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Former Govt MP joins CIIC Board

Saturday 11 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Business, Local, National


Former Govt MP joins CIIC Board
Minister for tourism Patrick Arioka. PHOTO: CALEB FOTHERINGHAM/22020809

A former Cook Islands Party MP who lost his seat at the 2022 general election is among the new members appointed to the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) Board.

Former Tourism minister Patrick Arioka, Sharyn Paio, and Arama Wichman, the Cook Islands Party candidate for Ruaau seat at past general elections, have joined the CIIC Board.

The appointments were announced by Albert Nicholas, the new Minister responsible for CIIC, after a recent Cabinet meeting held at the end of last month.

The new board members bring a vast array of skills and experience to the CIIC Board, a statement said.

According to the statement, Paio is well-known in the Cook Islands as a top class educator who was principal at Tereora College and held the position of Secretary of Education. She taught secondary school level Commerce, Economics, Accounting among other subjects at various schools in New Zealand for more than three decades and has been a tutor for various business programmes at the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute. 

Politician and former Cabinet Minister Arioka has worked for the government in various capacities, from a forester, to an agriculturalist, to policy and economic director for the Ministry of Agriculture, the statement said.

“His work extended further into disaster infrastructure projects consultancy and disaster preparedness. He has served as previous president for the Cook Islands Red Cross Society and served on the board for 13 years.”

Wichman is an accomplished businessman, having established and operated a number of businesses through numerous periods of economic uncertainty, said the statement.

“Since 1997 he has expanded to become a serious supplier of products, and provided technical advice for the people in the Pa Enua, Rarotonga and New Zealand.

“Arama has had a direct hand in supporting a number of public infrastructure builds (airstrip, wharf, disaster recovery and public building) throughout the country and also has industry experience in New Zealand, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and England.”

The board will run with seven members during February, with Wichman’s appointment set to officially occur in March.

Minister Nicholas said he was delighted to make these announcements.

“These new appointees will come to the board with considerable experience, to continue the great work CIIC is undertaking, managing Crown assets and enterprises, and delivering CIIC’s vision of quality assets that serve the Cook Islands people,” Nicholas said.