Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand, Kairangi Samuela and Labour MP for Palmerston North, Cook Islander Tangi Utikere, celebrate Cook Islands Maori Language Week. SUPPLIED/23081016
The Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand commemorated the nation’s 58th anniversary of self-government on Constitution Day with a captivating celebration which transported viewers back in time.
The August 4 event featured the screening of
historical footage showcasing the Cook Islands in 1919, 1935 and 1965 – the
year of the signing of independence – a significant milestone in the nation’s
Kairangi Samuela, Cook Islands High Commissioner to
New Zealand, said the screening was a testament to the journey of the Cook
Islands, and provided insight into the nation’s relationship with Aotearoa
through an historical lens.
Samuela said our generation of leaders today were
infants during this period, and to review and remember our parents and
grandparents, and their roles in forging our future as a nation with New
Zealand, had been quite emotional.
The significance of Aotearoa NZ’s government
relationship with the Cook Islands was further cemented in the Waka Hourua Vaka
Purua document – a partnership agreement between the two nations in 2022 which
builds on the 2001 centennial declaration. It provides a framework that will
guide the collaboration under four key priority areas: Prosperity, Wellbeing,
Security and Environment.
Samuela said: “Cook Islands and Aotearoa New Zealand
are bound by historic and cultural linkages and will continue to stand the test
of time as our priorities shift, and we continue to pursue our individual and
Last week also marked the Cook Islands Maori Language Week
in Aotearoa NZ, promoting the theme of “Ātuitui'ia au ki te au peu o tōku
kāinga Ipukarea - Connect me to the traditions and culture of my homeland”.
The High Commission was pleased to work and partner
with the Cook Islands communities in their activities.
Samuela attended several events prearranged by Cook
Islanders in their workplaces and communities.
“It has certainly been an exciting week full of food, laughter
and connections with our Cook Islands community,” she said.
“Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani week is not only about the
pride Cook Islanders have for their heritage, it is also an effort to demonstrate
and gain more knowledge about the customs, traditions and legacy of who they
The Constitution Day event was celebrated with the diplomatic
corps, Cook Islands community, Members of the New Zealand government, including
staff from the National Library, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, Alexander Turnbull
Library and Archives New Zealand.