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Governor-General to visit Niue and the Cook Islands

15 October 2013

Governor-General to visit Niue and the Cook Islands

The Governor-General, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Niue and the Cook Islands later this week to reaffirm New Zealand’s close ties with the two South Pacific nations.

The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing in free association with New Zealand and, along with the territory of Tokelau and the Ross Dependency, form part of the wider Realm of New Zealand.

The Governor-General and Lady Janine Mateparae will leave New Zealand for Niue on 18 October before travelling to the Cook Islands on 20 October, and returning to New Zealand on 24 October.

Sir Jerry Mateparae said the visit was an opportunity to reinforce the ties between New Zealand and Niue and the Cook Islands.

“New Zealand, Niue and the Cook Islands are partners in the Realm of New Zealand. We are bound together in an enduring relationship that is founded on our close constitutional ties, a shared Polynesian heritage, a shared history and a common citizenship. In 2014 Niue marks 40 years of self-government in free association while the Cook Islands will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015,” he said.

“What gives the relationships with Niue and the Cook Islands their fundamental strengths, however, are the many cultural, economic, family and people-to-people links. New Zealanders are increasingly travelling to both nations for holidays while many Cook Islanders and Niueans have chosen to live in New Zealand and make a significant contribution to our economy and society.”

Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae will provide high-level representation at the celebrations on 19 October marking Niue’s 39th Constitution Day, the anniversary of the establishment of self-government in free association with New Zealand in 1974. The centrepiece of the celebrations will be the Flag-Raising Ceremony, where the Governor-General will give an address reaffirming the special nature of the bilateral relationship and the unique ties that bind New Zealand and Niue. While in Niue, the Governor-General will also promote New Zealand’s support to build the Niuean economy, particularly in tourism.

In Rarotonga, Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae will call on the Queen’s Representative and other political and chiefly leaders. The Governor-General will also receive a full ceremonial welcome at Atupare Marae, during which he will be honoured with the Tapu of the Kiriti-Maro-Tai ceremony. This is a significant honour and underscores the close cultural links between the Cook Islands Māori and New Zealand Māori.

Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae will also visit a number of projects in Rarotonga that are being supported by New Zealand. They will also visit one of the outer islands, Mauke, where the Governor-General will unveil a new war memorial and attend a wreath laying ceremony as well as learning of assistance provided by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The flights between New Zealand, Niue and the Cook Islands will be provided by the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

While the Governor-General is overseas the Chief Justice, Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias (18-21 October) and Supreme Court Judge, Hon Sir John McGrath (21-24 October), will serve as Administrator of the Government.


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