Cook Islands government is keeping its fingers crossed as it awaits the decision of the Pacific Arts Council regarding the host of the 2032 Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture.

Prime Minister Mark Brown is confident that Cook Islands’ bid to host the 2032 FestPAC will be the one considered.

Cook Islands is one of the four countries bidding to host the regional cultural gathering.

Earlier this month, Emile Kairua, Secretary of Tauranga Vananga Ministry of Cultural Development, presented the country’s bid at the 40th Meeting of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Brown, who led the Cook Islands delegations to the Hawaii FestPAC, said they have submitted the application to host the 2032 Festival of Pacific Arts.

Brown added that the request was officially made at the ministerial meeting held just before the FestPAC in Honolulu.

“The Minister and the Head of Ministry put forward our application to host the Pacific Festival for 2032. And I believe it is one of two applications that will be considered and I think it will be favourable to the Cook Islands to host this event.”

If awarded the hosting rights, Brown said it would be exactly 40 years since Cook Islands last hosted the event in 1992.

“And we’re hopeful that the committee will make a decision on that by this year. So that gives us close to eight years to prepare.”

Cook Islands has also submitted its bid to the Pacific Games Council to host the 2029 Pacific Mini Games.
Brown said: “These are important regional events because it helps us to also upgrade and refurbish our own infrastructure to be prepared to host these events.”

“While we will be upgrading our schools, infrastructure venues for the Pacific Mini Games, if we are successful with the host for 2029, it will lead then to the hosting of the Pacific Arts Festival in 2032.”

Brown also expressed pride in leading the Cook Islands delegation at this year’s Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture, commending the team’s performances and conduct.

“Our team that represented us in Hawaii made our country very proud. Not only were their cultural performances outstanding, their costumes were absolutely stunning to see but the conduct of our team,” he said.

“As I said in my opening statement this was the flower of a generation that we took to Hawaii and they really bloomed there.”

Brown acknowledged the choreography, costume designing, dancing and drumming led by cultural experts, Jane Rubena and her partner Mark Short.

The FestPAC 2024 concluded on Sunday.

The first cohort of 23 members of Team Cook Islands returned home on Saturday night. The rest of the delegation who are still in Waikiki, will be returning home this Saturday.