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Land Tenure in the Cook Islands

Part Two: The Cook Islands

Part Two: The Cook Islands

Primary sources
Unpublished MSS

Anonymous, ‘The Origin of Mitiaro’, typescript, LMS Library Rarotonga, n.d.

Arundel, John T., Journal 1870–1919, ANU. (Visited Cook Islands in 1870–1 and 1890.)

Buzacott, Aaron, Journals and Papers, Mitchell Library.

Buzacott (Mrs), E., MS on life in Rarotonga in the 1830's, Mitchell Library.

— Journals, Mitchell Library.

page 357

Cowan, C.T. (Tau Puru Ariki), MS on Cook Island customs pertaining to land, ANU 1960.

Davis, T.R.A., ‘The Co-operative Movement in the Cook Islands’, typescript, South Pacific Commission, Noumea 1946.

Hercus, C.E. and others, ‘Report of Research Expedition to the Cook Islands, 1949–1950’, typescript, Dunedin 1951.

[Hutchen, J.J.K.] ‘Phases of Native Life and Christian Work in Hervey Islands’, handwritten, Mitchell Library, n.d.

Itio, MS on Cook Islands history, Polynesian Society.

Lyth, R.B., Diary 8.10.1836–8.10.1842. (Visited Cook Islands December 1837.)

Maretu, MS on Cook Islands history, Polynesian Society.

Morgan, H.J., ‘A Short Sketch of Land Tenure in the Cook Islands’, typescript, Rarotonga 1955.

Numa, John A., MS on Rarotongan history, typescript, Rarotonga 1954.

Pitman, Charles E., Journal, 1827–42, 6 volumes, Mitchell Library.

Polynesian Society Incorporated, Collection of vernacular MSS in the Rarotongan language (largely anonymous), Polynesian Society, n.d. (Microfilm copies held by ANU.)

Savage, Stephen, ‘Iro Nui Ma Oata’, Polynesian Society, n.d.

— ‘A Dictionary of the Rarotongan Language’, 6 volumes, CIA, Rarotonga, n.d.

— ‘Land and Other Customs Peculier to Manihiki and Rakahanga’, CIA, Rarotonga, n.d.

Taraare, Teariki, MS on Cook Islands history, Polynesian Society.

Ta'unga, MS on Cook Islands history, Polynesian Society.

Te Rainga io Mangaia (Census of Mangaia), handwritten, CIA, 1880.

Tupper (Captain), ‘Report upon a visit to the following islands:- Nassau, Danger, Hunphrey, Rierson, Penrhyn, Suwarrow in HMS Plyades 1899’, typescript, SBC.

Vaine Rere, MS on Atiu customs relating to land, ANU 1960.

Ward, C.J. (recorded by C.H. Davis), ‘Narrative of Charles James Ward of Rarotonga, Cook Islands’, Mitchell Library, 1933.


A Former Resident of Lahaina (pseud.), ‘A Sketch of Rarotonga, one of the Hervey Islands’, The Friend 1.3.1849.

page 358

Baessler, Arthur, Neue Sudsee Bilder, vol.1, Berlin 1900.

Beaglehole, Ernest, Ethnology of Pukapuka Honolulu 1938.

Belcher, Edward, Narrative of a Voyage Round the World Performed in His Majesty's Ship Sulphur during the years 1836–1842, vol.2, London 1843. (Pages 16–18 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Bloxam, Andrew, The Diary of Andrew Bloxam, Honolulu 1925. (Pages 81–7 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Buzacott, Aaron, Mission Life in the Islands of the Pacific London 1866.

Burnett, Frank, Through Polynesia and Papua London 1911.

Calnon, W.L., Seeing the South Sea Islands New York 1926.

Cheeseman, Thomas F., ‘The Flora of Rarotonga, the Chief Island of the Cook Group’, Transactions of the Linnean Society of London (second series) 6:261–313.

Christian, F.W., Eastern Pacific Lands London 1910.

Cook, James, A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World (second edition), vol.3, London 1785. (Pages 180–223 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Cowan, C.T. (Tau Puru Ariki), ‘Ata-Ki-Te-Kura and Apopo-Te-Ivi-Roa’ (Names of ancestors), Tumu Korero 1:9–11, 2:4–7; ‘Te Tua Ia Tangiia’ (The history of Tangiia), Tumu Korero 6:2–4, 8:2–3 and 13–14, 9:4–9, 10:5–9.

Davis, T.R.A., ‘Rarotonga Today’, JPS 56:197–218.

Festetics, Comte Rodolphe, Chez Les Cannibales, Paris 1903. (Pages 45–92 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Fox, J.P. and Grange L.I., Soils of the Lower Cook Group Wellington 1953.

Fry, Petty Crooke, ‘Dietary Survey on Rarotonga, Cook Islands’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 5:42–50, 260–73, 634–43.

Fry, E.I., ‘HealtheSurvey of Children from Rarotonga’, Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 5:121–9.

Gill, W. Wyatt, ‘Mangaia (Hervey Islands)’, AAAS 323–53. (This work also deals extensively with Rarotongan custom.)

‘The Genealogy of the kings of Rarotonga and Mangaia’, AAAS 627–37.

‘Some Traditions of the Hervey Islands’, JRAI 6:3–8.

‘Concerning the use of the word Unga for Slave’, JPS 20:128–9.

Jottings from the Pacific, London 1885.

Historical Sketches of Savage Life in Polynesia, Wellington 1880.

page 359

Gill, W. Wyatt, The South Pacific and New Guinea, Past and Present, with notes on the Hervey Islands, Sydney 1892. (Pages 10–38 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Life in the Southern Isles, London 1876.

Gill, William, Gems from the Coral Islands, vol.2, London 1856.

Selections from the Autobiography of the Rev. William Gill, Yates and Alexander, London 1880.

Grimshaw, Beatrice, In the Strange South Seas, London, n.d.

The Islands of the Blest, Dunedin, n.d.

Gudgeon, W.E., ‘Report on the Trade of the Cook Islands’, NZPP A3 1899:21–3.

‘Report on the Trade and Social Condition of the Eastern Pacific’, NZPP A3 1902:47–55.

‘Report on the Cook and Northern Islands’, NZPP A3 1903:22–7.

‘Cook and Other Islands Report’, NZPP A3 1904:67–74.

‘Report for the year ending 31.3.1908’, NZPP A3 1908:4–15.

‘Annexation of the Cook Islands’, The New Zealand Illustrated Magazine 2:415–19.

‘The Whence of the Maorils JPS 12:51–61 and 120–30.

Halligon, J., Six Mois A Travers L'Oceanie, Brest 1888. (Pages 12–18 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Hercus, C.E. and Faine, S., ‘The Rarotongan Villager's Environment’, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 45:353–62.

Johnston, W.B., ‘The Cook Islands’, The Journal of Tropical Geography 13:38–57.

‘Land, People and Progress in the Cook Islands’, Economic Geography 29:107–24.

‘The Cook Islands: Settlement in an Island Group of the South West Pacific’, Malayan Journal of Tropical Geography 5:1–11.

‘The Citrus Industry in the Cook Islands’, NZG 7:121–39.

[Jones, John D.], Life and Adventure in the South Pacific, London 1861. (Pages 93–6 and 350 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Kelly, John L., The South Sea Islands - Possibilities of Trade with New Zealand Auckland 1885.

Kiva, ‘E Tuatua Tupuna no Rarotonga’ (Some Rarotongan ancestors), JPS 6:1–6.

page 360

Lamont, E.H., Wild Life Among the Pacific Islanders London 1867.

Lovett, Richard, James Chalmers: His Autobiography and Letters London 1903.

Lucett, E., Rovings in the Pacific, vol.2, London 1851. (Pages 120–3 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Manuiri (translated by A.W. Browne), ‘The Story of the Visit of Tongaiti to Rarotonga’, JPS 5:142–4.

Maretu, ‘Cannibalism at Rarotonga’, JPS 20:196–209.

Market, The Market House. Regulations and Prices, Rarotonga 1849.

Marshall, Patrick, Geology of Rarotonga and Atiu Honolulu 1930.

Geology of Mangaia, Honolulu 1927.

Matatia (Stair, John B., translator), ‘Summary of Early Samoan Voyages and Settlement’, JPS 4:99–131. (Discusses original settlement of Rarotonga.)

Merchants, Planters and Traders of the Cook Islands, Cook Islands Administration - An Arbitrary Autocracy Rarotonga 1920.

More-Taunga-o-te-Tini, ‘Ko te Are Korero Teia No Rata Ariki’, (The traditions of Rata Ariki), JPS 19:142–68.

Moss, F.J., Through Atolls and Islands in the Great South Sea London 1889.

‘A South Sea Island and its People’, Fortnightly Review 54 (n.s.):775–86.

‘Maori Polity on the Island of Rarotonga’, JPS 3:20–6.

Nicholas, H. (translator), ‘Genealogies and Historical Notes from Rarotonga’, JPS 1:20–9.

(translator - original by ‘one of the Natives of Rarotonga’), ‘Genealogies and Historical Notes from Rarotonga’, JPS 1:65–75.

Nightingale, Thomas, Oceanic Sketches, London 1835.

Pakoti, John, ‘Te Autara Ia Aitutaki: Tona Katiri Anga’ (The Story of Aitutaki: its peopling), JPS 4:59–70.

Pallander, Edwin, The Log of an Island Wanderer; Notes of Travel in the Eastern Pacific, London 1901. (Pages 25–55 deal with the Cook Islands.)

[Petit, Edouard], En Oceanie, Paris 1888. (Pages 64–84 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Putua Ariki (Browne, Arthur H. - translator), ‘An Account of some Early Ancestors of Rarotonga’, JPS 6:1–10.

Pembroke, G.R.C.H., and Kingsley, G.H., South Sea Bubbles, London 1872.

page 361

Reeves, Edward, Brown Men and Women London 1898.

Savage, Stephen, ‘Origin of the Names of Rarotongan Arikis or High Chiefs’, JPS 18:217–18.

Seddon, Richard John, Visit to Tonga, Fiji, Savage Island and the Cook Islands Wellington 1900.

Smith, S. Percy, ‘Arai-te-tonga, the Ancient Marae at Rarotonga’, JPS 12:218–20.

‘History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast’ (chapter 4 - ‘Toi and His Descendants’), JPS 16:175–88. (Compares Rarotongan and New Zealand genealogies.)

Hawaiki, fourth edition, Auckland 1921.

Tama Iseraela, ‘Ruatapu - E tupuna Rongo Nui‘ (Ruatapu - a renowned ancestor), JPS 15:209–19.

Ta'unga and others, No Te Au Enua Etene I Aere Ei Te Pai Orometua 1846 (About the heathen lands visited by the mission ship in 1846), Rarotonga 1847.

[Takamoa Theological College], Te Tuatua No Te Au Uipanga Ia Me 1844 (Report of the May meetings 1844), Rarotonga 1844.

Te Aia, Tamarua, ‘Genealogies and Historical Notes from Rarotonga‘, JPS 2:271–9.

Te Ariki Taraare, ‘History and Traditions of Rarotonga‘, JPS 8:61–88 + 171–88, 27:178–98, 28:55–78 + 183–208, 29:1–19 + 45–69 + 107–27, 30:1–15 + 129–41 + 201–26.

Te Rangi Hiroa (P.H. Buck), Mangaian Society, Honolulu 1934.

Ethnology of Tongareva, Honolulu 1932.

Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga, Honolulu 1932.

The Material Culture of the Cook Islands, New Plymouth, N.Z. 1927.

Arts and Crafts of the Cook Islands, Honolulu 1944.

Terei, Tamuera, Tuatua Taito (Ancient history), Rarotonga 1908.

— ‘Ko to Rarotonga Are-Korero teia no Iro-nui-ma-oata’ (The Rarotongan tradition of Iro-nui-ma-oata), JPS 26:1–18 and 45–65.

Thorby, R.G., ‘Afforestation in the Cook Islands‘, South Pacific Commission Quarterly Bulletin 4:15–16.

Timi Koro (recorded by Drury Low), ‘Traditions of Aitutaki, Cook Islands’, JPS 43:17–25 + 73–85 + 171–87 + 258–67.

Toarua, ‘Ko Te Tere a Uenga Ki Te Pa Enua‘ (Uenga's voyages to various lands), JPS 20:139–41.

Vakapora, Uatini, ‘E Tuatua No Te Kapuaanga I Te Enua Ko Rurutu‘ (Story of the peopling of Rurutu - from Rarotonga), JPS 20:21–8.

page 362

Van Megen, Petrus, Mijn Eiland in De Stille Zuidzee Breda 1935.

Vayda, A.P., ‘Native Traders on Two Polynesian Atolls’, Humanites 95(serie V):119–37. (Relates different effects of commerce to the systems of land tenure.)

‘The Pukapukans on Nassau Island’, JPS 67:256–65.

Ward, James (ed.), Perils, Pastimes and Pleasures of an Emigrant in Australia, Vancouver Island and California, London 1849. (Pages 162–81 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Wilder, Gerrit P., Flora of Rarotonga Honolulu 1931.

Williams, John, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands London 1838.

Wragge, Clement, The Romance of the South Seas London 1906.

Collections and series

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (microfilmed collection of selected documents held by ANU from the archives of the American Board).

Arundel Papers, collection of papers of the late John T. Arundel, ANU.

London Missionary Society, Letters, Journals and Reports of the South Seas Missions 1797–1906 (microfilm copies held at National Library, Canberra).

Mitchell Library, miscellaneous letters and papers relating to the Cook Islands (MS file A.381).

Moss Papers, papers and letters of the late Frederick J. Moss, Auckland Institute and Museum.

National Archives, the Department of State, Washington, ‘Research in Records of American Activities in the Central Pacific 1790–1870‘ (microfilm copies held by ANU).

New Zealand National Archives, files pertaining to the Cook Islands, 1888–1901.

Alexander Turnbull Library, Gurr Papers (relating to Samoa). File 14 contains correspondence between Rarotonga and Samoa.

Public Records Office, London, files F.O.58 (Consul Rarotonga to Foreign Office), C.O.209 (Governor of New Zealand to Colonial Office), C.O.225 (Western Pacific High Commission to Colonial Office); from notes by R.P. Gilson. Miscellaneous Admiralty records (from photostats and microfilm copies held by ANU).

Tahiti British Consulate Papers, Mitchell Library, Sydney.

Western Pacific High Commission, Central Archives, Suva, Fiji. Files relating to the Cook Islands 1888–1900.

page 363

Newspapers and periodicals

Boston Daily Whig 1.8.1846

Cook Islands Gazette 1898–1959

Cook Islands News 1951–9

Cook Islands Review 1952–9

The Friend (Honolulu) 1848–90 passim

Ioi Karanga (Rarotonga) 1898–1900

Messager De Tahiti 1864

Nautical Magazine (Sydney) 1840, 1860 and 1874

New Bedford Mercury 15.4.1825

The Polynesian 24.10.1840

The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List 17.7.1850

Sydney Herald 18.10.1832

Te Karere (Rarotonga) 1897–1910

Te Punavai Rarotonga 1843–4

Te Torea (Rarotonga) 1895–9

Tuatua Mou (Rarotonga) 1909–16

Tumu Korero (Rarotonga) 1953–4

Weekly Alta California 16.11.1850

Official MSS and files

Atiu Island Council Minutes 1917–59.

Cook Islands Administration, files and records relating to land matters 1892–1960.

— Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the Cook Islands 1947–57.

— Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of the Cook Islands 1958–9.

Department of Island Territories, files and records relating to land matters 1915–58.

Harvey, John (Judge), ‘Report to the Right Hon. the Minister of Island Territories‘ typescript, Wellington 1946.

Native Land Court, files and records relating to land matters 1891–1960.

Official publications

Aikman, C.C., ‘First Report on Constitutional Survey of the Cook IslandsWellington 1956.

page 364

Belshaw, Horace and Stace V.D., ‘A Programme for Economic Development in the Cook Islands’, Wellington 1955.

Census and Statistics Department, Population Census 1945 vol.2 (Island Territories), Wellington 1947.

Island Territories, Department of, Reports on the Cook Islands 1890–1960, Wellington.

New Zealand Parliamentary Debates 1898–1958

Jolliffe, W.H., ‘Forestry and the Cook Islands’, cyclostyled, Wellington 1953.

Robertson, J., Holland, S.G., and Hunter, C.L., ‘Report on the Cook Islands Fruit Industry‘, NZPP H44A 1936.

Stout, Robert, ‘Charges against the Administration at RarotongaWellington 1911.

Tiller, L.W., ‘Agricultural Problems and the Scope for Agricultural Research in the South Pacific IslandsWellington 1958.

Secondary sources

Bright, A.D., Biography of John Arundel, typescript, ANU.

Gilson, R.P., ‘Administration of the Cook Islands (Rarotonga)’, M.Sc. thesis, University of London 1952.

Gunson, W. Neil, ‘Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860’, Ph.D. thesis, ANU 1959.

Lay, T.E., ‘A Study of Certain Aspects of Human Ecology in the Polynesian High Islands During the Precontact Period’, Ph.D. thesis, University of California 1958–9.

Marshall, D.S., ‘A Working Bibliography of the Cook Islands’, cyclostyled, University of Auckland 1951.

McArthur, Norma, Populations of the Pacific (in press). Page references given are to cyclostyled draft.

Ross, Angus, ‘New Zealand Aspirations in the Pacific in the Nineteenth Century’, Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge 1949.


Beaglehole, Ernest, Social Change in the South Pacific London 1957.

‘Social and Political Changes in the Cook Islands’, Pacific Affairs 21:384–98.

Best, Elsdon, ‘The Discovery and Settlement of Rarotonga by Polynesians‘, JPS 36:122–34.

page 365

Buck, Peter H. (Te Rangi Hiroa), Vikings of the Sunrise, New York 1938.

Burrows, Edwin, ‘Western Polynesia, A Study in Cultural Differentiation‘, Etnologiska Studier 7:1–192.

Elbert, S.H., ‘Internal Relationships of Polynesian Languages and Dialects‘, South-Western Journal of Anthropology 9:147–73.

Firth, Raymond, ‘A Note on Descent Groups in Polynesia‘, Man 57:4–8.

Fletcher, H.J., ‘A Review of the Toi-Kai-Rakau Genealogies‘, JPS 39:315–21.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ‘Report on the Cook Islands‘ cyclostyled extract from World Census of Agriculture, 1950, Rome 1953.

Fraser, John, ‘The Origin of the Rarotongans’ in ‘Folk-Songs and Myths from Samoa‘, JPS 6:67–76.

Gilson, R.P., ‘Negotiations Leading to British Intervention in Rarotonga‘, Historical Studies 7:62–80.

‘The Background of New Zealand's Early Land Policy in Rarotonga’, JPS 64:267–80.

Goldman, Irving, ‘Variations in Polynesian Social Organization‘, JPS 66:374–90.

Gossett, Ralph W., ‘Notes on the Discovery of Rarotonga‘, The Australian Geographer 3:4–15.

Hooper, A.B., ‘The Migration of Cook Islanders to New Zealand‘, JPS 70:11–17.

Hutton, James, Missionary Life in the Southern Seas London 1874.

Marshall, Donald S., ‘Notes on Rarotongan Kinship Terminology‘, Journal of Austronesian Studies 1:8–19.

Mason, Ronald, Frontier Forsaken, an outline History of the Cook Islands Auckland 1947.

Montgomery, James, Journal of Voyages and Travels by Rev. Daniel Tyerman and George Bennett Esq., vol.2, London 1831. (Pages 115–22 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Prout, Ebenezer, Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. John Williams London 1843.

Putnam, G.C., Salem Vessels and their Voyages, series 4, Salem 1930.

St. Julian, Charles, Notes on the Latent Resources of Polynesia Sydney 1851.

Vayda, A.P., ‘Polynesian Cultural Distributions in New Perspective‘, American Anthropologist 61:817–28.

Ward, R. Gerard, ‘A Note on Population Movements in the Cook Islands‘, JPS 70:1–11.

page 366

Wheeler, Daniel, Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labours of the Late Daniel Wheeler, London 1842. (Pages 541–56 and 775–8 deal with the Cook Islands.)

Williamson, Robert W., Religion and Social Organization in Central Polynesia Cambridge 1937.

The Social and Political Systems of Central Polynesia, vol.3, Cambridge 1924.

Wright, Louis B. and Fry, Mary Isobel, Puritans in the South Seas, New York 1936.