The evenings feature interesting and high profile Cook Islanders who share their life experiences and their observations of any specialist fields they may be involved in. Following the talks, questions are invited from the audience, and the evenings, held at the USP campus at Takamoa, always attract a good following from a wide cross-section of local people.
Ngari was born in Rakahanga in 1961, the son of Ngari Vaetoru and Teretina Vaetoru (nee Tuhe Taiti). A year later his family moved to Manihiki. They moved to the “bright lights” of Rarotonga in 1964. He has 11 siblings.
Arona attended Tutakimoa Pre-School in 1964 and started at Avarua Primary School in 1965. He moved to Nikao in 1970 and attended Nikao Maori School. From 1975 to 1979 he attended Tereora College. In 1980 Arona was awarded a scholarship to attend Gisborne Boys High School. He was joined by four other Cook Islanders. From 1981 to 1983 Arona studied at Auckland University, and obtained a part Bachelor of Science degree.
In 1989 Arona married a young woman from Rarotonga and Aitutaki by the name of Tangianau Parakoti. They have three daughters and a son.
Ngari began working for the Cook Islands Meteorological Service in 1984. He has been its director since 1992, when he also became the permanent representative of the Cook Islands with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Since 2006 he has held the position of president for the Southwest Pacific region of the WMO, and has been an ex-officio member of the executive council of WMO for six consecutive years.
In 2006, Ngari graduated from New Zealand’s Massey University with a Diploma in Public Sector Management and in 2009 he graduated from USP with an Master of Business Administration.
The evening will be moderated by Professor John Hay and will be followed by light refreshments. All are welcome, including older children.