OMBUDSMAN - NOOAPII TEAREA

Ombudsman Nooapii Tearea after his swearing in ceremony at Cook Islands Parliament

Nooapii Tearea was born in Atiu and hails from the Paruarangi Tribe and Ngamaru Ariki of Nga-Pu-Toru.  He is affectionately known to many as Nono.

Nono is married to Blue Matara Paora Tekii (11/10/1978) and have five girls and a boy, with ten grandchildren.  Nono has one step daughter and a feeding daughter.

Nono was appointed Deacon of the Nikao Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) in 2002 and currently holds the position of the Chairperson for the Tapere Pokoinu, Nikao Delegate to the Rarotonga CICC Konitara Ekalesia, Nikao Delegate to the CICC General Assembly, Secretary of the CICC Review Committee.

Nono also holds the position of Chairperson to the Atiu Nikao Community, Chairperson to the Pokoinu Neighbourhood Watch.

Nono commenced his public service as a 19 year old on 21 March 1973 as clerical trainee then progressed throughout the Ministry in various roles in the criminal, civil, land trust, alienation, Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) and companies division of the Ministry of Justice.

In 1978, he was appointed Senior Court Clerk.  In 1980 appointed as Finance & Administration Officer for a period of 5 years.  He was transferred to Aitutaki as Deputy Registrar at the same time appointed as the Deputy Registrar for the High Court, a position he held until he undertook studies at the Waikato University Law School in February 1992.

He returned in November 1995 and appointed as Commissioner of Crown Land until the position was moved to Crown Law a year later.  Reappointed as Deputy Registrar of the High Court until July 1997, when he was appointed Registrar of the High Court, Court of Appeal, Births Deaths & Marriages, Companies and Incorporated Societies, of the Cook Islands.  In the same year, Nono was appointed Coroner.  In the Cook Islands General Elections in 2000, he was appointed the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer on the resignation of the Chief Electoral Officer.

In 2006, Nono was referred to New Zealand for medical treatment and later that year resigned on the basis of his health.  Whilst undergoing medical treatment in New Zealand, Nono retained his position as Coroner.  In February 2008, he was appointed as a member on the Leases Approval Tribunal (LAT) in preparation of taking the role of Chairperson, as the Chair prepared to retire.  A member of the LAT for two months, he was later appointed Chairperson.

In 2013, after the passing of the Deputy Registrar to the High Court, he applied and was appointed in June 2013.

Nono held the positions of Coroner, Chairperson to the Leases Approval Tribunal, and Deputy Registrar to the High Court until he resigned in March 2019 to take up the post of Ombudsman. In April 2018 he was appointed as Acting Secretary of Justice until December 2019, when the new Secretary of Justice took over office.

Ombudsman Tearea after the official ceremony adorned with flower eis (garland)

Nono was sworn in by Clerk of Parliament Tangata Vainerere on Friday 29 March 2019 in the Parliament chamber, after his first day in office on Monday 25 March.  In attendance were the senior students of Nukutere College, his family and friends, Minister Vaine Mokoroa and the staff of the Ombudsman team.  Parliament hosted all those in attendance to a morning tea.