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Thursday 11 April 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Cook Islands women find strength and healing at Empowerment Retreat
The Piri’anga O’onu Women’s Empowerment Retreat in Aitutaki was attended by around 40 women. Ministry of Internal Affairs/24041019

Aotearoa New Zealand’s renowned social media influencer and podcaster Nicola “Nix” Adams has been inspiring empowerment and fulfilment in women on Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Adams, who boasts a combined following of 1.8 million across her social media pages known as CWK (Courage, Wisdom, Knowledge), featured in the inaugural Piri’anga O’onu Women’s Empowerment Retreat.

The event was organised by the Cook Islands Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC) and CWK Nix, as part of the 2024 International Women’s Day

The Piri’anga O’onu Women’s Empowerment Retreat was held in Aitutaki over a week ago on Saturday, March 30, at the Avatea Café and was attended by around 40 women.

“Be real, be yourself, and don’t worry about what everyone else thinks” was one of many messages delivered by Adams.

In a statement, Anne Herman, Secretary of Internal Affairs, said the Cook Islands experienced some of the highest incidence of gender-based violence in the world.

“Our time in Aitutaki saw many women come forward to share stories of resilience and akakoromaki that support this statistic. The situation is not helped by alcohol and generational role-modelling, essentially, we need to do more to empower our women to break the cycle,” said Herman.

“Power is an initiative aimed at providing women from all walks of life with the tools, inspiration, and support they need to unlock their full potential, share testimonials, and heal.”

The dynamic presence of Adams, renowned for her vivacious spirit and empowering journey, sparked laughter, awe, and a genuine connection among the women who attended the event.

Despite their initial reservations, the women were eventually inspired to open up and share their own experiences, guided by Adam’s narrative.

She shared candidly about her tumultuous past, including struggles with addiction, loss, and rock-bottom moments.

“However, her journey of self-discovery and transformation highlighted the power of resilience, determination, and the unwavering love of a mother.”

Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Aitutaki sponsors – Resort Tava’e, Air Rarotonga, Avatea Café, Blondie’s Photography Aitutaki Cook Islands, Koru Cafe, Kutekute Tours & Transfers Aitutaki, Manuia’s kitchen, Stonefish Studio and Te Vaka Cruise.

Rarotonga’s Piri’anga O’onu event with Adam’s was held over two days last week at the Are umu, Edgewater Resort & Spa.