Obituary: Teatao Teannaki

The funeral service for Hon. Teatao Teannaki, Speaker of Parliament, took place on 18 October, 2016, witnessed by nearly everyone in Kiribati, via a live radio coverage.
The Honourable Speaker was also a former Beretitenti of Kiribati, former Vice President, Cabinet Minister and MP for Abaiang, covering a record period of almost four decades. The Beretitenti of Kiribati, H.E. Taaneti Maamau, was present at the church service to award, posthumously, the “Ana Tokabeti Kiribati” medal, the highest national leadership award, to his widow, on his behalf.
Speaker Teaotao Teannaki was a well-known and –respected leader in both national and local governments. He has been the only I-Kiribati to have filled top government positions in both the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
With regards to his work for Local Government, he had been a very active and effective Ex-Officio member of the Abaiang Council for 40 years.
Because of this outstanding leadership record, he was invited to be the Guest Speaker at the ‘Abaiang IDC Workshop’, on 21 October, 2015, held at the Parliament conference room, sponsored by SPC, USAid, GIZ and others. The workshop was aimed at developing the capacity of the members of the Island Development Committee of Abaiang, especially in combating and adapting to Climate Change and natural disasters.
Hon. Teannaki gave an inspiring talk on the topic of ‘Effective Leadership’, which he illustrated with good practices from his own experience. He defined an effective leader as ‘one with the ability to get consensus amongst his Council or organization.’ The audience were very appreciative, and also deeply moved, many wiping tears from their eyes at the conclusion of his talk.
Hon. Teatao Teannaki had been a model of an effective leader, known to many, both locally and internationally, and stands to be remembered and copied by many, today and in the future.
KiLGA bids him to rest in peace and offers full condolence to his widow and family.

Hon. Teatao Teannaki in 2015 during the Abaiang IDC Workshop


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