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Winners are grinners: New MPs ready to serve

Friday 12 August 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in National, Politics

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Winners are grinners: New MPs ready to serve
Cook Islands Party’s newest MPs Sonny Williams, left, and Tukaka Ama with caretaker Prime Minister and party leader Mark Brown on Wednesday night. Photo: CIP MEDIA TEAM/22081104

Cook Islands Party’s Sonny Williams and Tukaka (Kaka) Ama claimed two more seats for the governing party in the final count of the 2022 general election this week.

Williams, the newly-elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Titikaveka, said he was “surprised” by the final result.

He won with a total of 231 votes, squeaking ahead of second-placed candidate Margharet Matenga (Cook Islands United Party) who received 228 votes. Democratic Party’s Selina Napa, who held the seat, received 218 votes, and Independent candidate Teava Iro received 69 votes. The preliminary count on the election night (August 1) had Matenga winning the seat by six votes.

“I’m a brand-new candidate, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Williams said.

He said from the feedback he received on the campaign trail, there had been a lot of support for the Government’s approach to Covid-19.

“There were many businesses who were grateful for the wage subsidy schemes that kept them afloat, along with the other stimulus packages the Government implemented.”

Williams said he was proud to represent his electorate of Titikaveka.

“There are a lot of things that need to be done, there are roadworks, bridgeworks, and other projects either underway or in the planning,” he said.

“Titikaveka is sometimes a bit out of sight, out of mind, I’m looking forward to changing that.”

Williams, who has served in several different public service roles, said the call for him to stand in this election “became stronger and stronger”.

The former Secretary of Culture and Infrastructure Cook Islands director for projects and planning said he was looking forward to taking a break after the high pressure of campaigning over the last couple of months.

“It’s time for me to have a bit of a rest,” Williams said. 

Tukaka (Kaka) Ama, the incoming Member of Parliament for Ngatangiia, managed to pip his opponent by 11 votes.

At the preliminary count Ama was tied with Mapi Ioteva of the Cook Islands United Party (CIUP) after both candidates received 171 votes each.

In the final count which included special and postal votes, Ama managed 202 votes, Ioteva 191 and Democratic Party candidate Tamaiva Tuavera, who held the seat for the past two terms, received 155 votes.

An elated Ama yesterday said “it’s been quite stressful” however he was feeling “very happy” with the final outcome.

“Thank you to the people of Ngatangiia, our vision is a vision for the people of Ngatangiia, there is so much I can do and achieve for our people.”

Ama also noted Tuavera and Ioteva: “We all know each other and we have been on the same journey for the village.”

“The three of us had one common goal, to do better for our village, so we need to work together for the good of Ngatangiia.”