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Land Tenure in the Cook Islands

[section]

The following discussion of the means by which land rights were acquired in pre-contact times will provide a baseline for later comparison with the processes operating at various stages of the post-contact period. Presumably the landholding system was not static during the pre-contact era, and any reference to a custom existing in that era should (unless the context indicates otherwise) be taken to mean that it was effective at the time of first European contact, and not necessarily that it had applied from the time of first settlement.