Tutangata had a long and distinguished career in the Cook Islands Public Service and in Pacific Islands regional organisations.
He received his initial education in Rarotonga, and subsequently at St Bede’s College in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Business Administration from USP in 2011.
In the Cook Islands he has held the position of Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, Secretary of Cultural Development, Secretary of Internal Affairs and Secretary to Cabinet.
For 16 years, Tutangata worked in two Pacific Islands regional organisations.
He served as Director and Deputy-Director General of the South Pacific Commission (now the Pacific Community, SPC) from 1980 to 1986, and as Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) from 1997 to 2002.