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Ministry rules are unfair

Friday May 09, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Dance champion Teariki Mateariki, who has won the dancer of the year title a number of times, did not defend his title on Friday night as he is no longer eligible now that he resides in Australia. 14050928 Dance champion Teariki Mateariki, who has won the dancer of the year title a number of times, did not defend his title on Friday night as he is no longer eligible now that he resides in Australia. 14050928

Dear Editor, Ministry of Culture’s rules on who can compete in the dance competition are unfair to emigrant Cook Islanders and not exactly encouraging to the development of our culture.

Many young Cook Islanders who live overseas often have no choice as they are forced to leave this country to look for employment (in something other than hospitality/tourism), or to further their education.

Case in point: Teariki Mateariki, whose mother came on CITV on Thursday night to voice her concerns about her son’s disqualification (yet he had been accepted earlier on - both registration and entry fee paid).

What's the deal? Did someone at Ministry of Culture suddenly realise their own kid might get thrashed in the competition by Mrs Mateariki’s son?

Get with the times Ministry of Culture - your country's indigenous population is on the move.

To exclude a past winner and recent emigrant from these shores is just plain mean.

What happens when most of us are overseas and there’s only foreign-born, PR people left to dance in the competition?  Will they take precedence over an indigenous Cook Islander living overseas?

Why are the rules so strict? It is stricter than voting in a general election.

Surely the main aim of the Ministry is to encourage cultural performance and participation by its own people, no matter where they live.

The Miss Cook Islands pageant committee allows girls to compete, even if they happen to be overseas at school at the time of competition. They don't penalise women trying to get an education.

Sorry you have to go through this, Mrs Mateariki. You have done well teaching your children their culture and you rightly deserve to be proud of their successes.

Takinokino tatou ia tatou rai

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