In one of her many letters to the editor of Cook Islands News, Ruta Tangiiau Mavé asked, “….if not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
The answer is now, today.
The forthright Mavé starts her first, trenchant column for the newspaper, and says she hopes to be a voice for grassroots people.
Mavé’s dad was born in Rarotonga, the 13th of 14 children. Her dad’s surrogate mother is her namesake.
A tour guide at Te Vara Nui Village and secretary of Athletics Cook Islands, Mavé has family roots that trace back as far as her great-grandmother, a Mataipo.
After spending nearly 10 years in New Zealand and Australia, in 2013 Mavé returned with her family to Rarotonga.
She decided to come home so her two children could learn their culture.
Her first letter to the editor focused on an environmental issue in Turangi – an issue she claims no one wanted to speak about. “If no one speaks, we can’t wait around for other people.”
Some people are not able to speak out because of the fear of losing their jobs or just the need to protect something. “But it is not easy to speak out when you have been wronged.”
Mavé says her column will not focus on negative issues, yet will show the support for those who want to have a voice.
She hopes to write about the customs and culture of the Cook Islands and what makes it beautiful. She also wants to write of events, like the recent Turama Day or the upcoming school prize giving ceremonies.
Mavé hopes to inspire readers and be the voice that sheds light on issues she believes are ignored by the Cook Islands.
Her first column, today, grabbles with same-sex law reform.