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Taikoko honours fellow nurses with King’s Birthday Award

Wednesday 19 June 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, Local, National

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Taikoko honours fellow nurses with King’s Birthday Award
Fourteen women from Germany, who are part of a World Day of Prayer group, were hosted by Cook Islands National Council of Women members on Friday, June 14, 2024. 24061406 / 24061407

Being nominated to receive the King’s Honours Award in the coming year is a recognition of nurses in the Cook Islands, says director of Te Kainga O Pa Taunga, Mereana Taikoko

Taikoko, who will be accorded with Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), for services to mental health care and awareness, and to the community, is one of the four recipients of the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours awards.

The other three are Ritua Kathleen Rose Marie Koteka, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to health, the public and the community, Juliana Teinakore Etches, British Empire Medal (BEM), for services to the public service and community in the areas of education and culture and Tutavake Tutai, British Empire Medal (BEM), for services to the community.

Taikoko shared her work experience with 14 women from Germany, who are part of a World Day of Prayer group, and were hosted by Cook Islands National Council of Women members on Friday.

“I worked both in the government area and in the non-government. Now, I’m retired from the ministry for the last seven years just concentrating on working in a community developing this space - mental health service.:
She said that at Te Kainga they work with women, with the elderly, churches and children.  

Speaking about her King’s Birthday Honours award, Taikoko said it signifies a well-deserved recognition of the value nurses bring to the Cook Islands.

“I think while we feel quite undervalued, it’s not others’ fault, it’s our own, and it’s the nurses who do not actually support one another.”

She explained that nurses, in her experience, haven’t always worked together to advocate for improvements.  However, she has always taken a proactive approach, focusing on her own work and not waiting for change to come from others.

“Even if you work for the government, nothing will happen. So, you need to go and do it. And show that this can be done. And government and others will support you. That’s my experience in my work.”

Odile Urirau, representing the Catholic Women’s Group, shared the history of World Day of Prayer in the Cook Islands. She also highlighted a recently published 40-page book that details the stories of two deceased Cook Islands women and their involvement with the World Day of Prayer.

A representative of the visiting group expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome, hospitality and the opportunity to meet with the National Council of Women members.