Prime Minister and Minister for Police and Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Mark Brown has just arrived into Perth to attend the Handover Ceremony of the Guardian Class Patrol Boat – the Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat (CIPPB) Te Kukupa II. Prime Minister Brown will receive, on behalf of the Government and people of the Cook Islands, Te Kukupa II from the Hon. Matt Keogh, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister for Veteran Affairs on behalf of the Government and people of Australia.
The handover ceremony will be held today at the HMAS Stirling, Garden Island, Western Australia where the Cook Islands Maritime crew led by Commander Inspector Tepaki Baxter of the Cook Islands Police Service have been based for three weeks of Collective Sea Group Training with the Royal Australian Navy.
The new Guardian-class Patrol Boat replaces the original Te Kukupa, a Pacific-class Patrol Boat gifted to the Cook Islands in 1989 and recently decommissioned, under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project. Te Kukupa II provides the Cook Islands with a much improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescues and many other operations domestically and internationally.
“I am delighted to be able to attend today’s handover ceremony for Te Kukupa II,” said Prime Minister Brown. “CIPPB Te Kukupa II will be embraced by our nation as enthusiastically and professionally as CIPPB Te Kukupa I was more than 30 years ago. The CIPPB program is a cornerstone of our relationship with Australia and speaks to Australia’s commitment to supporting ensure the Cook Islands and our Pacific’s security. I’m aware our Police Maritime Division has been strengthening its own capacity to accept the CIPPB Te Kukupa II. Crew members have increased from 13 to 25 and in country training has been conducted in Rarotonga to bring skills levels up. I understand the Command and crew have performed well in the work up on to the new vessel here in Freemantle in recent weeks and I look forward to standing proudly with them later this afternoon to receive Te Kukupa II on behalf of our government and people.”
For more insight into CIPPB Te Kukupa II see https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=389576119574295 and https://www.facebook.com/Austal/posts/10159825848065552
For enquiries regarding this media release contact Mackenzi Wichman on phone 29347 or email [email protected]