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Former Police Commissioner receives recognition award

Wednesday 9 February 2022 | Written by Sian Solomon | Published in Economy, National

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Former Police Commissioner receives recognition award
Former Cook Islands police Commissioner Maara Tetava. PHOTO: SIAN SOLOMON/22020807

Former Cook Islands police Commissioner Maara Tetava has been recognised for his long service, dedication, and commitment to pacific policing by the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat (PICP-S) law enforcement agency.

Executive Coordinator for the PICP-S, David Macgregor, who was recently in Rarotonga for five days, presented Tetava with a plaque at his office in Avarua last Wednesday.

When asked about receiving the award, Tetava said it was “an honour” to be the recipient.

He said there have been “many” milestones during his career, but that for him, receiving the award and being part of the police force was all about service.

He went on to say that it’s been “a great privilege” to serve the people of the Cook Islands and his country.

“For me, it’s not about anything else, it’s about service, Tetava said.

Former Cook Islands police Commissioner Maara Tetava receives his award from David Macgregor, who is the Executive Coordinator of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat (PCIP-S). PHOTO: Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat/22020808

“I would like to think I have represented our people and our country well. Not only here, but also on the regional and international scene.

“Having the privilege and the honour to serve my people, and my country has been a great honour.”

Tetava, who is now the National Security Director at the Office of the Prime Minister, served in the Cook Islands police force for 35 years.

He was the Cook Islands Police Commissioner for 11 years, joining back in 1985 where he graduated top of his class.

After graduating, he worked in General Policing and Traffic before transferring to the Criminal Investigation Branch as an investigator, where he was involved in many major criminal investigations.

In 1990, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant and served as the Chairman of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat from 2013 to 2014.

The PICP-S is a law enforcement agency that supports police chiefs across the pacific region.

During his time with the PCIP-S, Tetava was instrumental in the development of the agency’s strategic plan from 2015 to 2020 and chaired the Board of Management of the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN).

He also became the first chairperson of the Pacific Police Training Advisory Group (PPTAG) which was a position he held from 2012 to 2014. He was also one of the founding members of the PICP-S Executive Leadership Team (ELT). 

Prior to his retirement, he chaired the Pacific Crime Prevention Advisory Crew (PCPAC) responsible for developing crime prevention strategies for pacific policing.

However, Tetava now spends his time working on the Cook Islands National Security Strategy.

When reflecting on his time with the Cook Islands police service, Tetava says he wouldn’t change it for anything. 

He said: “My time in the police I wouldn’t have traded that for anything else.

“Having chaired the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat but also many other working groups, and as a member of the executive leadership team of that group was an honour.

“I think that is represented by this award, and for me, it has been a privilege.”