In honor of the anniversary of Cook Islands Self-Governance!
I remember one fine day in Suva at the University of the South Pacific where I acquired the last copy of a Cook Islands Maori dictionary that the bookstore had. I still have it on my shelf right here, a bright green color that I won’t ever forget.
I was first introduced to Cook Islands Maori, sometimes also referred to as Rarotongan, via the Lonely Planet South Pacific Phrasebook (I have the earlier edition which was also, get this, bright green. Okay, closer to tourqouise, actually).
Along with Niue, the Cook Islands are not only countries in free association with New Zealand but are also self-governing. Not only that, they also have the distinction of being the last territories / countries on earth to experience the new day, given that they are located due east of the International Date Line.
Cook Islands Maori acts as a bit of a bridge between New Zealand Maori and Tahitian (the latter of which it closely resembles).
Resources are quite difficult to find it you actually don’t know where to look, so in honor of the anniversary of Cook Islander Self-Governance, here I am with a handy list.
For one, I-E-Ko-Ko! serves as a very helpful introduction to the language with thorough dialogues in useful situations. You can acquire PDF’s of the book for free here: https://pasifika.tki.org.nz/Pasifika-languages/Cook-Islands-Maori
The entire bright green dictionary that I got on my trip is also available online (and searchably so) at http://cookislandsdictionary.com/. A lot of the sample sentences are also extremely useful and other entries related to other languages of the Cook Islands are also available as well.
The Bible is also available here: https://www.bible.com/bible/1847/GEN.1.CIMB
A new development also occurred on Glosbe (the online dictionary) in which Cook Islands Maori now has a translation memory from the 2019 Jehovah’s Witnesses archives as well (I remember back when I got the book last year I tried to look at the translation memory and there was nothing there).
However one thing to keep in mind is that, as with other languages of the Pacific (such as Tahitian) macrons and glottal stops may not be included in materials for native speakers, thereby making things slightly challenging for learners, in a sense.
But the dictionaries and learner materials are all made for ease of the learner in which the macrons (ā, ē, etc.) and the glottal stops (‘) are included.