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CIIC announces new chairs for TAU and Ports Authority

Monday 25 March 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, Local, National


CIIC announces new chairs for TAU and Ports Authority
Don Buchanan is the new chair of Te Aponga Uira. CIIC/24032410

The chairs of two of important government agencies are stepping down and new chairs appointed in their place.

The chair of Te Aponga Uira (TAU) – Mata Nooroa – is stepping down and will be replaced by Don Buchanan.

In a statement, Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) says Buchanan is a qualified accountant and has served on the TAU Board since March 1, 2021.

The Corporation manages all Cook Islands Government assets including land, buildings, interests on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua (outer islands). It also manages the governance of Crown Enterprises (subsidiaries, associates, SOEs and Crown Controlled Entities) on behalf of Government.

Buchanan said: “Being appointed to this role is an honour and I look forward to the continued work with the Board and Senior Management of TAU.”

“I see progressing both the strategic direction and the implementation of resilient renewable energy solutions that will benefit our Cook Islands community as a team priority.

“My priority is to work effectively with the TAU team and our stakeholders in addressing the challenges of maintaining a sustainable power infrastructure whilst adopting proven new technology that encompasses community involvement.”

The chair of the Ports Authority - Sam Crocombe – is also stepping down and will be replaced by Vaine Nooana-Arioka, the former chief executive of the Bank of the Cook Islands, and currently the in-country manager of Moana Minerals.

“Stepping into this role is an honour, a privilege and a weighty responsibility,” Nooana-Arioka said.

“I look forward to using my experience to enhance stakeholder engagement, and to contribute to the sustainable future of our nation's vital maritime infrastructure. Working with the talented Ports Authority team to navigate the challenges ahead and charting a course towards enduring prosperity will be a priority for me.”

The new appointments will take effect from April 1, 2024; and the retiring chairs will remain as directors of TAU and the Ports Authority for a transition period of six months, says CIIC.

CIIC plays a significant role in overseeing statutory corporations and appointing directors.

CIIC chair Fletcher Melvin emphasised the importance of a thorough and robust appointment process.

“We’ve recently revised our procedure to ensure its robustness,” he said.

Melvin went on to congratulate the new appointees noting they both bring valuable expertise to their role as chairpersons.

In addition, he expressed his gratitude to the outgoing chairs for their dedicated service to their respective boards and to the people of the Cook Islands.

Vaine Nooana-Arioka has been appointed the new chair of the Ports Authority. CIIC/24032411

Nooroa has spent 10 years as chair of TAU which generates and distributes electricity to Rarotonga.

Melvin noted that Mata had been at the helm during a significant period for TAU, including investments into various renewable energy initiatives and TAU’s significant support and discounting to Rarotonga during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Crocombe has been chair of the country’s ports for nine years.

Melvin acknowledged significant achievements at the ports during Crocombe’s leadership, including the start of the port development works in Aitutaki and the new crane for Aitutaki.