“I’m really excited and, at the same time, humbled and feeling privileged for the opportunity that’s been given to me.
“So I just have to get out there and make some changes.”
Mokoroa was yesterday made a minister before he was sworn into Parliament and was asked by CINews what that felt like.
“Not sure … I still have to find out. Give me the next four years and I’ll answer you for sure.”
But, he was happy to get the Police, Internal Affairs and Ombudsman portfolios, which had been covered by Albert Nicholas.
“I’m very pleased given my background in policing. I’m happy to go back and see where I can assist.”
So what will be the first thing he does?
“First thing? I’ll probably sit and listen to all of the senior staff. I’m curious to see what needs to be looked at and addressed. And if it can be done in this financial year, or next financial year, we will see how we go.”
And what does he see as the major problem?
“We see petty thefts and burglaries are on the rise here … as are traffic accidents. So perhaps I will ask police for more visibility on the roads to start with.”
Other ministerial appointments by prime minister Henry Puna are:
Rose Brown has been given the portfolios of Health, Justice, Parliamentary Services and Agriculture. Penrhyn MP Robert Tapaitau will be in charge of Infrastructure Cook Islands, National Environment Service, Transport and Outer Islands Special Projects.
George Maggie has been assigned the new ministerial portfolio of Corrective Services, which incorporates Probation and Prisons, as well as Culture, Business Trade and Investment Board and the House of Ariki.
Deputy prime minister Mark Brown also retains his existing portfolios of Finance and Economic Management, Seabed Minerals and Natural Resources, Cook Islands Investment Corporation, Financial Intelligence and Supervisory Unit, Financial Services Development Authority, Telecommunications, Audit and Public Expenditure Review Committee, Head of State, Cook Islands Pearl Authority and Cook Islands National Superannuation.
Prime minister Puna will be the Attorney-General and have the responsibilities of the Office of the Prime Minister, Energy and Renewable Energy, Outer Islands, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Public Service Commission, Tourism, Education and Marine Resources.
- Richard Moore