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
“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
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
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
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.”