‘Leave our name alone’

Tuesday February 11, 2020 Written by Published in Culture
 Kaumaiti Tou Ariki. 20021035 Kaumaiti Tou Ariki. 20021035

Too much time and money will be wasted if the case for a new Maori name for Cook Islands is pushed. 

 

House of Ariki president, Kaumaiti Tou Ariki has said he wants the case of giving Cook Islands, Kuki Airani, a new Maori name to be “put to sleep”.

“Too much money and time has been spent. We need to accept that this is not going to happen for a very long time,” he said when he spoke to Cook Islands News yesterday.

It was announced on Monday that Cook Islands leaders including Mataiapo Daniel Mataora and members of Aronga Mana have shortlisted Maori alternatives to complement the nation’s English name. They have drawn up a list of 117 alternatives in the search for a meaningful name to complement the English language “Cook Islands” and drafted a report for the House of Ariki which has been provided to ministers.

At Waitangi in New Zealand last week, Pa Ariki addressed New Zealand Maori leaders and reiterated her calls for a new name.

“We want an indigenous name,” she said.

She would not be drawn to indicate a personal preference, but said she would like to talk to Prime Minister Henry Puna if that proved necessary and to speed up progress.

But Tou Ariki said he was not aware of the conversations that had taken place and wanted discussions put on hold.

And most locals seem to agree.

Jack Morris Mare said if there is a name change he wouldn’t call himself a “Kuki” any more.

Mii Ratai asked what was going on with Aronga Mana.

“Cook Islands and Kuki Airani is forever, don’t need to change it. Please leave our name alone.”

Teroro John said there were important things to worry about like education and health. 

“We are well-known in the world and yet people want to change it. People will start asking where is this place!”

When the idea was first mooted to give the country a new Maori name in March last year, Tou Ariki was part of a naming advisory committee, chaired by Mataiapo Daniel Mataroa, where initially the only idea suggested was to retain Cook Islands as well as the Maori transliteration Kuki Airani.  

A report compiled by the advisory committee was presented to Cabinet with about 60 Maori name suggestions.

House of Ariki and Cultural Minister George Angene was also part of that advisory committee but this time round has agreed with Tou Ariki and said too much time and money had already been spent on this issue.

“We are not supporting a name change. This has been going on since last year,” he said.

“Cook Islands with the Maori name Kuki Airani is what we as a people identify with.”

It’s not the first time the country has mulled over a name change.

In a referendum in the 1990s, 69 percent of Cook Islands residents voted to retain the name.   

17 comments

  • Comment Link Tuaine Taumoanga Wednesday, 12 February 2020 19:06 posted by Tuaine Taumoanga

    Te inangaro nei a Pa tepaeru ariki e kia tieni ia teia ingoa Maine E KUKI AIRANI, anau ia mai aia te ingoa ko KUKI AIRANA, eaa e inangaro ingoa Kia akapaapaa ia aia. Ko au e ngakau parau ana au e me akakite au e note Kuki Airani mai au, teia ingoa TONA TANGI, VENEREKA, COOK ISLANDS.
    TERA TE PAE APII, HEALTH CARE, OR TE ARE MAKI IT SELF, NEEDS UP GRADES.
    E pa tepauru you want to change the name, change yourself first before you want to the name Kuki Airani.
    Teia ta matou kote PA METUA E PATI NEI E NOO NEI KI AKARANA NEI AURAKA KIA TAUIA TO TATOU INGOA KUKI AIRANI. KUA RONGO TO TATOU ENUA KI TEIA NEI AO.

  • Comment Link   TR. Taomia Wednesday, 12 February 2020 17:03 posted by TR. Taomia

    We should be, we'll, I am proud of the name of my little blessed Nation, Country, Kuki Airani, I would love my grandchildrens to know it and honour it, to those who has spoken of name change, you have been influenced by other culturals way of life, you can not be like them, you can try but you will always, be a Kuki Airani. Changing our name from it iriginal name, we might as well call our self's as gentiles,

  • Comment Link Tarnz Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:14 posted by Tarnz

    Oh no leave our name as it is education and health is important

  • Comment Link Ngavaine John Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:39 posted by Ngavaine John

    Kia akameitaki ia koe e te President o te House of Ariki’s Kaumaiti Tou Ariki no toou manako akaieie kia takore iatu tena manako no tetai ingoa ou no to tatou ipukarea te Kuki Airani. Tika rava e kaimoumou moni tikai, te akaieie ua nei te ingoa Kuki Airani Cook Islands mei ia New Zealand rai ko Aotearoa. Tira ua ku oti rai, aere ra kimi ia tetai ravenga kia meitaki te turanga o te aranui, te ora’anga (health) te vai, e te vai atura, kia orana & God bless

  • Comment Link Ngavaine John Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:39 posted by Ngavaine John

    Kia akameitaki ia koe e te President o te House of Ariki’s Kaumaiti Tou Ariki no toou manako akaieie kia takore iatu tena manako no tetai ingoa ou no to tatou ipukarea te Kuki Airani. Tika rava e kaimoumou moni tikai, te akaieie ua nei te ingoa Kuki Airani Cook Islands mei ia New Zealand rai ko Aotearoa. Tira ua ku oti rai, aere ra kimi ia tetai ravenga kia meitaki te turanga o te aranui, te ora’anga (health) te vai, e te vai atura, kia orana & God bless

  • Comment Link Kura tekeu Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:14 posted by Kura tekeu

    I think priority for any change is Health. All areas of health, but mainly on dialysis, diabetes, heart issues and all. Our health need to be number one priority it is very poor. Never mind the name, MRI mua mai te Kuki Airani. Te akaieie uara.

  • Comment Link Nga Ariki Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:59 posted by Nga Ariki

    Kia Orana toku manako kia vai rai to tatou ingoa akapera Cook Island Kuki Airani Te mako uara tera Eaa teia taime na ka taui tatou Irinaki au kia vai rai akapenei e tuatau ua atu meitaki Ranuinui

  • Comment Link Nick Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:29 posted by Nick

    What are we going to call our country then. China island or Tinito Airani

  • Comment Link Vaine Hosking Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:43 posted by Vaine Hosking

    "Leave our name alone" Cook Islands in Maori Kuki Airani. I am speaking for the ones who haven't been heard and for the future generations. I speak for my families around the world because they are Cook islands.

  • Comment Link Why change the name Cook Island has always been there for a long time and so has Kuki Air an I and what about how the people of our island would feel if the name got changed to something else!  It will no longer be an island and to me I reckon it is stupi Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:11 posted by Why change the name Cook Island has always been there for a long time and so has Kuki Air an I and what about how the people of our island would feel if the name got changed to something else! It will no longer be an island and to me I reckon it is stupi

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