News Story

New Church Communication Director Chosen for Cook Islands

Imagine having the assignment to teach a class where your students are spread out over nearly two million square kilometres of ocean and where you might only get to see them in person once a year. That is the job of Angaroakau Williams, who is the new volunteer Communication Director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Cook Islands.

A building contractor by trade, he teaches carpentry at the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute. He teaches not only in his classroom, but since some of his students are spread out across several islands, he teaches online and goes out to do in person teaching a few times a year on the outer islands.

The Cook Islands are an independent territory of New Zealand and are located about 3,000 km northeast of Auckland. There are 15 small islands with 240 square kilometres of land area and 1,800,000 square kilometres of ocean with a total population of 18,000. 

Mr. Williams was born on the main island of Rarotonga. He later moved to New Zealand where he attended the Church College of New Zealand in Hamilton. He since returned and presently lives in Pokoinu, Nikao in Rarotonga.

As the communication director, he volunteers his time to tell the story of the Church in his homeland. There are around 1,800 Church members in five congregations and one district in the Cook Islands. They are part of the Auckland New Zealand Mission of the Church.

He clearly enjoys his assignment. “I like working with our community and religious leaders. I know many of them having grown up here. I met with the Prime Minister while I was in Mangaia and with the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands while I was in Atiu last week.

“This assignment gives me an opportunity to be part of this great work in sharing the gospel with the world and preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ.” 

He also talks with members about their personal experiences including involvement in community projects and working with other churches. He is a member of the Cook Islands Religious Advisory Council which advises Prime Minister Mark Brown and other thought leaders on key issues. He is also the first counselor in the District Presidency of the Avarua Cook Islands District.


As part of his assignment on the Council, he writes the “Church Talk” column for the Cook Island News every six weeks. Here are some of his thoughts:

“The other day I was coming back from Mangaia after being away for two weeks, and as the plane was taxing in, I welled up with anticipation and excitement. I felt as though I could have been a great hero returning from space and what caused this excitement? I was going back to my family.”

“Does it have to take flights away from home … to remind us how sweet are the moments with our loved ones and friends? How brief they are in the run of time? Does it take these things to stop us in our picking at trifling faults to realize the beauty of every minute together?”

“For all of us, let it not take a lifetime before we realize that we have been there all along, that life does not offer anything sweeter than the love of dear ones and sharing of time together.”

“It has been said: “Prevention is far better than redemption.” God grant us the wisdom to know that this life is a journey, and may we have the sense to enjoy it.”

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