15 Mar 2019

Cooks' chiefs want dual name for the country

4:46 pm on 15 March 2019

There is growing support for the Cook Islands to have a dual name.

Cook Islands flag

Cook Islands flag Photo: RNZ/ Tim Glasgow

It was revealed earlier this month a government backed committee was looking at coming up with a Cook Islands Māori name to supplant that given to the 15 islands in the 19th century.

But the paramount chiefs have announced they want the country to use an indigenous Māori name preceding the name, Cook Islands, and this is gaining widespread support at home and on social media.

The House of Ariki president, Travel Tou Ariki, has said they chose this option to calm the nation.

The idea of dropping the Cook Islands name entirely for a traditional Māori name has met with considerable resistance and the House of Ariki see the use of two names as a sensible compromise.

Opposition leader, Tina Browne, said she is aware of widespread resistance to the name Cook Islands being dropped completely.

She said the Democratic Party had given cautious support to the proposed complete name change, but she says the House of Ariki suggestion is sensible.

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