Held at Te Atukura Grounds, Atiu Day saw the greater Atiuan community come together to raise funds for the completion of the island’s hostel in Tupapa-Maraerenga.
In addition to island culture, raffles, entertainment, face painting, heaps of food were on offer.
All day long, residents were lined up to get their umu, bbq, fish, and goat meat plates. Also on offer were treats like chowmein, rawfish, sizzling sausages, and desserts.
Secretary Aunty Nga Teao-Papatua of the Atiu Hostel Project described the event as a complete success.
“I’m touched and blown away by everyone’s support,” she said. “We need the funds to complete the project.
“Money is still coming in because of the Radiothon ... people keep ringing in and bringing their donations.”
She described Atiu Day as a “... great community-oriented event,” that was able to see many different groups of Cook Islanders come together to support the cause.
“I saw the Atiu community together and supported by our Pa Enua and the Cook Islands,” she said. “I am very touched, because all Cook Islanders were there from morning to night.”
In particular, Aunty Nga thanked God, the leadership of Atiu Mayor Taoro Strickland-Brown, all Rarotongans, and Atiuans who worked to provide supplies.
“I want to thank God for his help and for everyone’s support, to what was a very successful event,” she said. “I take my hat off to the home island, most of the pork, goat meat, fish, and coconut crabs came from there.”
Builder Tangata Ngametua, who will oversee the remainder of the construction efforts of the hostel, said the money will be used for tiling, plumbing, and painting, along with doors, windows, and furniture.
With the current rate of fundraising, he said he’s hoping to have the hostel completed by the end of next year.
To meet that goal though, he said they’ll need an additional $100,000 and more support from the Atiuan communities of New Zealand and Australia.
“We’re still hoping they can come on board,” he said.