‘It’s great to be on Rarotonga’ - Penryhn mayor

Wednesday July 25, 2018 Written by Published in Culture
Penrhyn mayor Rio Teika says he is enjoying being back on Rarotonga with his family for this year’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations. 18072414 Penrhyn mayor Rio Teika says he is enjoying being back on Rarotonga with his family for this year’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations. 18072414

Over 120 people have travelled from Penrhyn for this year’s Te Maeva Nui, an increase on number who visited Rarotonga for the 2015 celebrations marking 50 years since the Cook Islands became self-governing in free association with New Zealand.


Penrhyn mayor Rio Teika said islanders had received no limitations from Ministry of Culture as to how many of their people could travel to Rarotonga for the celebrations.

“I think in 2015 we had maybe only 80 people make the journey, which certainly can place a strain on those family members who are left behind.

“I came in 2015, but my wife had to stay behind and take care of our children. This year it is certainly enjoyable to be able to bring her and a lot of other extended family members to be included in our celebrations.”

Teika praised the conditions in which the contingent travelled to Rarotonga, aboard the chartered vessel Nivaga III.

“We were very lucky to be on that boat; it was far too nice to be carrying all of us passengers. The captain initially told us it would only take maybe two days to get here, but I think the swell had other ideas. But three days was still very good.”

Like many of the other outer islands, Penrhyn will be setting up a stall at next week’s BTIB Trade Days.

Though practice and the initial choreography for their Te Maeva Nui performances only started a month before their departure, Teika was confident of his group’s ability.

“We are practicing for two hours each day and feel as though we have what it takes to take out some of the top prizes up for grabs this year. Some islands are doing more practice, but we are happy with our current schedule in the lead up to the competition.”

With many of the current group not having participated in Te Maeva Nui before, Teika said it was a special time.

“We have quite a number of kids who have never been to Rarotonga before. (I don’t know) whether that is due to the numbers restriction we have had in the past or just due to their age, but they are all loving it.

“For so many of them, being here is a real eye-opening experience. But it also is giving many of them a chance to connect with family members they may never have met before and that in itself is what this whole celebration is all about: Coming together and celebrating our culture and our traditions and hopefully, taking home a few prizes.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Ben Vaeau (snr) Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:09 posted by Ben Vaeau (snr)

    Eiaue kia manuia e kia mataora koutou katoatoa te hiti tangata Tongareva tei tae atu,te’ka tae atu ki Tumu te Varovaro i teia au ra no Te Maeva Nui,hirinaki hanga e e tuatau mataora teia i ko’na mate hirinaki katoa e ka tari koutou i teau re pauroa hahaha te mea poria ra kia haravei tatou te hiti tangata Tongareva ia tatou katoatoa i Tumu te Varovaro na kia tauturu mai Te Atua ia koutou katoatoa mei teia ra e tae huatu kite tuatau e hoki ai koutou ki to tatou hipukarea ki Tongareva Good luck n God bless to all participants

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