According to the Cook Islands in New Zealand website, Wright-Koteka travelled to Waitangi to join in the official Waitangi Day commemorative programme for the diplomatic corps accredited to New Zealand.
In a statement Wright-Koteka said: "Recognising our long historic, cultural and traditional links, a renewed focus of my efforts throughout my three-year term will be on strengthening relations between not only the Cook Islands and New Zealand governments, but also between Cook Islands and New Zealand Maori.
“I particularly welcomed the opportunity to deepen my understanding of Te Tiriti and its place in contemporary Aotearoa and of course the crucial role it plays in framing the relationship between New Zealand Maori and the Crown.
"It was my honour to join this year’s official Waitangi Commemorations and I look forward to expanding the Cook Islands engagement with Maori and Iwi Leaders as we acknowledge our shared whakapapa/papa'anga."
She added that through the centuries, the linkages between the Cook Islands and Aotearoa have been maintained in the shared ethos of the people and manifested in diverse ways including through person-to-person contact, language and traditions.
“I believe it is high time we elevated this relationship and I look forward to pursuing this with vigour throughout my term here in New Zealand."
Wright-Koteka took part in a tour related to the history of nationhood in New Zealand, dating from the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi on February 6 in 1840, joined diplomatic colleagues for a powhiri on to Te Whare Runanga at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and attended a reception hosted by New Zealand’s deputy prime minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters.
She also attended the Beat the Retreat ceremony at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
- LL / Release