More Top Stories

National
National
League
Athletics
Economy
Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Articles by Rod Dixon

‘The Aitutaki secret …’ How canoes evolved (and almost sank) for sailing

Saturday 9 March 2024 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

The design of Cook Islands vaka has changed so much over the years that it’s difficult to speak of a ‘traditional canoe design’ as the Aitutaki canoe demonstrates, writes Rod Dixon.


Colourful tattoos, decorated canoes: Captain Bligh’s account of Aitutaki

Saturday 3 February 2024 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Memory Lane, Weekend

Captain Bligh made two visits to Aitutaki and left unique accounts of their vaka and tattooing, writes Rod Dixon.


Karioi – the pleasure months

Saturday 2 December 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Memory Lane

There was a time when Cook Islanders lived and worked in closer harmony with the seasons and enjoyed significantly more leisure time. Summer holidays lasted several months during which young people dedicated themselves to pleasure. By Rod Dixon.


The Scottish kumete from Atiu via Tahiti

Saturday 14 October 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Art, Features, Weekend

Standing in the middle of the Grand Gallery of the Edinburgh Museum is the largest kumete in the world. But how did it get there, asks Rod Dixon.


Wheel of Fortune?: The‘revolutionary’ invention that was born on Rarotonga

Saturday 9 September 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Art, Features, Memory Lane

For two decades Rarotonga was home to the inventor Henri Rey who partnered with local resident William McBirney to form the Rey Wheel Company of Detroit, Michigan. Story by Rod Dixon and Allan Tuara.


Christianity brought new hope, new dreams and new prosperity

Saturday 12 August 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, In Depth, Weekend

Historian and author Howard Henry has been fascinated by the birth of Christianity in the Cook Islands for many years. In a weekly series, Henry chronicles the arrival of Christianity to the Cook Islands and its role in building the nation. In his final article, he talks about the impact of Christianity in the Cook Islands.


‘Ueata – catching shadows: Early photography in the Cook Islands

Saturday 5 August 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Art, Features

Photography came relatively early to the Cook Islands thanks to some missionary amateurs. The Mangaians had a word for it – ‘ueata, “capturing shadows”, writes Rod Dixon.


Raro welcomes the troops, 1919

Saturday 6 May 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Memory Lane, Weekend

Cook Islanders returned from the first world war as changed men, but they still knew how to party, as these century old photos show, writes Rod Dixon.


The Cook Islands that vanished?

Saturday 25 March 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

If historical sources are to be believed, at least three islands in the Cook Islands have vanished into thin air. One of these, Tuanaki, is said to have submerged with all its occupants, as recently as 1842. By Rod Dixon.


How Mangaians helped rescue Raro’s economy

Saturday 18 February 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, In Depth, Memory Lane

At the beginning of the twentieth century migrants rescued Rarotonga’s population and economy, then in apparently ‘terminal’ decline. Within a few decades these migrants had become established Rarotongan families, traditional landowners and custodians of the culture. Is a similar process currently underway?


Painting with scissors: exploring Tivaivai’s links to European modern art

Saturday 7 January 2023 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Art, Features

A major art exhibition in Sydney explores the link between tivaivai and Henri Matisse, the great French master of modern art.


‘Scurrilous rags’ and ‘brimstone belchers’ – Cook Islands’ early newspapers

Saturday 8 October 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

An ‘insatiable lust’ for reading matter among Cook Islanders led to the appearance of Rarotonga’s first newspaper Te Punavai in 1843, printed with the help of the Sydney Morning Herald. Later in the century came Te Manu Rere, Te Torea and Ioi Karanga, all generating controversy and landing one local editor in prison – the first inmate of Rarotonga’s newest jail. By Rod Dixon.


Who really built Rev John Williams’ Rarotongan ship?

Saturday 27 August 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features

John Williams was an evangelical Christian determined to spread the gospel throughout the Pacific. To this end, he constructed a ship at Rarotonga in 1827 with a ‘mechanical ingenuity’ that gave him legendary status in Britain and beyond. But who really built the ‘Messenger of Peace’?


Marjorie Tua’inekore Crocombe – An exceptional life

Saturday 30 July 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Memory Lane

Marjorie and Ron Crocombe lived up to exacting standards in their personal and professional lives and their combined efforts impacted and inspired uncountable others. We were privileged to know them, writes former USP director Rod Dixon.


Spain and Russia in Cook Islands

Saturday 23 July 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

Four hundred years after it was settled by Polynesians, Rakahanga was visited by a Spanish Expedition searching for Terra Australis, then two centuries later by Russia’s First Antarctic Expedition.


Mangaian chic – pare tō fashion hats from the 1950s

Saturday 4 June 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

​The discovery in Washington DC of a cache of 27 Mangaian reed hats or pare tō, dating from 1958, has reignited local interest in how these extraordinary fashion items were produced, writes Rod Dixon.


The Cook Islands Māori calendar

Tuesday 26 April 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

Traditionally, Cook Islanders observed Matariki as the commencement of the annual calendar, a calendar that reflected cycles of life in the agricultural economy of the south and the fishing economy of the north.


Tāote – Cook Islands’ medical pioneers

Monday 28 March 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

With very few resources and little official encouragement, the Cook Islands first local doctors tackled epidemics and eliminated diseases, laying the foundations for the modern Cook Islands medical service.


Manuae, Penthouse magazine and a sunken Aussie grader

Saturday 19 February 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

Over a period of two months in 1981, a group from Rarotonga cleared and constructed a 4000-foot airstrip on Manuae island.


Karlo Andersen ‘King’ of Manuae

Saturday 5 February 2022 | Written by Rod Dixon | Published in Features, Weekend

In the 1950s, Karlo Andersen ran Manuae like a military barracks. “For a man with a notion to play god, the set-up was ideal.”


1  2  Next »