News Item

New High Commissioner to the Cook Islands visits PCF

News 27 Feb 2019

Tessa Te Mata describes her new appointment as New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands as 'coming to full circle' due to her personal connection to the island nation which is home for her father and paternal ancestors.

Several of her 'full circle' moments also saw her visiting the PCF office, where she developed a positive working relationship with a number of former staff members during her tenure as New Zealand's chief negotiator for PACER Plus.

Tessa's visit to PCF was an opportunity for CEO Don Mann to introduce himself and brief her on the organisation's initiatives and programmes.

While speaking to the media yesterday, Tessa draws on how PACER Plus will have an influence on her new role,

"The PACER Plus Agreement took years to negotiate, but what it was always meant to be was a platform for boosting the Pacific Islands to trade."

"We want the Pacific to be a more prosperous, more stable and more resilient place."

"What I'm hoping to do when I get to the Cook Islands is go from that framework, go from that strategic thinking and make it a reality. Put some of that into practice now."

However, Tessa admits that her first priority as High Commissioner will involve learning and understanding the relationship between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

"There's a lot for me to learn - both personally and professionally", she says

"I want to get to grips with the different partnerships we've got with the Cook Islands goverment, learn more about what their aspirations and priorities are and how the New Zealand government can work with them."

Tessa officially begins on February 27 2019, taking over Peter Marshall who finished his term last month.

Image: (PCF CEO Don Mann with Tessa Te Mata)