Reserve area of Tawa Ngake on the eastern side of the atoll of Pukapuka, Cook Islands

Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani Cook Islands Language Week

Kia orana and welcome to Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani Cook Islands Language Week. Kia orana literally translates to “May you live a long and fulfilling life”, a sentiment that typifies the Cook Islands culture.

This year’s theme is Kia pūāvai tō tātou Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani i Aotearoa, which translates to, “That the Cook Islands Māori language may blossom throughout New Zealand”. Celebrate Cook Islands culture with us by exploring the maps, letters, old government records, journals and research we have curated for you.

1906 map of Rakahanga
The 1906 map of Rakahanga in the Northern Cook Islands (left) was surveyed by Hugh McCrone Connal, the first Government Surveyor of the Cook Islands. Its remarkable accuracy, when compared with the current topographic map of the island (right), is a testimony to Connal’s surveying skills and care for local languages and traditions.


Comparison of a 1906 map of Rakahanga in Cook Islands with the current version

Left: Rakahanga, Northern Islands, 1906, Department of Lands and Survey, Wellington; Right: Rakahanga, 2014, PITopo25 Sheet PI09, Land Information New Zealand, Wellington.

Cook Islands government records
This set of important Cook Islands government records were microfilmed in the 1970s in a collaborative preservation project. Available in the General Library Microtexts Room, the 45 microfilm reels include copies of 19th century Native Land Court titles registers and minute books, miscellaneous land records, and genealogies compiled by a former Land Court judge.
Learn more about these items.

The value of korero and connections to community is reflected in Korero: the research journal for Cook Islands educators. When teachers share stories about their experiences it provides other teachers the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and play their role in improving learning and teaching in the Cook Islands.
Read the journal.

Life and culture of the Cook Islands
Documentaries and short films provide great insights into the life and culture of the Cook Islands. Our playlist includes episodes of the series ‘Pacifica’ which presents traditional Cook Island tales and history, and special episodes of ‘Tagata Pasifika’ dedicated to the Cook Islands.
View the playlist.

Frederick Moss papers, MSS & Archives A-33, Special Collections
Frederick Moss served from 1890-1898 as the first British Resident (administrator) to the Cook Islands after it became a British Protectorate in 1888. An advocate for local governance, Moss helped set up the Federal Parliament which included representatives from all of the islands.

Among his extensive papers are a rich range of letters and other documents in te reo Māori Kūki Āirani.
Explore the collection.

Frederick Moss papers collection

Copy of E Tuatua Akakite (Land Declaration), (1894). Frederick Moss Papers

Mou Piriia Te Kōrero ‘Ā To ‘Ui Tūpuna, Akaoraoraia: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for Cook Island Secondary Schools Physical Education
Aue Te Ava investigates how Cook Island core values have been incorporated into physical education teaching at Years 9 and 10 in three Rarotongan schools. The study enhances the core values needed to structure a pedagogy that is responsive to Cook Island culture while simultaneously exploring tensions teachers faced from their students as a result of this.
Read more.

Mana Moana: Wayfinding and Five Indigenous Poets
Robert Sullivan utilizes ‘Moana’ as a wayfinding methodology and critical tool that articulates the cultural signs, re-told narratives, linguistic and social references within the poetry of five first and second wave Pacific writers.
Explore the Moanan wayfinding reading technique.

For more resources on the Cook Islands, you can also head to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website.

From the Pacific Language Weeks Kainga, with special acknowledgement to Nigel Bond and Jo Birks, Special Collections, Marie O’Connell, Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound, William Hamill, Media Services, and Hine Busby, Igor Drecki and Simon Esling, Research Services.


“Walking along the reserve area of Tawa Ngake on the eastern side of the atoll of Pukapuka, Cook Islands”. (Image taken by Professor Jill Flanders Crosby between January 6th – 19th, 2020).