DAVIS AND GOODWIN ON COOK ISLANDS QUEEN’S REPRESENTATIVE SHORTLIST

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By Alex Sword

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (June 6, 2000 – Cook Islands News)---Former Prime Minister Sir Thomas Davis or the Democratic Alliance Party President Fred Goodwin could be the Cook Islands’ next Queen’s Representative.

Speaking informally after the Queen’s Birthday honors function yesterday in Titikaveka, Prime Minister Dr. Terepai Maoate acknowledged that Papa Tom and Fred Goodwin were among a group of people being considered for the Head of State position.

Sir Apenera Short is to retire as Queen Representative later this year, and Dr. Maoate told Cook Islands News the government would make a final decision in a couple of months on his successor.

When Dr. Maoate was asked about speculation that he himself may be considering the Queen’s Representative position and opening the way for Deputy Prime Minister Norman George to become prime minister, he smiled broadly and let out a very hearty laugh.

LAST

Sir Apenera during yesterday’s event at Government House in Turoa, Titikaveka, told those gathered that it was his last Queen’s Birthday awards function.

Awards were presented to two of the four local year 2000 New Year’s honors recipients:

-- Mr. Nikau Tangaroa JP (Mania Rangitoto Mataiapo) of Rarotonga: an Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the public and community, and

-- Mr. Metuaiviivitoa Joseph Herman (Joe Herman) of Mitiaro: a Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to education and the community.

The two other recipients, from the outer islands, were unable to make yesterday’s function.

They are:

-- Mr. William Uea of Atiu: a recipient of the British Empire Medal Civil Division (BEM) for services to agriculture, police and the community, and

-- Mr. Tangianau Upoko of Mangaia: as a recipient of the British Empire Medal Civil Division (BEM) for services to agriculture and the community.

CINews understands that the other two will be presented their awards in the near future.

RECOGNITION

Sir Apenera yesterday, in recognition of his final Queen’s awards address, thanked those for the past years of work in helping to making the Queen’s Birthday celebrations what they were -- the various brass bands, the bouquet girls, caterers, orators and others.

He recounted that when he was knighted at Buckingham Palace before the Queen, he presented Her Majesty with a photo album and she was pleasantly surprised with Ms. Agnes Winchester presenting a Queen’s Birthday bouquet for the Queen to Lady Short. Her Majesty said although many Commonwealth countries celebrated the Queen’s Birthday, she never knew of a bouquet being presented on her behalf.

Yesterday’s bouquet was presented by Ms. Janice Tuara.

Sir Apenera, in closing his address, quipped that he loves making long speeches, but as he gets to the end of his term as QR, "the shorter my speeches get!"

* A New Zealand based Cook Islander, Reverend Kimi Henry, was in the New Year’s Queen’s honors list for that country awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for public service. The honor was for his long involvement in the Pacific Islands community in Southland, New Zealand.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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