News 9 Dec 2019
New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced that NZ High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata passed away.
"On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend our deepest sympathy to Tessa's family, friends and colleagues," Minister Peters said.
"A respected diplomat with over 25 years' experience in trade, development and legal matter, Tessa made a particularly strong contribution to deepening New Zealand relationships with Pacific Island countries."
Tessa was the first female New Zealand High Commissioner of Cook Island descent to serve in the Cook Islands. She also had strong family connections to Samoa.
In 1992, Tessa joined the ministry and had postings in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Niue and most recently, Cook Islands.
PCF was privileged to have Tessa involved in a number of its initiatives and sessions particularly the PACER Plus information sessions where she was the former chief negotiator for the agreement. This year, PCF was honoured to have Tessa in her capacity as the High Commissioner to officially open the digital workshop in the Cook Islands.
"She demonstrated how much of a difference expertise, warmth, hard work and cultural competence can make to New Zealand's Pacific diplomacy. She will be hugely missed," Minister Peters said.
Image: PCF CE Don Mann with H.E Tessa Temata who has recently passed on