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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961

• Administration Scapegoats

• Administration Scapegoats

Some of these attitudes are based on misunderstanding, some on ignorance and some are justified. They are expressions of contact between two cultures which are basically different. The administration, it is true, has made mistakes, but it has often been criticised by the people for events outside of its control—events perhaps inherent in the process of change. There is no secret formula which the development of the Cook Islands should follow. Radical measure while straightforward to European eyes, may be quite foreign and even resented by the Cook Island Maori people. The situation demands an intelligent and sympathetic understanding on the part of both administrators and native people.

This is only one side of the Cook Island picture. To the average mind, it Is the side least, known and yet, the one most Important for future development. But the more traditional aspect of Cook Island life is still strong. For this Is the side of Polynesian life shown to us so vividly in the Tahltlan paintings of Gauguin and the Pacific writings of Robert Louis Stevenson.

It is difficult to be objective of the traditional feature of present-day Polynesian life. We were aware that the European in Cook Island society Is granted elevated social status. We were on our guard against attaching values to the Polynesian way of life, for such values so easily become conscious or unconscious reactions against contrary features in our own society. Furthermore, the features which might appeal to the European, will probably have an almost completely different function and meaning in the lives of the indigenous people. But, in our minds, we could not resist making such values, despite their limited geographic value.