comment from avaiki nius agency Re: [pacific-journos] PPAPD-FPOC commentary on gender equality issues 'shameful': PPSEAWA Cook Islands speaks out.

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COMMENT

New Zealand frequently likes to promote itself as the world's first country to give women the vote.

It's not.

That honour belongs to what was once referred to as the Hervey Islands, now better known as the Cook Islands, and will, I hope, be named Avaiki. Not Avaiki Nui, as Sir Geoffrey Henry once suggested, but as a proud part of an existing confederacy stretching from Savai'i in the west, to Hawaiki in the south, Hawaii in the north and Havaii in the east.

Introduced by a liberal resident agent of the day, this historic precedent was unilaterally withdrawn by a subsequent agent, an event celebrated in the awesome Dick Scott book, Years of the Pooh Bah.

Instead of ridiculing women, our tane in the "Cook" Islands need to recognise the equally awesome strategicness of being the first country in the world to give women the vote. They need to embrace that fact, and wear it like armour on the international stage. They need to forget the example of their colonial raised fathers, and imagine a time, albeit brief, when Avaiki led the world.

abandon the patriarchy!

NOTES

2009/11/20 Lisa Williams-Lahari <lisa.lahari@gmail.com>
All, please see attached letter which appeared in Cook Islands News
today in Rarotonga. The site only updates once a week, so apologies if
you cant open the attachment. It is indeed proof that resistance to
WIP is at its strongest at the top of the tree....and that the old
denial strategies and cliches are still well in use.

"An opportunity for meaningful change to come out of this conference
was subverted by ridiculous and shameful comments into a boy's club
get-together, one small step away from pub talk. Women are not now and
will not ever be their own worst enemies. The rights to that place are
held by men in an iron grip." ALEXIS WOLFGRAMM, PPSEAWA COOK ISLANDS
(CINEWS letter to the Editor, 19 Nov)

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