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Manihiki, Rakahanga get medical facilities

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, March 20, 2008) – Deputy prime minister and minister of health Sir Terepai Maoate opened new hospitals in Manihiki and Rakahanga last week.

Along with health secretary Dr Roro Daniel and director of outer islands health Tupou Faireka, Sir Terepai flew to Manihiki before taking the two-hour boat ride to Rakahanga to open the hospital there.

Faireka reports that a guard of honour by the Manihiki Boys Brigade and school children greeted the arrival of Sir Terepai to Manihiki on Tuesday morning. He was also met by the island's officials including the mayor Kora Kora and the island council.

Kora said that the people of Manihiki were very happy with the new Tauhunu hospital and wanted to thank the government for completing the project.

In reply, the DPM said he was proud to have been the minister representing government on this opening of the Manihiki hospital, especially since the island was his first island duty station after graduating from medical school when he was young and single. He later returned to Manihiki as the doctor for the island with his wife Marito and their children. Two of his sons were born in Manihiki.

The DPM extended special thanks to the Tauhunu landowners of the hospital site, with special acknowledgment to old friends Papa Tiare Poiri and his brothers, and his friend Papa Okotai Kairua.

Landowners represented by the grandsons of landowners Papa Makiroa Poiri (Tuhe Toka) were first to cut the ribbon to one of the six hospital doors.

He asked on behalf of the people of Rakahanga to have Rakahanga health returned to the ministry of health.

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