The Cook Islands deputy Prime Minister has paid tribute to the country's former Prime Minister Sir Tom Davis who died aged 90 early yesterday.
Sir Terepai Maoate worked alongside Sir Tom from the emergence of the Cook Islands Democratic Party in the early 1970s through to his tenure as Prime Minister.
Sir Tom was Premier for nearly nine years from 1978, except for a brief period in 1983.
Sir Terepai credits Sir Tom with taking the vital steps to turn the Cook Islands economy into a growing one, and for making key improvements to the public health system.
"He has done so much for the health of this country. In fact he reinforced the public health approach towards the health of the Cook Islands people because even though we were not that rich in the years gone by, we have been able to sustain a very healthy population through a public health approach to health of the Cook Islands people."
Sir Terepai Maoate.