Cook Islands Nurses Association (CINA) president Nga Manea says following an early evening meeting on Monday with Health secretary Dr Aumea Herman, the suspensions were reversed. Some of the group, which included most of the members of the association’s committee, returned to work on Monday night.
“We solved the problem during this meeting,” says Manea.
“We love our jobs, we love the nursing profession, we love doing our best to contribute to the health care of our people.”
Some of the nurses returned to work that evening, whereas others, who Manea described as being “emotionally shaken” by their suspension, have taken annual leave to give them more time to recover from the incident.
Reasons given for the suspension included an alleged breach of VIP protocol during the opening ceremony, including problems with the official guest list.
CINews also understands an extra performance was staged, but was not listed in the official programme.
The Health ministry was reportedly embarrassed by the absence of the Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters and some Cabinet ministers, who apparently did not receive their invitations.
The opening was attended by Health minister Rose Brown, Culture minister George Maggie and Infrastructure Cook Islands minister Mac Mokoroa.
Around 400 people attended the regional forum, which last week was hailed as a major success.