Anthem change ‘embarrassing’

Wednesday August 16, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

Puna Rakanui, Clerk of the House of Ariki has sure got the “conversation going” on changing the national anthem’s lyrics!


Once again the House of Ariki embarrasses not only themselves on the international stage, but the whole nation as well.

It is not enough they embarrassed us recently with a turou, borrowed from another country, in front of a foreign delegation.

The national anthem is a hymn and therefore sacrosanct. It should never be fiddled with by anyone. Does anyone imagine the Americans fiddle with their anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, when they feel like it?

No way, Jose. That’s because they respect it as their national hymn, their ultimate song of patriotism, the one song which unifies them and speaks of their struggles as a people, their culture, history and traditions.

To alter our national hymn is surely not only a contravention of the Constitution but is also a slap in the face for the rest of the people of the Cook Islands. It is also very disrespectful to its composers, the late Sir Tom Davis, our second Prime Minister, and his late wife, Pa Terito Ariki Lady Davis, two of our most esteemed leaders.

I believe the House of Ariki insults their memory and their legacy. Sir Tom and Pa Ariki strived for the betterment of their country and were honoured in their lifetimes. They are still respected for their many services to this nation. So far, what has this generation of traditional or other leaders done for the people of this country? Let your own legacy speak for you when you are all gone. Leave someone else’s alone.

The national anthem belongs to all the people of this country and not just the select few who think they have a right to alter it. Any alteration needs the consent of the majority of the people of this country.

If the House of Ariki wants changes made to it, then get the government to put it to referendum.

By the way, when did “pa enua” stop meaning “all these islands”?

If House of Ariki thinks it denotes “outer islands only”, then it is wrong. It should read “pa enua ki va’o” or pa enua ki tai”, which it does not.

PS: Does anyone in the House of Ariki speak maori anymore?

Akara ia te dictionary kia marama kotou.

            Paddle Your Own Vaka

            (Name and address supplied)

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