The paramount chief of Takitumu Pa Tepaeru Ariki Mari says the Cook Islands have lost a dear friend with the passing of the Maori Queen yesterday.
Dame Te Atairangikaahu died peacefully at her home in Ngaruwahia in the central North Island at age of 75.
Pa Ariki says the Maori Queen's relationship with the people of the Cook Islands and the Pacific region, has been a long one and she'll be missed.
"All of us in the Pacific had a very close connection with her for many, many years. She was a happy leader. She was loved by her people and she was loved by us in the Pacific Islands."