The global Cook Islands community is mourning the passing one of its prominent leaders Teanua Dan Kamana, known to many as Papa Dan Kamana.
Papa Dan (right) and daughter Margharet Matenga. Photo/ Supplied.
Papa Dan was one of the Cook Islands' longest-serving Parliamentarians, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1994 for his services to the nation as a politician, church leader and accomplished sportsman.
Cook Islands Consul General to New Zealand Rosie Blake says Papa Dan was instrumental in establishing the House of Ariki, recognising the importance of traditional Cook Islands leaders.
"We really and truly lost an outstanding founding father of our nation," she says. "We mourn the passing of this outstanding and amazing Cook Islander who has contributed a lot to the growth of our nation."
Ms Blake says he was a high-ranking chief among Cook Island leaders.
Papa Dan will be flown to the Cook Islands on Wednesday and his funeral will be held on Friday at Tupapa.