Media 5 Oct 2020
Mark Brown was sworn in as the twelfth Prime Minister of the Cook Islands; the tenth individual to hold this office since the Cook Islands became self-governing in 1965. Prime Minister Brown and his Cabinet took the Oath of Allegiance and were issued with their warrants during a formal ceremony on the grounds of Government House by the Queens Representative, Sir Tom Marsters.
The new ministers who will be allocated with their portfolios in the coming days are: Deputy Prime Minister Robert Tapaitau; Rose Toki-Brown; Vaine (Mac) Mokorao; George Angene and incoming Minister Patrick Arioka.
New Prime Minister, Mark Brown was first elected to Parliament in 2010, winning the Takuvaine Tutakimoa electorate and was immediately given the Finance portfolio. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister after the 2018 election. Raised and educated in Rarotonga, Brown also spent a year at Gisborne Boys High School on scholarship and went of to Massey University, where he graduated with a Diploma in Public Sector Management. He also holds a Master's in Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific.
Brown in fluent in both Cook Islands Maori and English. Brown's career has incorporated roles in both the private and public sectors. A former policy advisor and secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. a business owner and property developer, Brown has also held leadership positions in the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and as a keen sportsman served on the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, Henry Puna has resigned from the top job to contest for the role of Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum. The 71 year old gave his valedictory speech before relinquishing the post. Puna said his government had always endeavored to live up to the ideals of unity.