Appointed by the former Prime Minister Henry Puna, Rosie, as she is affectionately known, assumed the role of Consul General in 2013.
Her retirement was announced earlier in the year.
Puna last month conveyed to Rosie, the government and people’s appreciation for her dedicated service.
He recalled his directive to Rosie on her posting to Auckland by Government to “fully immerse yourself in our communities in New Zealand in order to nurture and nourish strong and enduring relationships between Government and our people there”.
“Rosie did that, and more, and Government are rightfully proud of those contributions,” Puna said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration secretary, Tepaeru Herrmann echoed the former Prime Minister’s appreciation for Rosie’s contributions to the Cook Islands as Consul General.
“When I reflect to 2013, the profile our government has amongst our diaspora Auckland community today has been significantly enhanced, much of that due to Rosie’s leadership, energy and immersion amongst our people in Tamaki Makaurau,” she said.
“Our standing also with Auckland Universities; Auckland Council and Auckland based academia have also been enriched through the stakeholder engagement initiatives she cultivated.”
High Commissioner to New Zealand, Elizabeth Wright Koteka hosted a final farewell for Consul General Blake at the Auckland Consulate on Thursday October 15, attended by community leaders, friends and family.
Rosie thanked Puna for giving her the honour of being Cook Islands Consul General in Auckland.
She also thanked Herrmann for her leadership and guidance, and the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, for their support towards the Consulate.
Some of the highlights for Rosie as Consular General include being at the Polynesia Leaders Meeting in Auckland hosted by the former Prime Minister and attending the celebrations of the 100 years of ANZAC at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington.
Rosie’s fondest memories are with her community engagement role.
“I am privileged and very proud to have been part of strengthening and facilitating the establishment of the following key Cook Islands community organisations – women’s art and craft groups, the Kia Rangatira Cook Islands Tertiary Advisory Group, Cook Islands Religious Advisory Council Auckland, Cook Islands Sports Association, the Cook Islands ANZAC Committee and the Te Maeva Nui Charitable Trust,” she said.
The Covid-19 lockdown and border restrictions also saw Rosie and the Consulate staff working with the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington and other relevant partners.
They provided relief to affected Cook Islanders in Auckland, those who were stranded from the homeland, ensured that food parcels and welfare deliveries were available through the relevant providers and more importantly encouraged Cook Islands people to get tested.
On Covid, Rosie said: “I am proud to say that the Consulate was instrumental in collaboration with Dr. Aumea Herman and the late Dr Joe Williams, in initiating the Cook Islands emergency response mechanism currently chaired by Dr George Ngaei and coordinated by the Cook Islands Development Agency New Zealand (CIDANZ).”
A Consul General designate to succeed Rosie is awaiting New Zealand Government consideration – a decision that awaits the incoming New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs as per standard diplomatic processes.