PM Brown gets big welcome in Nukuroa

Friday 30 April 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in National, Politics

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PM Brown gets big welcome in Nukuroa
Prime Minister Mark Brown and his wife Daphne planting a tamanu tree to commemorate their visit to Mitiaro. OPM/21042902

Prime Minister Mark Brown is on his first official visit to the Southern Group island of Mitiaro.

Brown, who is accompanied by his wife Daphne and officials from government agencies, arrived on the island on Wednesday.

Mitiaro put on a big welcome which included carrying the prime minister and his wife on a pa’ata. The couple also planted a tamanu tree to commemorate their visit.

The Prime Minister was stoked with the reception.

“Drums serenaded our island motorcade to the main village centre where we were put on a pa’ata together and carried to the island hall where a massive feast was ready for us,” Brown posted on his official Facebook page.

“My wife and I are privileged to be here to visit our people of Nukuroa as Prime Minister and to be welcomed beautifully with the Patai of Mitiaro is truly an honour to serve this beautiful country we call home.”

At the island hall, Brown addressed the people of Nukuroa following the ‘kura’ or welcome from the Ariki of Nukuroa: To’u Ariki, Te Maeu o te Rangi Te Ika Mata Ariki, and Tetava Ariki.

He spoke to the crowd about his pride in being on the island. Mitiaro is his first official visit to the Southern Group as prime minister.

Brown spoke about the opportunities and challenges the country is going through during this Covid-19 period.

He also shared a laugh that ‘Nukz power’ is renowned for its big personality, regardless of its size. Mitiaro is the smallest of the Southern Group islands.

“I am very proud to be here to open the second lawn bowls green in the Cook Islands,” Brown said. The opening of the lawn bowls green was held yesterday.

PM Brown and his wife also visited Vai Nauri water cave yesterday. The Nukuroa mama chanted their āmu while the PM as the head of delegation took the first dive, followed by his wife, and Bishop Tutai Pere. The rest of the delegation also took a dip.

“The significance of this site visit was to showcase the Mitiaro tradition of ‘rere vai’.” The team then proceeded to the hall for a kaikai and more entertainment from the mamas and the whole island sat down and enjoyed the meal to wrap up the day,” said a spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister.

There will be a question and answer session with the island today before the team depart in the afternoon.

PM Brown said: “The island can ask any question they would like clarification on with matters pertaining to the country and any other issues with development.”

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