Democratic Party candidate and businesswoman Davina Hosking-Ashford says her challenge in joining politics was understanding the political platform.
Despite losing the 2022 general election to Prime Minister Mark Brown, Hosking-Ashford
is not discouraged from contesting for Takuvaine seat in the next general
Asked at the Cook Islands National Feminist Forum held at The Edgewater
Resort and Spa last week if she would do it again, Hosking-Ashford said: “I
would like to say yes. But we have to put in measures now to enable me to run
in four years’ time, to enable another woman to run in four years’ time.”
“The challenge for me was understanding the political platform. Not from
a woman’s perspective or man’s, but just politics in general.
“I know I want change. I did not realise how embedded politics was in
people and that sometimes your family connections with Cook Islands outweigh
what is actually needed to change our community.”
She said she saw it as a learning opportunity and did not see it as a
Hosking-Ashford revealed that she did not have a mentor in politics.
“How can we change when you don’t understand what’s happening around
you. At the end of the day you would just be knocking on a door without it
While encouraging other women who were present at the Forum, Hosking-Ashford
said she had challenged herself to find someone who will guide her in the next
“If anyone feel like they can offer a young woman insightful
information, don’t hold it in because that is how we grow and move forward in
Cook Islands National Council for Women president Vaine Wichman said she
was encouraged by the Forum because 20 years ago when she was in Parliament “it
was a pathway one just took and hoped others would follow”.
“Definitely now our young women are deciding that it’s not a matter
of looking around you, but a matter of moving forward and being supported by
more young women. Something that was not available in the past.”
Wichman says the beauty now is that a lot of our women who have been
through this system, are now saying “get on my shoulder and I’ll push you up”.
“Rather than like the previous times, they pull you down.”
She said it was important to support and get more women into Parliament,
especially young women.