Making his first official stop on a round trip of several northern group islands that he’ll be visiting this coming week, Prime Minister Mark Brown arrived in Palmerston on Thursday evening – the first time he has visited the island in his official capacity as PM.
Minister Mark Brown is currently leading a delegation of government officials
and workers visiting the islands of Palmerston, Suwarrow, Pukapuka and Nassau
for a series of consultations on matters regarding Marae Moana, seabed minerals
and quarantine-free travel.
delegation includes representatives from Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI),
Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), Seabed Minerals Authority, National
Environment Service (NES) and the Marae Moana office, as well as the Member of
Parliament for Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston and Associate Minister for CIIC,
departed Aitutaki on Wednesday evening onboard the MV Taunga Nui barge, the
government delegation arrived safely in Palmerston at 6pm on Thursday, with
local boats bringing the passengers ashore.
island executive hosted an official welcome that same evening for Prime
Minister Brown, Associate Minister Nicholas, and the other delegation members,
followed by public consultations on Marae Moana, seabed minerals and
quarantine-free travel issues, which concluded at 11pm.
ran smoothly and the Prime Minister, Albert Nicholas and the delegation all
seemed happy to be on Palmerston,” said island executive officer Arthur Neale.
yesterday morning, much-needed cargo for the island was unloaded from the
barge, while the Prime Minister and others were treated to a lagoon motu tour.
Brown and Nicholas officially opened Palmerston’s new Emergency Management
Centre/Cyclone Shelter, with the PM planting a two-shoot coconut to commemorate
the day and the joint funding of the Centre by the Japanese and Cook Islands
governments. The formalities were followed by an ariki’anga kaikai and the
gifting of food contributions to the Palmerston community.
very pleased to be here, to meet our people of Palmerston and to attend these
important events,” said Brown. “While I wish we could have stayed longer, I
feel like we have definitely made the most of our short time here and I look
forward to the next visit.”
after the opening of the Emergency Management Centre/Cyclone Shelter, Nicholas
described it as one of his “proudest moments as an MP”.
cyclone shelter will provide the people of Palmerston with safe haven in the
event of a cyclone, and also serves as a medical and community centre,” he
project is over 20 years in the making – past and present MPs have all been a
part of the struggle to see this project come to fruition.
fact, it started during the time of my late father, Albert Peto Nicholas, when
he was an MP. I would like to acknowledge his and former MP John Henry’s contributions
towards realising this goal for our people of Palmerston.”
also thanked the Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters for his continuous
contributions, efforts and advocacy on behalf of the cyclone shelter project,
as well as past and present Palmerston council members, mayors and executive
officers, including Bob Marsters, Tapai Marsters, Lydia Sijp, Tere Marsters and
concluded by thanking current and former prime ministers Mark Brown and Henry
Puna, as well as contractor Bill Doherty and his Landholdings crew for their
all continue to work together for the betterment of the people of Palmerston
and all of our Pa Enua. God bless you all.”
is the third cyclone shelter built in the Pa Enua so far. Two more shelters are
currently being built, fully funded by the Cook Islands government.
barge departed Palmerston on Friday afternoon, the Prime Minister and
delegation are expected to spend all of Saturday at sea and should arrive in Suwarrow
sometime on Sunday morning.
updates will be provided as the charter progresses.