Former mayor, teacher make honours list

Wednesday August 07, 2019 Written by Published in Local

Two long-serving outer island public servants have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours for their services to the community.


Vaine Teremoana Upokoina Mingi, often called Papa Moana is a stalwart both as a public servant and a community leader. His British Empire Medal is in honour of his work in the community.

Born on 18 March 1940 on the Island of Atiu, Papa Moana’s public service career began in 1974 as grounds man and maintenance worker at the Atiu Primary School, where he served up to 2000. In 1974, he was also elected as a council member for Teenui Village, a position he held until 2009. At that time, he was also the deputy mayor for 12 years. In 2001 he was appointed as the government representative for the island up until 2005.

He served his community through his involvement as a speaker for Teipo Mataiapo in the village of Teenui until now and has carried out various community projects on the island. He is a retired secretary, Boys’ Brigade lieutenant and deacon for the Atiu Cook Islands Christian Church. As of today, he is an elder in the church in Atiu.

Keen fisherman Tangaina Patia was also on the Queen’s birthday honours list for his services to the community. He was born in Mauke to Niomakuru Materoa and Matanoanoa Tangaina in 1948. Tangaina started teaching in 1967 at Avarua Primary School and from 1978, he was a physical education teacher at Tereora College then taught Maori and Maori culture until retiring in 2003.

He was a football representative for the Cook Islands at the South Pacific Games in Tahiti in 1971 and rugby for the country in Auckland 1978. Tangaina was also well-known as a member of Tupapa Maraerenga Youth Club from 1966 (secretary) until the completion of the Tupapa Maraerenga Youth Centre building.


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