Jeane Matenga | Chairperson

Appointed as Chairman of the Board April 2019,  Jeane has served as a BCI Board Director since April 2011, and in that time also held the role of Compliance Chair.

Jeane has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology); Master of Business Administration in Technology Management (Latrobe University/APESMA), and a Master of Information Management and Systems (Monash University).

She is the CEO of Elijah Communications Ltd (Cook Islands Television, Radio Cook Islands, and Cook Islands Herald). Jeane is also the Managing Director of Mana Productions Ltd, a video production business, and the Principal Director of CI Lotteries Ltd which sells lottery games.

Unakea Kauvai | Deputy Chairperson

Unakea was appointed to the Board of the Bank of the Cook Islands in April 2017. He has over 30 years of banking experience which started in 1977 with the National Development Corporation, predecessor of the Cook Islands Development Bank. He was General Manager of the CIDB for 10 years until its merger with the Cook Islands Savings Bank in July 2001. He was appointed Managing Director of the Bank of the Cook Islands after the merger. Following BCI’s restructure in 2004, in order to comply with various banking legislations, Unakea was reappointed as Managing Director. He retired from that position in October 2008 but continued with the bank for another 18 months in the capacity of advisor and mentor to the newly appointed Managing Director.

Unakea was a Director of Capital Security Bank Cook Islands Ltd from 2010 until he resigned in 2016. He was the Chairman of the Cook Islands Airport Authority from 2011 until 2015 and previously served on the board of other public-sector entities including the former Cook Islands Housing Corporation, Te Aponga Uira (The Electric Power Authority), and former Small Business Enterprise Centre. Unakea has been actively involved and continues to hold leadership roles in various local community organisations.

Olivia Heather | Director | Chairperson - Risk Oversight, Compliance & Internal Audit Committee

A self-motivated professional and avid learner with 17 years of management experience, Olivias knowledge base spans accounting to best practice process and internal controls in the retail and finance industries. With high expectations of those that work around her to strive for efficiency and professionalism of a high calibre, Olivia will continuously look for and encourage growth and improvement in all areas.

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce Accounting major, Olivia joined KPMG Auckland earning her Chartered Accountancy certification. Joining the family business in 2008, Olivia has brought Vonnias into a steady position poised for sustainable growth, at the same time embarking on her own start-up health & fitness ventures setting up the first Cross Fit franchise in the Cook Islands with her husband. Ever the continuous learner, Olivia is now a High Performance Nutritionist Level 1 Certified and is completing a Bachelor of Law through the University of the South Pacific Cook Islands Campus.

Olivia was first appointed to the Board in August 2018, and took over as Risk Oversight, Compliance & Internal Audit Committee Chairperson in May 2019.

Kirikaiahi Mahutariki | Director

Kirikaiahi Mahutariki was appointed to the Board of BCI in November 2019. Kirikaiahi joins us while also holding a role as an Executive Manager in the Māori Financial Solutions team at ASB Bank. She is of Tongareva, Tahitian, and New Zealand Māori (Te Arawa and Mataatua) descent and her overall drive is to contribute to the development of her people to be prosperous and successful, as Māori.

She has a legal and professional services background spanning over 21 years, having advised various global and multi-national organisations across a range of industries, SMEs, high net-worth individuals and various government agencies. Her contribution comprises her professional experience as a lawyer, tax consultant and banking specialist, along with her cultural strengths and upbringing. Kirikaiahi also contributes her legal and commercial expertise in governance roles in a range of structures, organisations and sectors including leadership, professional development, international development and sport.

Rebecca Wood | Director | Member of the Risk Oversight, Compliance & Internal Audit Committee

Rebecca Wood is excited to bring to the Board of BCI her extensive experience from working in the legal profession for over 15 years. Rebecca was appointed to the Board in April 2020.

A Cook Islander, born and raised on the Island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Rebecca completed her tertiary education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws. She is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and is a current practicing Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of the Cook Islands.

Rebecca’s legal career spans across a broad legal spectrum, and includes working as a Lawyer at Browne Gibson Harvey P.C. which at the time of employment, was the largest law firm in the Cook Islands, serving both domestic and international clients. Her work over several years involved the provision of legal opinions to lenders and other entities including a range of legal services for commercial and land transactions.

As the Cook Islands experienced exponential growth as an international Financial Centre, Rebecca’s career moved into this area with a change in employment to General Counsel for Southpac Trust Limited. As General Counsel, Rebecca dealt with a range of international clients, providing legal advice regarding international trusts and companies, amongst others.

Rebecca has also been involved in a number of voluntary groups and organisations over the years, and she now owns and operates her own law firm, Short & Wood P.C.

Mike Carr | Director | Member of the Risk Oversight, Compliance & Internal Audit Committee

Appointed as a Board Director in April 2020, Mike Carr is no stranger to the Bank of the Cook Islands. As the former Managing Director of KPMG in the Cook Islands (our auditors); after 34 years of service Mike has recently retired (November 2018) from running the Cook Islands largest Accounting firm.

KPMG is renowned for their commitment to quality and consistency and a responsibility to public interest that Mike and his team of KPMG professionals took very seriously. With a strong focus on accounting and taxation advice to the private sector, Mike also provided services to client’s for cash flow projections, loan applications, acquisitions and restructuring. He provided taxation advice to most of the Government SOEs and has served on the Government’s Budget Committee and the 2013 Tax Reform Committee.

As Co-owner and Director of Lagoon Breeze Villas Rarotonga, a family friendly Resort, and owner of a beach-house / studio property, Mike has a strong foothold in, and understanding of, the tourism sector.

Mike is also a non-executive Board Director on the privately-owned company of CITC, which is the largest retailer, importer, wholesaler and distributor on the island. He also provides business advise, directorship and trustee services to a limited number of clients.

Not only is Mike well known in business circles, but through his participation in, and administration of, various sports, school involvement and church activities, over many years, he is well known in the wider community.

An avid Triathlete and member of the Cook Islands Triathlon Committee, Mike’s regime consists of national record aspiring routines. He is supported by a family of sports fanatics, both his wife and children being national representatives in their own sporting arena’s.

Mike contributes his impact of professionalism, community spirit, and aspirational growth goals in local ownership to the ‘Peoples Bank’.