Puna encouraged the students to set their goals now and work hard towards them.
He said the purpose of his visit was to focus on the Cook Islands government’s vision of creating an inclusive society for all Cook Islanders: a society where no-one is left behind.
“It is our job as leaders, as educators, parents and as community leaders to ensure that these little treasures are not left behind as we move forward, because who knows, some of the great leaders of the country may arise from here,” Puna said.
He thanked teachers for giving proper care and attention to students saying the visit was an important one for him.
“This visit necessarily leaves an impact on the young ones. The idea is to share with them what is happening in our country and help them when it comes to choosing their career paths.”
Puna said he was overwhelmed at the positive response he received from students.
“One of the reasons of my engagement with the students is to inspire and encourage them that they are also leaders, not just for today but also leaders for the future.
“They have a country that they should all be proud off and hopefully they will take that to heart and be proud of who they are.
“We will engage weekly whenever possible because we have a lot to talk about,” Puna said.