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Constitution Day of Cook Islands







When is the Constitution Day of Cook Islands?
An archipelago of 15 islands, Cook Islands, celebrates August 4 as its Constitution Day. The day marks the day the islands gained the right to self determination in 1965.

How is the Constitution Day celebrated in Cook Islands?
The celebrations of the Constitution Day, are called Te Maeva Nui (the major or most important celebration) and mark the achievement of self-governance. Previously known as Constitution Day, the celebrations were given this new name in 2002 to focus on unity by promoting the cultural heritage.

Every year on this day performing artists from all over the island gather at the National Auditorium in the capital city, Avavrua, to participate in activities dance, music, and sporting events.

What is the historic significance of Constitution Day in Cook Islands?
The Cook Islands was named after the British navigator, James Cook, who sighted this archipelago in 1773. James Cook had initially named the islands Hervey Islands in honor of a British Lord. The island saw a constant influx of Europeans from 1821 onwards with the coming of missionaries from England and Tahiti. These were united as the Kingdom of Rarotonga, and 1888 it became a British protectorate primarily to obstruct French expressionism. The Cook Islands passed to New Zealand in 1901, and remained a protectorate of New Zealand until August 4, 1965, when it achieved self-governing territory status in free association with New Zealand.



Cook Islands is now a self-governing state that enjoys autonomy in internal matters, but its external affairs and defense falls under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand government.

What does the national flag of Cook Islands represents?
The national flag of Cook Islands was adopted on August 4, 1979. The design of the flag is derived from the traditional designs of British colonies in the Pacific region. It consists of the Union Jack to the top left, and a ring of the fifteen white stars to the right hand side.

The Union flag stands for the historic connection that Cook Islands shares with the British and commonwealth countries including New Zealand and the ring of fifteen stars represent the fifteen islands that constitute the Cook Islands. The blue ensign epitomizes the wide expanse of the ocean and the tranquil nature of the islanders.

Who wrote the national anthem of Cook Islands?
The national anthem of Cook Islands, Te Atua mou e, which means "God is Truth", was adopted in 1982. It replaced the earlier anthem of New Zealand God Defend New Zealand. The song was composed by Pa Tepaeru Te Rito Ariki Lady Davis, and was set to tune by Sir Thomas Davis.

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