Editorial: Our identity in a name

Wednesday July 17, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion
Senior reporter Melina Etches. Senior reporter Melina Etches.

What's in a name? 

A name is the grouping of several letters of an alphabet, or other symbols, which represent the identity of a person, an object, a country; in this case the Cook Islands and its people.


It is likely that the coined Maori name Kuki Airani will be back on the discussion table, to be kept or tossed.

The name has been stomped on, abused, admired and respected.

People who want the demise of Kuki Airani have voiced views of the power and value of selecting a reo tupuna, a traditional Maori name that we identify strongly with – our identity.

Those who say keep it don’t want change, maybe not now – as there are more pressing issues at hand, or simply because they are familiar with and like the name, or don’t care.

People die. Language, names, live on. So powerful is a name, for a small nation like ours it’s a decider on our rights to land through birth.

The emotions good or bad aired with passion speaks that a name is immortality, and it simply does matter.

A referendum held March 24, 1994 on retaining the country’s name, flag and anthem, had voters then favouring to keep all three.

I applaud the option to change Kuki Airani, there never is a right time, why not now?

Let’s be optimistic, let’s focus on a Maori name we can all be proud of.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Kimitaunga29 Wednesday, 17 July 2019 13:52 posted by Kimitaunga29

    Change the Name to an indigenous Maori name. Cook Islands is a colonised name given by the coloniser.6

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