The Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) is continuing to hire and attract back to the country suitable, highly qualified local people, to fill vacancies in its ranks.
CIIC’s latest recruit is Henry Herman who was born and raised in Rarotonga, before going to New Zealand where he studied science and law at Auckland University.
After living in Auckland for 20 years, he’s come home with his wife Bianca, their four children and more than 15 years of legal and community development experience. He’s taken up the role of Land Manager at CIIC; which involves handling all tenancy matters involving Crown land and commercial clients and other stakeholders utilising lands under CIIC control.
His last role in New Zealand was as a partner in the law firm Rice Craig based in Papakura, which has been practising law in South Auckland since 1924.
But Henry’s day job as a lawyer is only a small part of the work he’s been doing and the expertise he’s gained while away. As important has been his involvement as chair of the Cook Islands Development Association (CIDANZ) which has developed into a New Zealand wide organisation with 10 regional groups set up from Invercargill to Whangarei.
With just over 80,000 Cook Islanders living in New Zealand, the CIDANZ early Childhood (60 children) Centre construction has been completed and with final licensing and consents to be finalised they hope to have it opened and operating over the coming weeks.
Henry is in the slightly unusual situation of having two university degrees seemingly poles apart. His initial degree was a Bachelor of Science (BSc), which he began when the plan was to get involved with a family owned pearl farm on Manihiki.
But the plan changed and after completing the BSc, he turned his attention to a Bachelor of Laws degree; which might have been preordained because that’s how he ended up meeting his wife Bianca who was also studying law. They married and both worked in the law until after they had their fourth child, Bianca – who has kiwi and Samoan heritage – decided to be a full time mum.
Henry Herman is the son of Neti and Tamarua Herman and says while family matters played a big part in deciding to come home, he’s very much looking forward to working with and learning from the local community; and he hopes to add value and contribute to our collective social and economic prosperity.