Te Tuhi Kelly (Letters, Sept 3) writes that the Great Fleet of seven vakas that sailed to New Zealand is a myth.
May I remind Te Tuhi Kelly what you stated in your letter was a real insult to my tupunas and the people of the Cook Islands.
My grand uncle Sir Araitia Tepuretu MBE taught us at the Ministry of Culture our history and the number of vakas that sailed to New Zealand since 950. Te Matahorua Vakas from Manihiki skippered by Kupe. And it was this Tupuna who found Ao-te-aroa, and names The Land of the Long White Clouds. (He-Ao-Tea, He Ao Tea)
The responsibility of a father to teach and train his fanau to know who you are, where they come from and when they are heading for.
Papa said if you don’t know who you are, where you come from, and where you are heading you are a puaka. Because pigs don’t know where they come from because pigs live in the mud. No matter you hosed the pig with water just a matter of seconds ago, the pig goes back into the mud.
We believed the story that was passed on to us by our Tupunas.
Maybe you don’t know where your Tupuna came from, by the look at your signature it tells me you’re not a full Cook Islander. Maybe you are part Cook Islands the day will tell.
Hold to your korero, we hold to ours, and we are very proud to be called a Cook Islander.
Many years and official travel I was invited and represent this country called Cook Islands of which I declared to Maori New Zealand gathering of which I make a statement of which the Kaumatua of New Zealand acknowledged, Yes, e akamatua, Ko au to Teina (New Zealand).
Why not give your fakapapa so that Cook Islanders must know.
Yours in this service
Pastor T Ngarima George
Tumu Korero of Cook Islands Heritage.