HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 586: 19 October 2011

When there are other names
A young Cook Islands woman, born in Omoka, Penrhyn arrived from Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday evening to be told at the airport by Immigration staff her passport should have been stamped with a stamp saying she is a Cook Islander.
The woman, Poloa Rowe who is married to a NZ European, and who was formerly Poloa Marsters, was somewhat surprised to be told this. She was then told that as her passport did not carry that stamp, the passport in the meantime, would be given a stamp saying she was a “visitor.”
In order to confirm that she is a Cook Islander, Poloa was told by Immigration to produce her birth certificate, her mother’s birth certificate and her grandmother’s birth certificate. This was done and it cost her $15 to obtain from the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration stamp to confirm her “Cook Islander” status was to cost $30.
She said Immigration also asked her to produce her genealogy.
Poloa told the Herald on Tuesday evening the staff at the Immigration Office in town were very sympathetic.
Poloa, whose mother and grandmother hail from Aitutaki has come home to sort out her land matters in Aitutaki in preparation to returning to live there. She, her husband and children currently live in Wellington where she is a Hairdresser.
The Herald spoke with Chief Immigration Officer Kave Ringi about Poloa’s case on Wednesday morning.
He confirmed they had requested Poloa to confirm her Cook Islander status by producing documents. The issue he said was not so much about doubting her Cook Islander status but getting the records straight. The birth records showed she had a different name to that in her passport. She also had a name change by deed poll in 1994. Land records also showed a different name again said Ringi.
Her passport had been stamped with a visitor’s stamp allowing a 90 day visit. However, with the records now up to date and her current name verified, Poloa should not have any more problems on further visits.
Ringi said the query at the airport was probably a misunderstanding regarding the name “Omoka.” However, it’s good that the base records have been updated for the future. He said Poloa would not be required to produce her genealogy. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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