28 Sep 2011

Cook Islander calls for change to Maori name of country

11:46 am on 28 September 2011

A prominent Cook Islander is proposing a change of the country's Maori name.

Businessman, grower and entertainer, Danny Mataroa, attended this month's international Takitimu Festival in New Zealand and he says it brought home to him that the Maori name for the Cook islands, Kuki 'Airani, is a coined word for the English name.

Mr Mataroa says he wants the English name retained but wants a better Maori name and for it to become popular like Aotearoa is in New Zealand.

Mr Mataroa is suggesting the combining of the words Mata and Ariki which means the King's eyes and is a shorter version of a term which means the eyes of the king of kings is upon our islands.

He says he is happy to accept alternatives as long there is a change.

"We are intelligent enough to compose our own name. Cook Islands in English... yes. But compose another name in Maori when we talk one to another. We don't have to register it, we just have to like it."

Danny Mataroa who says if a new Maori name is accepted he hopes it will become accepted through being used within the community.