Parliament of the Cook Islands receives symbolic tables from Western Australia

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Perfectly timed to coincide with the start of Parliament’s first sitting of the year at 10 am, the centerpiece tables, which are made from Western Australia’s distinctive and significant Jarrah tree, now adorn the halls of Parliament House in Rarotonga.

Along with Cook Islands Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff, a delegation from the Legislative Assembly and the Western Australian Legislative Council (Upper House) also attended the ceremony. The delegations are now on a visit to Rarotonga.

Through a twinning program between the CPA Australia and CPA Pacific Regions, the Parliaments of Western Australia and the Cook Islands are “twinned” by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The 2007 formal agreement encourages increased support and collaboration between the parliaments of Australia and the Pacific.

The group from Western Australia was cordially received last Friday by Tangata Vainerere, the Clerk of Parliament, and her colleagues.

As a representation of the two nations’ friendship, Vainerere asked for two “retired” tables in 2019 when attending parliamentary sessions in Western Australia. Vainerere declared, “They decided to build us brand new ones.” The “Table of the House” or Chamber Tables were eventually displayed five years later.

Vainerere emphasized the continuous aid provided to the Cook Islands by the Western Australian Parliament, which includes attachment programs, training opportunities, and more. “I’m excited and happy; the idea was to have a physical representation of our relationship with our MPs, Speakers, and staff,” he said.

The visiting team was led for the presentation by Legislative Assembly Speaker Michelle Hopkins Roberts and Legislative Council President Alanna Therese Clohesy. To celebrate the occasion, both women gave Speaker of the Cook Islands Parliament Tai Tura a commemorative plaque.

In her remarks, Roberts stated: “We are so pleased to finally be able to present the tables, and we are very honoured to have a piece of Western Australia here in the Cook Islands Parliament taking centre stage.”

Like the other commenter, Clohesy called the island “absolutely beautiful and wonderful,” and she expressed gratitude for the friendliness and gracious hospitality shown by the Cook Islands inhabitants.

Every delegation member from WA had the honor of revealing a veil that had been meticulously painted and created by hand. Reverend Teava Nanai, the Parliamentary Pastor, blessed the table of the House.

Tomorrow is the delegation’s planned departure from Rarotonga. The following people represent Western Australia in the Parliament of the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and Legislative Council (Upper House):

Tomorrow is the delegation’s planned departure from Rarotonga. The following people represent Western Australia in the Parliament of the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and Legislative Council (Upper House):

Head of the delegation is Hon. Alanna Therese Clohesy, President of the Legislative Council.
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Head of Delegation: Hon. Michelle Hopkins Roberts
Legislative Council Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Dr. Steven Caldwell Thomas
Hon. Lorna Harper, Parliamentary Candidate
Margaret Mary Quirk, the Legislative Assembly’s acting speaker
Sam Hastings, Legislative Council Clerk
Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Scott Nalder


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