20 Apr 2004

Cook Islands paramount chief says title remains hers despite challenge

3:23 pm on 20 April 2004

One of the paramount chiefs on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands says she is not surprised at the challenge to her title by a sister.

Pa Tepaeru Marie Ariki says her sister, Lily Henderson, has laid claim to her title previously, and the court has always decided against her.

Pa Ariki says the investiture ceremony held by Lily over the weekend doesn't mean anything as the rangatira, her subchiefs, remain loyal to her.

"She challenged me in court because of the Vaimaaga land where the hotel is. She challenged me in 98 and lost, and then last year, in September, she did an appeal case here in Auckland. Again, she lost, now doesn't that tell you a story, what is she really after."

Pa Ariki says the title is legally hers.