Chairs to change

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The chairs of two of important government agencies are stepping down and new chairs appointed in their place.

The chair of Te Aponga Uira (TAU) – Mata Nooroa – is stepping down and will be replaced by Don Buchanan. Don is a qualified accountant and has served on the TAU Board since 01 March 2021.

“Being appointed to this role is an honour and I look forward to the continued work with the Board and Senior Management of TAU. I see progressing both the strategic direction and the implementation of resilient renewable energy solutions that will benefit our Cook Islands community as a team priority. My priority is to work effectively with the TAU team and our stakeholders in addressing the challenges of maintaining a sustainable power infrastructure whilst adopting proven new technology that encompasses community involvement.”

The chair of the Ports Authority – Sam Crocombe – is also stepping down and will be replaced by Vaine Nooana-Arioka, who is the former CEO of the Bank of the Cook Islands, and currently the in-country manager of Moana Minerals.

“Stepping into this role is an honour, a privilege and a weighty responsibility. I look forward to using my experience to enhance stakeholder engagement, and to contribute to the sustainable future of our nation’s vital maritime infrastructure. Working with the talented Ports Authority team to navigate the challenges ahead and charting a course towards enduring prosperity will be a priority for me” Mrs Nooana-Arioka said.

The new appointments will take effect from 1 April 2024; and the retiring chairs will remain as directors of TAU and the Ports Authority for a transition period of six months.

Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) plays a significant role in overseeing statutory corporations and appointing directors. The CIIC chair, Fletcher Melvin emphasised the importance of a thorough and robust appointment process. “We’ve recently revised our procedure to ensure it’s robustness” he said.

Mr Melvin went on to congratulate the new appointees noting they both bring valuable expertise to their role as chairpersons. In addition he expressed his gratitude to the out-going chairs for their dedicated service to their respective boards and to the people of the Cook Islands.

Mata Nooroa has spent 10 years as chair of TAU. Mr Melvin noted that Mata had been at the helm during a significant period for TAU, including investments into various renewable energy initiatives and TAU’s significant support and discounting to Rarotonga during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sam Crocombe has been chair of the country’s ports for 9 years. Mr Melvin acknowledged significant achievements at the ports during Sam’s leadership, including the start of the port development works in Aitutaki and the new crane for Aitutaki.

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