13 May 2020

Returning Cook Islanders receive heartwarming welcome

6:51 am on 13 May 2020

One of the founders of a movement designed to help returning Cook Islanders through Covid-19 quarantine says the welcome they received at the weekend was heartwarming.

Volunteer Taarua Rangatira Maria Tuoro said the Mana Aro'a movement is a kindness campaign for those returning home and heading into two weeks of quarantine on Rarotonga.

However, she said there has been negativity on social media about residents returning from overseas, despite them being quarantined in Auckland before leaving.

"Not everyone is engaged and vocal online. For many Cook Islanders, they will only speak up when they feel really really strongly that they have something to say.....I think the welcome home, all the way from the airport, down the roads, with drummers, dancing and people there , really left them in no doubt that they are home, where they belong," she said.

Taarua Rangatira said those who've been affected by the criticism levelled at them in social media, must remember most Cook Islanders showed their love and support by showing up in person for the royal welcome at the weekend.

She said the positive has outweighed the negative.