Ahead of the farewell sitting for the retired Chief Justice, Honorable Sir Hugh Williams, KNZM KC, our Prime Minister, the Honorable Mark Brown in the presence of Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Honorable Tingika Elikana, Secretary of Justice Tamatoa Jonassen and Acting Principal Immigration Officer Chere Arthur, conferred the award of Cook Islands Permanent Residency on both Sir Hugh and Lady Joy Williams for recognition of services to the Cook Islands as a judge.
The Prime Minister advised on the Cabinet approval for this award in gratitude for the services to the Ministry of Justice since being appointed to the High Court bench in 2009 and thereafter the appointment as Chief Justice for the Cook Islands from 2016 up until December 2022.
A reflection from both the Prime Minister and Sir Hugh on cases adjudicated, most recently the electoral petitions of 2022 and the ‘Manihiki runway’ case of 2011. The latter was worthy in that significant improvements to the Manihiki runway begin later this year.
The Prime Minister also signaled law reform in discussions of which Sir Hugh indicated a willingness to contribute. The occasion was intimate and the award well received.