Ko’ai matou – who we are

Kōutu Mana Tūtara o Te Ipukarea (OPM) is a Government agency with approximately 35 staff.

OPM supports the Prime Minister and Cabinet to ensure that the government of the day meets its obligations for sound governance of the Cook Islands. It is responsible for implementing sound processes and policy advice on the national sustainable development goals and the direction and governance of the Cook Islands.


Chief of staff, Ben Ponia, reports to the Public Service Commissioner and Hon Prime Minister Henry Puna. The COS is supported by ten directors:

JJ Browne, Director of Cabinet/ Secretary to Cabinet Services
Valentino Wichman, Director of Central Policy and Planning
Valentino Wichman, Director of Central Policy and Planning
Mia Teaurima, Director of Pa Enua Services
Tangi Tereapii, Director of Renewable Energy Developmen
Charles Carlson, Director of Emergency Management Cook Islands
Maria Tuoro, Director of Marae Moana
Wayne King, Director of Climate Change Cook Islands
Wayne King, Director of Climate Change Cook Islands
Teina Frank-Jessie, Director of Corporate Services[Insert
Vacant, Director of National Security

Te Orama – Our vision

Tūranga tūkatau, ’akatere’anga tau ’ē te mātūtū

A well governed, resilient and secure Cook Islands

Te Akakoro’anga – Our mission

  1. To ensure that we deliver credible, responsive, impartial and ethical advice to our country, and the government has confidence in our service.
  2. To ensure the Public Sector is strong in its governance through effective policy development and innovation; and
  3. To be resilient and secure, we need to be forward-thinking, establish sustainable and secure practices and lead the nation to effective outcomes.

Au raveanga tei rauka mai – Strategic Outcomes & Strategies

The strategic outcomes are a reflection of the “Te Akakoro’anga” and directly connect to one or more of the six goals of the NSDP. To deliver on this OPM have developed two strategic outcomes: Good governance and National security and resilience.

Angaanga ki atu – Other roles and responsibilities

National Sustainable Development Agenda 2020+

The NSDA 2020+ established in 2020 was created to develop and coordinate the 2020+ national sustainable development
agenda plan.

The membership of the 2020+ NSDA working group comprises representatives from the following six Sector groups and others
as deemed appropriate.

  Economics

  Social and cultural

  Infrastructure

  Environment

  Financial Governance

  Legislative governance and law and order

National Sustainable Development Commission (NSDC)

The National Sustainable Development Commission was established in 2008. The roles and responsibilities of the NSDC
are to:

  1. Actively monitor the progress of major government activities and projects in achieving the NSDP goals and fulfilling the Budget Policy Statement.
  2. Promote the efficient and effective working of government in carrying out cabinet directives towards achieving the goals of the NSDP.  This includes providing guidance on implementing efficient and effective structures and processes within the public sector.
  3. Promote the efficient and effective coordination, alignment and allocation of resources, both domestic and from
    development partners, to advance the sustainable development of the country. 
  4. Advise Cabinet on developments with Cook Island positions and negotiations for external funding assistance whether through grant, loan, or any other forms of provision.
  5. Provide recommendations to Cabinet on strategic decisions about resource use and allocation and the implications of those decisions. 
    Recommendations should be based on:

       Alignment with the goals of the NSDP

       Achieving efficient, effective and coordinated use of resources

       Rational criteria for prioritising national needs

       Due diligence

      The availability and use of national resources

      The distribution and availability of funding from development partners.

 

  VI.       Provide guidance on government policy positions and identify strategic issues, challenges, and opportunities with implications for sustainable development.

  VII.      Provide sound advice to the Cabinet on the above matters including regular updates on the progress of government in achieving the goals of the NSDP.  Such advice is expected to be of high quality and evidence based.

 

Office of the Prime Minister, Chief of Staff Ben Ponia is the chair of NSDC, he is supported by the following members representing their respective agencies.

     Garth Henderson, Financial Secretary, Ministry of Financial Economic and Management

     Myra Patai, CEO, Office of the Public Service Commissioner

     Tepaeru Herrmann, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration

     Danielle Cochrane, Secretary, Ministry of Education

     Nga Puna, Director, National Environment Service

    Tamarii Tutangata, CEO, Cook Islands Investment Corporation

     Dr Josephine Herman, Secretary, Te Marae Ora (Ministry of Health)

     Stuart Baker, Solicitor General, Crown Law Office

     Anthony Turua, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Development

     Repeta Puna, CEO, Business Trade Investment Board

National Research Committee (NRC)

 

The Government of the Cook Islands is committed to generation of knowledge and expanding access to it on behalf of its people. It supports developments and strengthening of capacity and capability to do research in the Cook Islands and also recognises the importance of viable research activity as part of its national sustainable development.

Office of the Prime Minister, Chief of Staff Ben Ponia is the chair of the National Research Committee, he is supported by the following members representing their respective agencies.

       Pam Maru, Secretary, Ministry of Marine Resources

       Dr Josephine Herman, Secretary, Te Marae Ora (Ministry of Health)

       Temarama Anguna, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture

       Danielle Cochrane, Secretary, Ministry of Education

       Anthony Turua, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Development

       Nga Puna, Director, National Environment Service

       Kairangi Samuela, Principal Immigration Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration

       Gerald McCormack, Director, National Heritage Trust

       Dr Debbie Futter-Puati, Director, University of the South Pacific