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LETTER TO EDITOR: History behind Kimiangatau’s founding

Friday 2 December 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTER TO EDITOR: History behind Kimiangatau’s founding

Dear Editor, While it’s good to get new local programmes on CITV, it is not good practice to source material from just one person and not do any cross-checking.

That was CITV’s first mistake in the Peu Tupuna episode that aired on Tuesday evening, 29th November, regarding the founding of Kimiangatau village on Mauke in 1904. CITV’s informant made references to English-speaking people as the main cause of the friction, which resulted in the movement of the two chiefs, Te Au and Samuela, and their followers from the older village of Oiretumu (inland), to establish a new village on the coast, called Kimiangatau.

Who were these Papa’a, or English-speaking people then? Could it be Catholic priests from Tahiti, who spoke Tahitian and had arrived around the same time? Could it be the Mauke people themselves who had converted to Catholicism and were therefore practicing the despised religion (because it was brought by the enemy of the British LMS, the Catholic French?) and they were therefore no longer welcome in Oiretumu?

The main reason for Kimiangatau’s founding was the fact that the then Tararo Ariki did not welcome the Catholic church in Mauke (which arrived around 1894) and claimed to own the land that had been granted for the Catholic church by Samuela Tangata Ariki. Samuela, a former follower of the LMS, had converted to Catholicism, along with most of his family. At one-point Mauke had the largest number of Catholics per capita of any island in the Cook Islands.  

Catholics were given a very bad time at the beginning, not just in Mauke but also on Rarotonga and other islands. It was common practice of the day for LMS ministers, during services, to criticise the Catholic church and to berate some of their own LMS congregation for allowing their children to be educated in Catholic schools. One minister in particular, the Rev. Adoni, was the most virulent. All of this information can be found in the old Torea newspapers.

Thank God we are more civilised nowadays and more tolerant of people with different religious beliefs.

Real History Please

(Name and address supplied)

Tupapa Maraerenga

five titles in six years

While the FIFA World Cup is currently being played in Qatar, the domestic competition on Rarotonga continued with the climax last Saturday.

The Striker thought this story can’t go unnoticed and ought to be told. Tupapa Maraerenga premier men’s team have won the Championship title five times in the last six years.

This is a huge achievement that no club have done in recent years. The team have been plagued with many injuries in recent weeks especially in the defence area and had to use three under 18 players to fill the gaps. This didn’t weaken the team in the crucial, physical and deciding match against Nikao Sokattak played at CIFA last Saturday. The team showed composure, patience and scored two goals in the last twenty minutes through newcomer Daniela Taokia and youngster Tuffy Ngametua.

The club over the years is more like a family affair and have had players like the Joseph brothers Sunai and Mii with the latter now the head coach, the Piri family with Teariki and now young Shane Tuteru and in-law Teina Savage, Dave Milanovich, Anthony Samuela, Peni Kitione, just to name a few and the Harmon brothers of Lee and no doubt the kingpin and anchor of this men’s team for many years, Grover Harmon, who is no doubt, one of the best footballer this country has ever produced.

Grover is also the club president and is one of the senior players in the Cook Islands national team. He has played more Oceania International Club games than anyone in the Pacific region including New Zealand with 34 games and this is a record. Grover who doesn’t speak much and lets his action on the field speak is a product of the CIFA Football scholarship programme in previous years and have played at a good level in Australia before returning home seven years ago for family reasons.

The team will represent CIFA at the next Oceania Club Competition. The team with its high number of injuries is taking a week’s break due to its placing in the Round Cup Championship and will play again next week in the Knock Out Competition.

The club and players would like to thank their families and supporters this season and also the previous season.


(Name and address supplied)