Obituary: Mayor Rakunoua Tiota of Maiana

On 21st of June, 2017, Mayor Rakunoua Tiota, passed away from an illness, at the Nawerewere hospital. The Mayor was into his second terms as Head of the Maiana Council.
A special flight allowed his body to be returned to Maiana to be given a proper traditional funeral among his people and to be buried in his home soil.
Rakunoua Tiota, was born on 20 August, 1959, on Maiana. He had his Primary education at Tion Otang Primary school on the island and, from 1972, attended SDA Kauma High School on Abemama.
He started work as a Policeman from 1976-81, then an Assistant Treasurer for the Maiana Council, later moving up the position of Deputy Clerk.

His political career in local government began in 2012, when he was elected as Councillor for Bubutei Central Ward and shortly thereafter, won the race for Mayor. In 2016, he was reelected Councillor for his ward and a few months later, became the first Mayor from Maiana island to run unopposed, indicating his popularity and respect by his colleague Councilors. No Mayoral election was necessary and he automatically took office for a second consecutive term.
Mayor Rakunoua was a quiet leader who did not talk a lot, but whose presence was always felt from his humble but focused look. A few months prior his death, he welcomed a team from UNICEF and KiLGA that visited his island and, like the good leader that he was, one of his requests to the team was for UNICEF to assist his Council develop a Strategic Plan for his second term.
His passing away is a great loss to his people on Maiana and to the Kiribati Local Government Association of which he has been a representative from his Council. He will certainly be greatly missed by his Mayor colleagues during future Mayors’ General Meetings.
May he rest in peace and may his wife, Mere and family be comforted by his legacies and the things he has done for them, for Maiana and Kiribati.

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