17 Jan 2019

Cook Islands chief wants to talk Kuki Airani Maori name

7:52 am on 17 January 2019

A Cook Islands paramount chief wants to re-start discussions on finding a Cook Islands Maori name for the country.

Paramount Chief Pa Marie Ariki

Paramount Chief Pa Marie Ariki Photo: Ronnie Siu'lepa

Pa Marie Ariki of the Takitumu district on Rarotonga said all Cook Islanders must be given the opportunity to choose or compose a traditional name for the country.

The chief had held consultations with the government and the House of Ariki about introducing such a name, Pa Ariki said.

The Aotearoa-New Zealand situation could be emulated by the Cook Islands so that there were two names, she said.

In the mid-1990s the then government held a national referendum on several issues including whether Cook Islanders wanted the country's name changed to the more traditional Avaiki Nui.

The majority wanted to keep the Cook Islands name.