2 Oct 2002

Cook Islands traditional chief challenged to title

7:39 pm on 2 October 2002

A challenge is continuing to one of three paramount chiefs on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands for the claim of the traditional title.

Pa Upokotini Ariki was deposed as president of the House of Ariki on the weekend and her sister, Lily Henderson, is also pushing for her to be stripped of her traditional title as a paramount chief.

Jason Brown reports from Rarotonga.

"Lily Henderson says the benefits from the powerful Pa Ariki title are not being shared among the family. These benefits include rentals from the site of the Cook Islands biggest and most disastrous tourism deal, the Italian Hotel."

However Pa Upokotini Ariki, the current titleholder, rejects her sister's criticism.

Voted out last week from her elected position as the president of the House of Ariki, Pa Ariki says her traditional position is not up for vote, this week or any week.

She says Lily Henderson is being lured into challenging for the position by a developer keen to get his hands on the land