23 Dec 2008

Cook Islands Government official says House of Ariki needs a revamp

2:37 pm on 23 December 2008

The Cook Islands Solicitor General, Tingika Elikana, says that the House of Ariki Act passed in 1966 needs to be revamped.

The House of Ariki which is made up of 15 representatives of chiefs or nobles from each island in the Cook Islands advises the government on traditional matters.

The Ariki are appointed by the Queens Representative.

The last amendment made to the House of Ariki Act was in 1972 and Mr Elikana says this needs to be modified to bring it in line with current development.

He says issues like qualifications, entitlements and disqualifications need to be looked at again.

There is also a need to look at the dispute resolution mechanisms of the Act - where there is a dispute between two people for the same title.

There have been many disputes in the past for an Ariki title, with the most recent between the Takitumu Paramount Chief, Pa Ariki Tepaeru Ariki with her younger sister, Lily Henderson, but the claim was dismissed by the courts.