Back Road, Nikao, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Office Bearers

Minister: Rev. Oirua Rasmussen
Assistant Minister: Vai Peua
Secretary: Puna Rakanui
Assistant Secretary: Nooapii Tearea
Secretary Deacon's Meeting: 
Treasurer: Daryl Rairi
Assistant Treasurer: Bruce Manuela
Mata/Ekalesia to Rarotonga Council: Nooapii Tearea
Representatives to CICC General Assembly: Puna Rakanui, Nooapii Tearea


• 19 Deacons
• 30 regular adult members
• 10 regular Sunday School students
• 20 regular youth members
• An estimated 300 others


The Nikao church was first established at the L.M.S Mission at Tereora in 1924 where it remained for 19 years before moving to its second location on the Main Road on the land called Turama Tuitui. This land was originally gifted by the land-owner Mere Iobu Tumu to the church but later leased to the church.  In 1943 the first Mission House was built on this land and was opened on 22 January 1944; Robert Sema was the Minister at the time.  

On 27 November 1946 the foundation of the first church was laid; Pareina Ngatupuna was the Minister at the time.  Church services were held on the porch of the Mission House. On 18 December 1954 this church was opened; Pureau Akerauara was the Minister at the time. Due to the extension of the present International Airport in the 70s the present church was built on its present location in August 1972 and opened in November 1972.

During this building phase church services were held in the Air New Zealand Hangar. In September 1994 the first renovation was carried out on the church building; the second renovation was carried out in February to April 2007. All the 20 Ministers who served in the church since its establishment  were  originated from outside Nikao.  Most of them were from the outer islands; 1 from Tahiti and 1 from  Arorangi.


Management in the church comprises the Minister as chairperson for all meetings except departmental ones.  The overall administrator is the Secretary, assisted by the Assistant Secretary and the Deacon‘s Meeting Secretary.  

The Treasurer looks after the church’s finances and reports regularly to church quarterly meetings. The church has completed a  revised and detailed terms of reference for all positions which spells out the duties and responsibilities of the office bearers and those in the individual departments.


There are 8 departments in the Nikao branch; Deacons Meeting, Boys’ Brigade Brass Band, Sunday School, Women’s Fellowship, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, Girl Guides and the Christian Youth.  Each department has their own regular programmes and activities which, except for the first two, are linked to those at the national level.


All departments hold regular individual meetings to monitor the progress of their own programmes.  The parish as a whole has a combined meeting at the end of every 3 months.  In these quarterly meetings, developments in each of the departments are reported, as well as reports mainly from the Minister, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Representative to the Rarotonga CICC Council.  Irregular meetings are also convened as and when the need arises.


Religion is very much a way of life for most Cook Islanders irrespective of their denomination. Church-goers cherish this a lot and portray it in the way they dress and attend services. On communion Sundays, men wear white suits and trousers while women wear white dresses.

On church parade Sundays, children and youth wear their designated uniforms. Special apparel is also worn during special services. On normal Sunday services, church goers usually wear their best clothes. Informal or casual wear is not the norm and not encouraged.

During the actual services, the following are observed:
  • Quietness at all times unless part-taking in the hymns, Lord’s Prayer and reading the bible.
  • No cameras & videos are to be used inside the church, except for special functions (e.g. wedding) which must be arranged beforehand.
  • Casual wear (singlets, shorts, etc.) is not preferred. 

After the services, feel free to chat with the Minister and members.


The CICC follows the Scripture Union Bible Reading Plan which sets out daily scripture readings. It is quite common for all services to be based on the day’s reading. Sermons are conducted in the local language (Cook Islands Maori), unless visitors are present in which case the Minister makes a brief welcoming message. No other foreign language is used.

Sermons are prepared and presented by the Minister, Deacons and fully ordained members of the church.

In the past only men are allowed to conduct services but now morning and afternoon services on the last Sunday of the month are conducted by women of the village on duty for that month. Certain types of services and sermons are earmarked for Ministers, Deacons and ordained members only.

Regular Church Services

Normal church services are as follows:
  • Sunday morning service: 5.30am
  • Main service: 10.00am
  • Evening service: 4.00pm
  • Wednesday & Friday morning services: 5.30am
Other/special services include the following:
  • Rekapi (pre-communion): Wednesday prior to Oroa
  • Oroa (communion): 1st Sunday of each month
  • Etene (post-communion): Wednesday after Oroa
  • Pentecost: As per calendar
  • Teretere Apii Sabati: 3rd Sunday of May & November
  • Teretere Mapu: 3rd Sunday of February & August
  • Church parade: 2nd Sunday February to November
  • Youth Rally: 2 per annum on set dates
  • Sunday School Rally: 2 per annum on set dates
  • National Gospel Day: October 26
  • Rarotonga Gospel Day: July 25
  • Boys’ Brigade Day: October 8
  • Girls’ Brigade Week: 1st week of June
  • Good Friday: As per calendar
  • Easter: As per calendar
  • Christmas/New Year: As per calendar
  • Mothers/Fathers Day: As per calendar
  • Pure Epetoma: 1st to 2nd Sunday of January.
  • Working day service at 6.00pm.
  • No service on Saturday.
The order of the main service (10.00am Sundays) is as follows:
  1. Invocation
  2. Sunday School hymn (Imene Apii Sabati)
  3. Prayer of confession/Lord’s prayer
  4. Bible reading
  5. Traditional hymn (Imene Tuki)
  6. Prayer of thanksgiving/intercession
  7. Notices and announcements
  8. Offering and its dedication
  9. Traditional hymn
  10. Sermon
  11. Sunday School hymn
  12. Vesper

A normal service of the above order runs for about an hour, with the actual sermon taking from 15 – 25 minutes. Variations of the above order happen during special services. Functions and ceremonies are also held in the church, for example baptism, marriage, bereavement service.


Seating in church is arranged in 3 rows with two villages on each side (Turama/Panama & Rangiura on the eastern side while Tepuka & Pokoinu on the western side). The central row is mainly for any other people or visitors attending the service. Attending dignatories, Arikis including visitors are escorted to their seats.

Other information

The Nikao church is a member of the Rarotonga CICC Council and participates in all programmes and activities organized by this council. Furthermore, it complies with the resolutions passed by the CICC General Assembly. It has 3 main properties: church building, Sunday School Hall and the Minister’s residence.

Contact for more Information

Rev. Oirua Rasmussen
Nikao CICC
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Phone: +682-25008; Email: kThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Charlie Tamangaro
Nikao CIC
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Phone: +682- 23208