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New Zealand Parliament Speaker visits Rarotonga

Thursday 18 April 2024 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in National, Parliament

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New Zealand Parliament  Speaker visits  Rarotonga
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gerry Brownlee. Photo: Marc Daalder/ Tangata Pasifika

Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Gerry Brownlee is visiting Cook Islands this week.

Brownlee is leading a NZ Parliamentary delegation to both of New Zealand’s free association realm countries, the Cook Islands, and Niue.

According to NZ Parliament, it has been a number of years since a Parliamentary delegation has visited the two countries, which are both self-governing states in free association with New Zealand and is set to be the first Speaker’s delegation to the Pacific in the 54th Parliament.

Brownlee was scheduled to arrive in Rarotonga yesterday, accompanied by a cross party delegation of Tangi Utikere MP (Labour), Dr Vanessa Weenink MP (National), Greg O’Connor MP (Labour), and Scott Willis MP (Green).

While in the Cook Islands, he will meet with his counterpart, Tai Tura, Speaker of Te Marae Akarau Vānanga o te Kuki Airani (Parliament of the Cook Islands).

The delegation will have the opportunity to engage in workshops with Cook Islands Members of Parliament, focusing on topics such as oral questions, interrogation of bills, and constituency work.

The programme also includes meetings with the Cook Islands Ombudsman and Auditor, a session with youth leaders, and an engagement with the New Zealand High Commission in the Cook Islands.

On Tuesday next week, Brownlee will arrive in Niue with a cross party delegation including Hon Dr Ayesha Verral (Labour), Tangi Utikere MP (Labour), Katie Nimon MP (National), and Hūhana Lyndon MP (Green).

During the visit, the delegation will meet Niue’s Premier, Cabinet, and Speaker Hima Douglas at Fale Fono II (Niue’s Parliament building).