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Lewis hands in resignation to CISNOC

Thursday 25 January 2024 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Education, Local, National, Other Sports, Sports

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Lewis hands in resignation to CISNOC
President of the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee, Hugh Graham, left, and outgoing Secretary General Owen Lewis. Photo: Facebook/Cook Islands Sports/23120202

New Education Secretary Owen Lewis has handed in his resignation to the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC), while it is understood he will remain in an acting position, unpaid, as secretary general until a suitable replacement is found.

CISNOC president Hugh Graham confirmed Lewis had handed in his resignation on January 18, prior to senior officials flying out to Aitutaki for a weekend retreat.  

Cook Islands News understands Lewis will remain in an acting position, unpaid, until a suitable replacement is found.

Graham confirmed a two-day workshop with the CISNOC board and Lewis took place over the weekend in Aitutaki.

In a written statement, Graham said: “Owen advised me of his resignation on Thursday, 18 January and this matter was discussed extensively with the board.”

While Cook Islands News understood former Ministry of Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua was tipped to replace Lewis, Graham said that was not the case.

“Your understanding that Anthony Turua has been suggested to replace Owen is news to the board,” he said. 

“The board has advised our members of Owen’s resignation and the process that will be taken to fill the CISNOC secretary general position.”

While Lewis did not get a thumbs up from the selection panel charged with finding a suitable candidate to fill the Education Secretary role, specific contract details are yet to be confirmed around his new appointment.

It has already been confirmed that in addition to taking on the new role, he will continue to provide support to the Minister of Sports Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa, who is also the Education Minister, to prepare the nation for upcoming sports events including the Cook Islands Games in October, the Olympic Games in Paris, as well as the nation’s bid to host the Pacific Mini Games in 2029.     

During the Aitutaki retreat, Graham said they also reviewed the CISNOC constitution and will “shortly be sending out this document with recommendations for improvement to all our members and key stakeholders as soon as we can”.

“All CISNOC policies have been reviewed and improvements made. These will also be sent out as soon as we can make the improvements to the policies.”  

Graham did not provide retreat costs, as requested by the Cook Islands News.

“I do not have the total costs of the workshop as we are still awaiting invoices and payments to be made,” he said.