CPA Small Branches Chairperson - 2019-2022

Hon. Niki Rattle
Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches 
Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands

The Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches, Hon Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands pledged that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) would have a strengthened and renewed focus on assisting Small Branches and their Parliaments and Legislatures on her election in September 2019.

The Members of the CPA attending the 37th CPA Small Branches Conference elected the Speaker of the Cook Islands, Hon. Niki Rattle as the new Chairperson of Small Branches. The role of Chairperson of Small Branches is an Officer role within the CPA’s governance structure and the new incumbent will sit on the CPA International Executive Committee to bring a voice for Small Branches to the governing body of the CPA.

In her acceptance remarks, the newly elected Chairperson of CPA Small Branches, Hon. Niki Rattle expressed her gratitude to the Members of the CPA Small Branches, who have shown great trust in electing her as their Chairperson. Hon. Niki Rattle spoke about the pressing need of small Legislatures within the Commonwealth to come together, within their smallness to address common difficulties and strengths and share experiences of their Parliaments or Legislative Assemblies. As small states in the Commonwealth, among other small countries, the CPA Small Branches have learnt to appreciate their strengths while being flexible enough to be able to work with other larger Parliaments and to be influential. 

Hon. Niki Rattle was appointed as the Cook Islands’ Speaker and CPA Cook Islands Branch President in 2012; being reappointed in 2014 and 2018. She is an extremely active Parliamentarian and former CPA Executive Committee Representative for the CPA Pacific Region. A registered nurse, she was the first Pacific Chairperson of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and she is highly regarded internationally for her skills of conciliation, strategic leadership, and advocacy. 

She was an eminent member of the International Federation Election Committee, and she is known for her contribution to rules of procedures and ethics. Confronted with complex procedural issues, she pushed for enhanced legislative and financial scrutiny and development of the Parliament. She is an advocate for economic, social, and political empowerment in Small Island and Developing States (SIDS) and is committed to fostering strong, connected Legislatures. She is passionate about community, prevention of violence, women’s leadership, health, and disaster-risk reduction.

Under CPA election rules only delegates from CPA Small Branches to the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference could take part in the vote to elect a new CPA Small Branches Chairperson. The election of the new Chairperson of Small Branches took place at the 37th CPA Small Branches Conference held in Kampala, Uganda as part of the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in September 2019. 

Of the over 180 Branches of the CPA, forty-three Branches are classified as ‘Small Branches’ which are defined as jurisdictions having a population below 500,000 people. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat works closely with Small Branches in all Regions of the CPA to identify their unique needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening, development and cooperation

Previous CPA Small Branches Chairperson*:

- Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta - 2016-2019

*The position of CPA Small Branches Chairperson was first created in 2016.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences, Regional Conferences and other symposiums; Inter-parliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments; and the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre. 

For further information about the CPA, please contact: 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association 
T: 44-20-7799-1460 
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Updated 2 October 2019/CPAHQ