Mark Brown (Cook Islands)

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Mark Stephen Brown
Brown-Dewes-Oct2020 (cropped).jpg
Mark Brown in 2020
12th Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
Assumed office
1 October 2020
MonarchElizabeth II
DeputyRobert Tapaitau
Queen's RepresentativeTom Marsters
Preceded byHenry Puna
Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
In office
14 June 2018 – 1 October 2020
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Preceded byTeariki Heather
Succeeded byRobert Tapaitau
Personal details
Born (1963-02-28) 28 February 1963 (age 59)
Avarua, Cook Islands
Political partyCook Islands Party
Alma materMassey University
University of the South Pacific
Minister of Finance and Economic Development
Assumed office
3 December 2010
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byWilkie Rasmussen
Attorney General of the Cook Islands
Assumed office
1 October 2020
Prime MinisterHimself
Minister for Energy and Renewable Energy
In office
1 October 2020 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHimself
Succeeded byRobert Tapaitau
Minister for the Outer Islands
In office
1 October 2020 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHimself
Succeeded byRobert Tapaitau
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration
Assumed office
1 October 2020
Prime MinisterHimself
Minister of Police
Assumed office
1 October 2020
Prime MinisterHimself
Minister of Financial Services Development Authority
In office
1 October 2020 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHimself
Succeeded byVaine Mokoroa
Minister of the Financial Intelligence Unit
In office
3 December 2010 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byWilkie Rasmussen
Succeeded byVaine Mokoroa
Minister of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation
Assumed office
3 December 2010
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byRobert Wigmore
Minister of Telecommunications
In office
3 December 2010 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byJim Marurai
Succeeded byPatrick Arioka
Minister of PERCA/Audit
In office
3 December 2010 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byWilkie Rasmussen
Succeeded byVaine Mokoroa
Minister of Superannuation
In office
3 December 2010 – 2 June 2021
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Himself
Preceded byWilkie Rasmussen
Succeeded byRose Toki-Brown
Member of the Cook Islands Parliament
for Takuvaine–Tutakimoa
Assumed office
17 November 2010
Preceded byNgai Tupa
Succeeded by

Mark Stephen Brown (born 28 February 1963) is a Cook Islands politician and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. He had previously served as Deputy Prime Minister under Henry Puna. He is a member of the Cook Islands Party.

Early life[edit]

Brown was born in 1963[1] in Avarua on Rarotonga, and educated at Nikao Maori School, Nikao Side School, Tereora College and Gisborne Boys' High School in New Zealand.[2] He holds a Diploma in Public Sector Management from Massey University in New Zealand and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific.[2] He has worked as a public servant, including as a policy advisor for the Prime Minister's Office and as head of the Ministry of Agriculture, and as a property developer.[2] He has served as Vice-President of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Cook Islands Touch Association.

Political career[edit]

Brown is currently vice-president of the CIP.[3] He unsuccessfully contested the electorate of Takuvaine–Tutakimoa in the 2006 elections, but was elected at the 2010 election.

Brown was appointed to Cabinet in December 2010 as finance minister.[4][5] He was re-elected at the 2014 election, and again in 2018. Following the 2018 election he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Teariki Heather.[6]

In December 2019 a private prosecution for fraud was lodged against Brown and Prime Minister Henry Puna, alleging that a government-chartered aircraft had been misused.[7] In March 2021 the charges were dismissed by the High Court.[8]

In June 2020 Prime Minister Henry Puna announced his intention to stand down in September in order to compete for the role of Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum.[9] He nominated Brown as his replacement. On 1 October, following the retirement of Henry Puna, he was elected Prime Minister.[10] He retained almost all of his and Puna's portfolios in his initial Cabinet, surrendering only Education and Tourism to other Ministers.[11] He plans to re-allocate major portfolios such as Finance and Foreign Affairs to other Ministers in 2021.[12]

In mid-December 2020, Prime Minister Brown and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern announced that a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands would be established next year, facilitating two-way quarantine-free travel between the two countries.[13]

A cabinet reshuffle on 2 June 2021 saw him distribute half his portfolios to other Ministers.[14]

He was re-elected at the 2022 election and reappointed Prime Minister after securing the support of two independents.[15][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hon. Mark Stephen BROWN". Parliament of the Cook Islands. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "ADB Cook Islands: Handbook for ADB Missions" (PDF). Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Opposition to focus on welfare and financial stability". Cook Islands Herald. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Cooks PM announces cabinet line up". RNZ. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Who's who in Cabinet". Cook Islands Government. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Brown DPM in new cabinet". Cook Islands News. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Cook Islands PM, deputy PM accused of fraud". RNZ. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  8. ^ Losirene Lacanivalu (19 March 2021). "BREAKING: Judge dismisses case against PM Brown and Puna". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  9. ^ "The Cook Islands PM to stand down in September". RNZ. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Mark Brown new Cook Islands leader". RNZ. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  11. ^ Emmanuel Samoglou and Rashneel Kumar (8 October 2020). "PM takes on 17 portfolios". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  12. ^ Rashneel Kumar (9 October 2020). "PM Brown to divest key portfolios in 2021". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Covid 19 coronavirus: Cook Islands, New Zealand travel bubble without quarantine from early next year". The New Zealand Herald. 12 December 2020. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  14. ^ Rashneel Kumar (3 June 2021). "PM announces Cabinet reshuffle". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  15. ^ Matthew Littlewood (5 August 2022). "'Super Browns' side CIP in coalition talks". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  16. ^ Matthew Littlewood (12 August 2022). "Brown reappointed PM". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Mark Brown confirmed as Cook Islands prime minister". RNZ. 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.