4 Jun 2007

Cook Islander joins NZ honours list for services to community

5:57 pm on 4 June 2007

A Cook Islander has been recognised in this year's New Zealand Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the Cook Islands community.

Nearly 200 people are named in this year's list for their achievements in law, business, sports and the arts.

Among them is Arii Urirau Oka, who has received a Queens Medal for her over thirty year long services to the Cook Islands community in Auckland.

Ms Oka, who was a founding member of the Aitutaki Enua Society in Auckland in 1975, says the award came as a surprise, but she is very honoured.

She says the society plays an important role for Auckland's Cook Island community.

"Since this was formed, our people, we know we have a place to go and we have a place where we gather all our people together and we look after one another. So we won't get in trouble, or our young people don't get involved in bad things, like drugs and drinking and all this."

Arii Urirau Oka.