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What’s in a name? Cook Islands considers ditching colonial title

What’s in a name? Cook Islands considers ditching colonial title
The Cook Islands in the South Pacific are considering dropping their colonial-era name and adopting something more reflective of their Polynesian culture.

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A name-changing committee was formed there earlier this year, initially with the intention of adding an indigenous name to the existing nomenclature. However, its chairman has now revealed that the group is in favor of ditching the island nation’s nod to British explorer Captain James Cook altogether.

A British protectorate from 1888 to 1900, the islands were dubbed the Cook Islands in honor of the 18th century explorer who came ashore there in the 1770s. Cook has a complicated reputation, ranging from heroic navigator to disastrous coloniser.

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The committee is now seeking a name that will better reflect the islands’ Polynesian culture and Maori language. The idea is far from novel for the nation comprising of 15 islands; a bid to rename them ‘Avaiki Nui’ in 1994 was defeated in a referendum. 

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