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Cook Islands may soon no longer exist – at least by that name

Aerial view of Muri Beach - Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Cook Islands may soon no longer exist – at least by that name

Cook Islands may soon no longer exist – at least by that name

The Cook Islands is considering a name change to reflect its heritage.

Fifty-four years after independence, the Cook Islands, is considering a name change. Named after Captain Cook, the Pacific islands, located between New Zealand and Hawaii, comprise 15 Polynesian islands, each with their own pre-colonial names.

“I am quite happy to look at a traditional name for our country which more reflects the true Polynesian nature of our island nation,” Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown has said, according to Radio New Zealand.

A committee is considering 60 options in Cook Islands Maori including Rangiaroa, meaning Love from the Heavens and Raroatua which translates as We Stand Under God.

“It must also be easy to say,” Danny Mataroa, who heads the name change committee, said.

Previous attempts to change the name of Cook Islands, including a national referendum in the 1990s have been unsuccessful.

However, the name-change may take a while. Mataroa told Reuters there would probably have to be a new referendum and the process could take two years.

Captain Cook visited in 1773 and 1777 and renamed the islands “Hervey Islands”. “Cook Islands” became the current name around the 1820s.

Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888 and was included within the boundaries of New Zealand in 1901 until 1965 when it was granted autonomy by Wellington, according to The Herald.

Cook Islands is a popular South Pacific destination due to its stunning turquoise lagoons, spectacular reefs and tropical rainforests and lush mountains.

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