22 Mar 2019

Cook Islands name may stay, with indigenous prefix

From , 4:02 pm on 22 March 2019

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

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

But the paramount chiefs have announced they want the country to use an indigenous Maori name preceding that of the Cook Islands, and this is gaining widespread support.

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

Since it was first mooted the idea of dropping the Cook Islands name entirely for a traditional Maori name has met with considerable resistance and the House of Ariki sees the use of two names as a sensible compromise.

Opposition leader, Tina Browne, told Don Wiseman she is aware of this resistance and her Democratic Party is supportive.

Cook Islands flag

Cook Islands flag Photo: RNZ/ Tim Glasgow