Traditional leaders are the basis of society in the Cook Islands, says Prime Minister Dr Robert Woonton,
Opening the South Pacific Tourism conference at the National Auditorium on Tuesday, the prime minister told delegates that traditional leaders played a very important role in Cook Islands society.
The concept of traditional leadership would be difficult for people from some other countries to understand, but would be appreciated by delegates from Fiji which had a similar system, he added.
The Prime Minister extended a special greeting to the Ui Ariki, Ui Mataiapo and Ui Rangatira attending the conference – and noted that he wasn’t praising them simply because he was Minister responsible for the House of Ariki.
The House of Ariki is made up of paramount chiefs representing all of the islands in the Cook Islands and has the role of advising government on traditional issues.