As the Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), the Honourable Mark Brown led a government delegation to Atiu earlier this month to open a new Courthouse and Doctor’s Residence. The trip also marked the Prime Minister’s first official visit to Atiu since taking office.
Prime Minister Brown was accompanied on this visit by his wife Mrs Daphne Brown, Health Minister Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown, Justice Minister Vaine Mac Mokoroa, Corrections Minister George Maggie Angene, Associate Minister of Health and Internal Affairs Te Hani Rose Brown, and several other government staff and officials.
Welcomed by Atiu Mayor Nooroa Paratainga, Island Council members including the CEO Maara Tairi and Aronga Mana, the Prime Minister and his official party were later led to Atiu’s Government House for the completion of the day’s formalities.
The Courthouse and Doctor’s Residence were opened and blessed early the following morning, with the delegation then preparing to depart Atiu for Mauke before noon.
Combined with renovations and improvements made to Apii Enuamanu, the construction of Atiu’s new Courthouse and Doctor’s Residence represents a total investment from government of approximately $750,000.
Through CIIC, the government employed 22 Atiu residents and two Rarotonga-based Atiuans, all with various skill levels in the fields of construction, electrical and sanitation, to deliver these key infrastructure assets.
Under the mentorship of the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute, several Atiu students undertaking trades studies with Apii Enuamanu were also involved in the work to upgrade the school.
“It was important to have this work carried out by the local labour force and this is something my government and I feel very strongly about, especially as we look to the infrastructure improvements that can be made not just in Atiu but throughout the Pa Enua,” said Prime Minister Brown.
“Furthermore, this entire project has been an amazing example of partnership, collaboration, and cooperation, involving not just our central government in Rarotonga and Island Council government in Atiu, but many different agencies and departments who have worked so effectively together to achieve such a satisfying outcome.
“The work is not over yet, however. As our memorandum of understanding outlines, it will be necessary for our various government agencies – CIIC, Te Marae Ora, Ministry of Justice, and the Island Council – to provide ongoing support and management of these key government buildings and infrastructure.
“Well-maintained and looked after, they will continue to serve the people of Atiu for many more years to come.”