On Friday, 10 June 2022, we had the pleasure of welcoming a delegation from the Cook Islands.
The delegation included: Prime Minister, Hon Mark Brown; his wife Mrs Daphne Brown; Hon Mrs Akaiti Puna, Member of the Cook Islands Parliament; Mr Turepu James Keenan, Police Commissioner; Mr Raemaki Karati, Cultural advisor and his wife, Mrs Ngaire Karati; Mr Garth Henderson, Secretary Ministry of Finance and Economic Management; Ms Tepaeru Herrmann, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; Ms Mackenzi Wichman Director, International and Trade Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ms Ria Arthur Foreign Service Officer, Trade and Emergent Partners, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
They were joined by a number of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials including the High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Dr Christopher Watkins.
The guests were welcomed by the President, the Speaker, and members from both the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly. Noongar elder Mr Barry Winmar provided a Welcome to Country after which, Cook Islands cultural adviser Mr Raemaki Karati, delivered a powerful Cook Islands response.
The Western Australian Parliament is 'twinned' with the Cook Islands Parliament under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. While the formal twinning arrangement has been in place since 2007, the relationship between the Western Australian Parliament and the Cook Islands has existed for well over 27 years.