Cook Islands Progressive Association

The Cook Islands Progressive Association (CIPA) was the first indigenous political organisation in the Cook Islands. Initially focused on economic advancement for the islands, it came to advocate for greater self-rule. It was an ancestor of the Cook Islands Party.

Albert Henry bust at grave, Rarotonga

FoundationEdit

The Association was founded in November 1944 in Rarotonga and was primarily supported by local planters.[1] Its initial demands were the establishment of co-operative trading stores and for a ship to enable cash-crops to be exported independently of the irregular service provided by the monopoly Union Steam-ship Company.

In April 1945 Cook Island workers returning from working in the phosphate mines on Makatea complained of poor working conditions, low wages, insufficient food and indenture which amounted to virtual blackbirding.[2] Their contracts had been negotiated directly between the Compagnie des Phosphates de l'Océanie and the New Zealand government. A petition to the Resident Commissioner was not forwarded to Wellington, and the issue was taken up in New Zealand by the local Cook Islands community and the Auckland Trades Council, resulting in a government inquiry.[1][2] The Auckland Cook Islands community subsequently formed an Auckland branch of the Association in October 1945,[3] which in November 1945 elected Albert Henry as its secretary.[4] This branch subsequently became dominant in the Association, and drew up a program demanding higher wages, improved shipping, a Cook Islands representative in the New Zealand Parliament, fully elected islands councils, an elected federal islands government, and the abolition of the Resident Commissioner's power to veto legislation.[1]

Industrial campaignEdit

In January 1946 the CIPA organised a strike for higher wages by Avarua harbour workers a few days before the Union Steamship Company's Maui Pomare arrived in Rarotonga. The strike was successful, and resulted in a significant increase in membership for the CIPA: by May 1946 it claimed 3,000 financial members,[5] roughly half the population.[1] The New Zealand government subsequently formed a government sponsored union, the Cook Islands Workers Union, in an effort to prevent future unrest.[6][7] In December 1947 a dispute between CIPA and CIWU supporters on Manihiki saw 14 people arrested and held at the local courthouse.[8][9] At the same time the Maui Pomare was blacklisted by the CIPA over its use of CIWU labour.[10] When two CIPA members were arrested, a large group of protestors marched on the administration building and forced their release.[1] The Pomare cancelled its next visit, and subsequent ships were greeted with pickets.[1] Fearing further strife, in March 1948 the New Zealand government sent a force of New Zealand police to maintain order,[11] and gazetted regulations forbidding strikes.[1] The police remained in place until November,[12] and the CIPA gave up its industrial campaign.

Post-1948 activitiesEdit

After 1948, the CIPA focused on economic development, acquiring a ship for inter-island transport[13] and establishing a Producer's Cooperative Society.[14] Both ventures subsequently failed.[1]

The CIPA maintained a skeleton existence for the next 14 years.[15] It contested the 1956 Cook Islands general election, winning three of the six Maori seats on Rarotonga.[16] In 1963, as self-government approached, it began talks with the Industrial Union of Workers and the co-operative movement on the formation of a new political group.[15] When Albert Henry returned to the Cook Islands in March 1964, the three groups agreed to unite,[17] leading to the formation of the Cook Islands Party.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Stone, David J. (January 1971). "SELF RULE IN THE COOK ISLANDS : THE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF A NEW MICRO-STATE" (PDF). Australian National University. p. D1-D18. Retrieved 13 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Rosemary Anderson (September 2014). "The Origins of Cook Island Migration to New Zealand, 1920-1950" (PDF). University of Otago. p. 127. Retrieved 13 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Cook Islanders". Auckland Star. LXXVI (269). 13 November 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Cook Island Association". Auckland Star. LXXVI (279). 24 November 1945. p. 7. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Cook Islands Economy". Northern Advocate. 29 May 1946. p. 3. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "COOK ISLANDERS FORM GOVERNMENT SPONSORED WORKERS' UNION But Only After Intense Campaign by NZ Trade Union Representatives". Pacific Islands Monthly. XVII (1). 19 August 1946. p. 16. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "CIPA Against Workers' Union in Rarotonga Alleges Compulsory Unionism For Natives". Pacific Islands Monthly. XVII (10). 19 May 1947. p. 18. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Chaining Alleged: Cook Islands Dispute". Gisborne Herald. LXXIV (22513). 17 December 1947. p. 8. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Mr Fraser Replies". Otago Daily Times (26647). 18 December 1947. p. 8. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Labour Trouble In Cook Islands". Northern Advocate. 27 December 1947. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "STRIFE AT RAROTONGA FEARED: EXTRA POLICE SENT". Gisborne Herald. LXXV (22577). 4 March 1948. p. 6. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "N.Z. Police Returning From Cook Islands". Gisborne Herald. LXXV (22789). 9 November 1948. p. 4. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via Papers Past. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "CIPA IN THE INTER-ISLAND TRANSPORT BUSINESS NOW Rumoured Backing By NZ Government". Pacific Islands Monthly. XX (1). 1 August 1949. p. 47. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "COOK ISLANDS NATIVES New Plans for Co-operative Association". Pacific Islands Monthly. XX (7). 1 February 1950. p. 50. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ a b c Stone, David (1965). "Commentary: The rise of the Cook Islands party". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 74 (1): 80-111. Retrieved 13 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Keen Interest In CI Elections". Pacific islands Monthly. XXVI (9). 1 April 1956. p. 26. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Albert Henry Comes Home - By Popular Request". Pacific Islands Monthly. 35 (5). 1 May 1964. p. 18-19. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)