For the new Cook Islands News columnist, that means voluntary work like her roles with Rotary, the Breast Cancer Foundation, the Creative Centre and the Aotearoa hostel.
And that also means not staying silent when she sees a wrong being done. “I’m a pretty balanced and fair person, someone who can speak out against injustice; I like to see things done.”
An only child, her mother is of the John Teariki family in Takuvaine; her mum left in 1941 – but her daughter always wanted to return home.
She moved to Rarotonga with her partner Derek Fox and their son Tinirau in 2012. “This is a great place to bring up our son,” she says. “I’m very lucky to live here, this is paradise.”
She appreciates the island’s beauty, serenity and eventful activity.
In April 2012, McKay coordinated US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to the Cook Islands.
This was a great time for her to find her Raro feet. “I got to know the feel of the land fairly quickly and how people work.”
She admits, initially there was a bit of apprehension as to who she was, however it worked out to be a good experience.
And her thoughts on Hilary? “She was fabulous, low maintenance – and she’s little,” she laughs.