Seventeen-year-old Tumanava Karika Wilmott won the Year 13 Cook Islands Polyfest speech edging out 18 other New Zealand college students in the competition held earlier this year.
Cook Islands delegates have returned from Napier where they were hosted by the Ngati Kahungunu Iwi to investigate opportunities to strengthen ties with the Maori.
Prime Minister Henry Puna, fresh off a busy trip to the United States where he participated in 2013 Pacific Day festivities at the New Zealand Embassy, will be in Europe for the bulk of the week.
Good friends and traditional leaders Dame Makea Karika Margaret Ariki (OBE) and Koutu Nui president Turi Mataiapo Maria Henderson warmly embraced each other and chatted quietly during the morning tea break at yesterday’s opening of the 39th Koutu Nui annual general meeting and conference.
Strengthening the leadership roles of the Aronga Mana (traditional leaders) of the Cook Islands is the overall theme of this week’s three-day Koutu Nui conference starting tomorrow at the Pukapuka Hostel.