‘Kuki Airani’: The name debate

Friday July 19, 2019 Written by Published in Culture

In association with the Ui Ariki, Cook Islands News asked our community what Reo Maori names they would suggest to replace Kuki Airani. Here is a small sample of the ideas.


- Te Rahi! Meaning: The great!  I’m Maori or Islander so that’s the name I want to wear.  Not too long, and powerful meaning. – Heiva I Clayton Turia

- My suggestions is ’Avaiki, the legendary homeland of the Polynesians. I tere tu mai ratou mei ’Avaiki mai. They voyaged here direct from Hawaiki. – Fe’ena Syme Buchanan

- The afterword in Mike Tavioni’s book, Motifs of Nukutere, says it all – I stand with this name. Nuku means a group of people, tere is to move. – Elsie Hosking

- I vote Nuku Tere as Elsie Hosking has suggested. It makes sense. But … there are other important things to be done around the outer islands like the roads and hospital upgrade. – Etueine Woolley

- Ara Enua – Edwin Atera

- The name change is to reflect our heritage and people. So, why would you come up with something like Raroatua (meaning We Stand Under God)? Our heritage goes beyond Christianity. Without our forefathers, we would not exist. – Mary Playford

- Kuki Airani sounds way better than any other name change. Te iu – Tumai Vekene

- Avaiki Roa – Penny Taramai

- “Pa Enua” if not then “Pa Tinito” – Paul Nooroa Rae

- Avaiki Islands, Avaiki Parataito, Avaiki Tumu te Varovaro or TapuTapu Atea o Avaiki ... lol...I give up. – David Mitchell

- Not everyone wants to be associated with an explorer that pillaged his way across the Pacific. – Inano Walter

- We already established ourselves as Maori on our beautiful islands prior to Captain Cook’s arrival. I would rather have our own Maori name that would tie me to my pito enua (umbilical cord) and my tupuna. – Teesha Teking

- Kuki Airani binds us together as one race with different dialects. [But] if you are happy with the idea to change, we should call Kuki Airani Tumutevarovaro. – Manava Parakoti

- The United Islands. – Chris Stanley

- Topa iatu te ingoa ko ‘Utakea (who cares?)’ te iu tikai teia tieni ingoa,ka akapeea atu oki taua. – Apii Jessie

- Tikina aere te AU metua pakari apaina kiroto ite aua Ariki angaia tetai kapu ti na ratou iee te iu tena topic. – Naomi Kimiora Michael

Leave a comment