According to a reliable source, Puna was nowhere to be seen at a special prayer vigil held over the weekend at the Maire Nui Drive in Avarua Rarotonga.
The vigil saw families, friends and church groups gather to show support to Muslim families who lost loved ones at the Christchurch massacre where 50 Muslims were killed by a gunman.
The vigil was organised by the Apostolic Church and was also attended by the New-Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Tessa Te Mata and members of the High Commissioner’s office and also Minister George Maggie.
In Christchurch, Puna will attend a service to honour and remember the 50 victims of the terror attack at two mosques.
The service is jointly led by the Government of New Zealand, the city of Christchurch, Ngai Tahu and the Muslim community.
Puna is attending the service accompanied by his wife Akaiti Puna and the Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand Elizabeth Wright-Koteka.
Meanwhile, Wright-Koteka last week joined the Cook Islands community in Christchurch in a special praise and worship service to ask for God’s protection, comfort and healing on all those affected by the tragic events of Friday March 15.
Wright-Koteka in statement said: “Prayers were said for the families directly affected, the Christchurch community, New Zealand and the world, as we all stand in solidarity against hate and affirm that the love of God will always triumph.
“Members from the Christchurch and Ashburton Cook Islands communities shared their experiences and thoughts on the Friday 15th event and its implications.
“It was heart-warming to feel the aroa from our people reaching out to the families of those who have passed away and the injured, the
admiration for prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the sense of unity shared with the Muslim community,people of Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand, and the faith that with God’s help there will be healing”.
She said the theme for the service “Be still and know that I am God” taken from the Daily Bread reading of Psalm 46, serves to remind everyone that in the storms of life, we need to take time to pause, stop fighting, rest from relying on our own strength and know that God is ever present.
After the service, Wright-Koteka on her way to the airport stopped and on behalf of the Cook Islands Government and people, paid respect and lay a wreath at the Al Noor Mosque.