Tim and Colleen Darby say Kia Manuia to Sunset Resort

Colleen Darby
Photography By
Colleen Darby

As Andre Bocelli so beautifully sings – Now’s the time to say Goodbye!

End of An Era as Tim and Colleen Darby say Kia Manuia to their family and team at Sunset Resort. 

After near on 11 years, we are moving back to NZ and onto another chapter in our lives.  Whether it is retirement, repurposing or ‘winging it’ we are looking forward to whatever is ahead for us.

Our association with the Cook Islands spans 14 years including 3 years here in the ’90s with young school children and latterly 11 years managing Sunset Resort.  It is with a myriad of mixed emotions we depart these beautiful shores, leaving an amazing community of friends, colleagues and our incredible Sunset Resort team that has had a huge impact on our lives here in Rarotonga and beyond.

We depart knowing that the Sunset Resort and the team are in good hands with Kevin and Cathy Simkin, who are no strangers to the Cook Islands, as they have been here for 13 years. They both bring a strong set of skills to take the Sunset Resort into a challenging and busy post-Covid era.

Meitaki maata e kia manuia

Tim and Colleen Darby.


…….and introducing


Kevin and Cathy Simkin

Their introduction to the Cook Islands came when Cathy tutored a business management course for NZ Aid. Fifteen “lively” students attended the programme from the Cook Islands. “Visit us they said” they did and fell in love – have previous experience in hospitality - in 2009 they purchased the Kikau Hut restaurant – and owned/operated that for 6.5 years. 

Being awarded Permanent Residence in the Cook Islands in 2013 was an honour and highlight.

With Kikau Hut sold they did some business minding – fishing charter, accommodation and restaurant relief work, in 2017 Cathy took up a full-time role with the NZ High Commission, a role that she was passionate about and loved, meanwhile Kevin developed their small but very busy accommodation business.

An interest to work together again, having always admired the Sunset Resort, knowing that Tim and Colleen were ready to kick up their heels and retire presented an opportunity, an opportunity not to be missed.