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Issue No. 374 October 2013

Diplomatic date for Cook Islands staff

From left - Police members Fabianni Napara, Dave Cuthers and Patrick Akaruru with leaders Henry Puna, Gaston Flosse, Toke Talagi, Enele Sopoaga, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, Ana Maui Tufe’ulunga, Aliki Kerisiano Kalolo, and members of Auckland SDA High School choir.

Police staff with a Cook Islands background found themselves rubbing shoulders with some of the Pacific's most powerful leaders at a recent diplomatic date.

Rosie Blake, newly appointed Cook Islands Consul General to New Zealand, requested that police officers of Cook Island ethnicity attend her swearing-in in Auckland - along with an impressive line-up of Pacific leaders who were in town for a meeting of the Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG).

The invitation was extended through Mangere watchhouse assistant Fabianni Napara, who is active in the Cook Islands community, and whose culture group The Rhythm of Marylena performed for the PLG.

Fabianni and Constables Dave Cuthers and Patrick Akaruru represented Police at the swearing-in.

Among the VIPs present were Henry Puna, Cook Islands Prime Minister; Gaston Flosse, President of French Polynesia; Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue; Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu; Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa; Tongan Education Minister Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki; and Tokelau's Foreign Affairs Minister Aliki Kerisiano Kalolo.

"It was a really good day," says Fabianni. "I'm so proud of our staff who attended the ceremony, and who were acknowledged by the leaders.

"The leaders were very interested and keen to speak to the Police staff. I spoke to all of them."

Senior Sergeant Chris Barry, of the Counties Manukau West Prevention Group, says: "This was a significant event for the Cook Islands community. Police being there underlined our commitment to our local Pacific community and to neighbouring police forces throughout the Pacific."

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