The Ministry of Cultural Development is hoping to boost the national coffers with donations from thousands of online viewers who enjoy the country’s local events via free livestream.
It has come up with an online platform through which these viewers, mostly residing in New Zealand and Australia, can make a donation.
The ministry will test this initiative tonight during the livestream of Te Mire Ura Senior open dance competition which starts at 7pm, Cook Islands time.
Secretary of Culture Anthony Turua called the move “thinking smarter and outside the box”.
The donations would help cover the extra costs which include the internet and labour costs associated with the livestream, Turua said.
He said it would also help fund initiatives to promote and preserve the local culture.
“We don’t have sponsors money and money from the community because of the hardship on the economic landscape from Covid-19 so we have to look at alternative ways to generate revenue,” Turua said.
“The money we hope to get from the donations can cover the operational costs including labour because we have to hire extra people to carry out these livestreams. It also minimises the burden on government in terms of economic returns during this Covid-19 times.”
Last year’s Te Maeva Nui festival was held over a week and livestreamed online, generating 1.5 million views, Turua said.
He said Te Mire Ura junior and intermediate competition last week attracted about 45,000 views.
“I’m predicting 100,000 viewers for the senior competition. Imagine if each viewer donates $1 – that will be huge for us. We are giving this opportunity to our people living in New Zealand, Australia and other places overseas to help us promote and preserve our culture for future generations.”
The ministry is also trialling an online booking and seating reservations system for tonight’s event.
Ticket to the dance competition is “gold coin entry” but the public can reserve their seats online via
Turua said the electronic booking system was being trialled for future use.
“In future, if people are not able to physically purchase the tickets from us they can do it online. It will also allow our people from overseas to book their tickets in advance for future events. It will save people a lot of time from standing in the queue waiting to buy tickets on the day of the event.”
Another online initiative, the electronic judging system which was trialled last week, will be put to test again in tonight’s competition. Turua said the aim of this new system was to save time and make the judging efficient.
“In this system, the judges will be recording the score manually and will pass them to a person handling the software who will enter all the scores online before it’s automatically tallied up.
“The convener or the person in charge of judging will be able to see the results on real time which will save time and paper work. We trialled this last week but there are few areas that needs tweaking.”
Turua said they would also be training the judges to enter the scores into the software, making the system more efficient. “It’s all about moving with the times.”