Eleanor Wichman loves the sweet scent of tipani in the school grounds.
“Tiare week represents joy,” says the Nukutere College student, “and creates wonderful joyful vibes.”
The beautiful scents and colours of Cook Islands’ native flowers will be on display from Monday for the annual Te Mire Tiare festival.
The annual festival celebrates the time of the year when native flowers are most abundant, and provides a fragrant accompaniment to the Vaka Eiva races.
And the competition for the best decorated schools, government departments and businesses should be colourful, with lots of registrations for the judges to consider.
Ministry of Cultural Development events manager Robert Ioaba is pleased with the response from the business sector, which has been joined by three more first-time entrants.
Prime Foods, C&P Florae & Landscape and Ngarima George’s Hut 24 have all signed up for the first time. After some years of absence, Air New Zealand’s front office is also participating in the event.
The business sector decorated properties will be judged on Monday from 9am, and also include Aretoa Daniela at the Atiu Hostel, and the Rarotonga Bowling Club.
Cultural drummers will lead the judges, who will continue inspections of other locations on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The nine Government Agencies that have signed up for judging on Tuesday are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Cook Islands Investment Corporation, Te Aponga Uira, Punanga Nui Market main office, Ports Authority, Meteorological Office, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Seven schools will be scored on Wednesday: St Joseph primary school, Apii Nikao, Apii Arorangi, Apii Rutaki, Titikaveka College, Apii Te Uki Ou and Apii Takitumu.
And never mind the official judging – visitors are welcome to judge for themselves!