin Iro and a team from Marine Resources; valiant efforts by the Secretary of Agriculture, Anthony Brown to encourage the chiefs to allow any vacant lands within their Kopu Tangata to be used for agriculture rather than going to weed or overdevelopment.
VIP guests at the AGM were the Ui Ariki, Minister Teariki Heather in his capacity as Minister of the House of Ariki and Koutu Nui, DPM Tom Marsters and Opposition Leader Robert Wigmore. Outer islands delegates including Kake Maunga Mataiapo (retired Speaker of the House) and the Putokotoko of Tamatoa Ariki were also invited to take part in the AGM, as part of the protocol laid down by the late president in her efforts to encourage the Pae Enua chiefs to take part in the Koutu Nui deliberations. The 2011 AGM was held on 21 and 22 July at the Ngatangiia CICC Sunday School hall and were hosted by the Ngatangiia CICC Ekalesia.

-Noeline Browne

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.