‘Exciting to finally be going home’

Saturday 23 May 2020 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local


‘Exciting to finally be going home’
Krissy Lewis on the balcony at Edgewater Resort yesterday.

Krissy Lewis enjoyed the last of the afternoon sunshine at the Edgewater Resort yesterday. This morning, she’s going home.

“I can't wait to see all my beautiful family and friends,” she said.

With her son Maui, they are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends, and finally getting some form of home life back.

“It's been a very long journey for us all, so it's really exciting to finally be able to go home.”

There will be emotional reunions this morning, when the first 132 repatriated Cook Islanders are reunited with their loved ones.

The group, which includes the 38 members of the Golden Oldies mamas netball team, have persevered through two months of Covid-19 quarantine restrictions, to get home.

This morning at 10am, it will all be worth it. Security will be tight, as the returning Cook Islanders are picked up by family. Just one member of each family will be permitted to pick up their loved ones from the Edgewater’s car park.

Families are encouraged to wait for their kopu tangata to arrive home, instead.

This group have spend weeks in lockdown in New Zealand, some secured together at Atiu Hall in Mangere. Then they spent two weeks in managed isolation at the Holiday Inn in Mangere, before flying into Rarotonga for two weeks at the Edgewater.

Scott Jensen has been awat 10 weeks – five of those in self-isolation, and four in supervised quarantine. Now he just wants to get home and sleep in his own bed.

“I hope my cat still recognises me. I badly need a haircut, I haven’t had a piece of toast in a month – I love my toast.”

“I can’t wait to catch up with my wider family and friends at the Fishing Club and Returned Services Association; and finally get back to work and see my fellow good guys and gals at the Motor Centre and continue to help out my customers with their queries. “

He has really missed just being able to have some freedom, and … toast.

“I understand the risks to the Cook Islands this nasty virus could have posed, so am grateful that through this thorough quarantine process me and my fellow cohorts have all come through this ordeal with no issues or threat to the wider community.”

The second cohort arrived on the island last Friday, May 15. And this afternoon, a small group of 29 Cook Islanders are scheduled to fly in on the weekly Air NZ flight.