Letters: Our families must decide inheritance

Saturday October 05, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Letters: Our families must decide inheritance

I too understand Ellena Tavioni’s stance (“Protect land to pass down by bloodline,” Oct 4).

 I’m adopted by a Mangaian woman who wants to gift me her land as well as my father’s land gifted to him by my papa at their wedding.

As a recipient I would want these laws to stay the same because when I gain the land I will be custodian for my nephews, my adopted mother’s blood as well as my brothers, also my adopted mother’s nephews, so it will go straight back to their bloodline as intended.

I hope these laws an enshrined for future generations and to stay within these anau.

Chris Stanley


Adopted kids are still entitled to their blood parents’ lands. The only exception was the non-Cook Islands kids adopted into the family.

They were given land that would be under the adopted child’s name until the child passes away.

Then the land is given back to the family who gave the land. Also applies to local adopted kids who were given land by their adopted parents.

Unless the adopted person has offspring to any of the family that the land originally belongs to then the child have now inheritance right by blood to the land and can keep it or contest for it.

That is how my grandfather explained it to me. Only by blood line can you have a right to land.

Olly Rere


While I agree that landowners instead of the courts should make decisions concerning the land, I am also aware that the only reason the Courts get involved is because landowners often can’t make the decisions because of family disagreements – which usually start long before the Courts get involved.

It would be great if all families could agree on the distribution of their land but they can’t always do that for whatever reason.

The Courts would much rather families worked things out themselves. They do not enjoy entering into what amounts to family v family litigation.

Helen O’Meara


Kia orana editor,

I can’t believe the rubbish coming out of lawyer Tim Arnold’s mouth. For a lawyer, I’m surprised he hasn’t heard judges continuously referring to our custom as being unclear and the fact that it is not legislated doesn’t help them rule accordingly.

The custom in regard to adoption we’re talking about is no longer being recognised, as proven in the Richard Browne Case.

Let me throw some light on this nightmare.

Rulings over the last 100 years as per our custom in regard to adoption can now be re-visited and the blood land owners will suffer!

All the lawyers have to do is get a copy of Richard Browne’s Privy Court decision and will most likely win their case. As I write, one lawyer has already included the Richard Browne Privy Court decision in one of her submissions.

You see, if our members of Parliament do their job as elected by the people of this country and legislate our custom, the hands of all judges will be tied and wouldn’t be able to move from our law.

I hope members of Parliament today will have the integrity and sense of responsibility to get on with the job and do the right thing for the people of the Cook Islands.

I’m sure the judges will be delighted as their job will be made easier.

Te Atua te aroa,

Ellena Tavioni.


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