The vaka, which was being readied for her next voyage, suffered a significant damage to the starboard hull from a fire earlier this month.
Seabed Minerals Authority commissioner Paul Lynch said the Marumaru Atua held a significant spot in the hearts of the Cook Islanders and authority staff were saddened by the damage sustained by the vaka in the fire. He said their support would encourage other organisations to step in and help in the recovery of the vessel.
“Some people may think, ‘what’s the fit between the seabed minerals and the voyaging society?’ It’s actually a good fit,” Lynch said.
“The vaka is something that attracts people’s attention to ocean issues and we are all part of that collaborative good management of the ocean.
“Seabed minerals is no different. We manage our ocean well so that’s why we are doing this. We want to see the vaka back in the water.”
Cook Island Voyaging Society president Ian Karika said the vaka was supposed to leave for New Zealand in November but the voyage had now been postponed to February next year.
“This money is going to help us put it back together. As soon as we get this done, we will be ready to sail again.”
Presenting the $1000 cheque to Karika, Seabed Minerals Authority staff Caroline Tiria said the organisation was happy to support the restoration of Marumaru Atua.
“The vaka has a special place in my heart personally and I guess for most Cook Islanders as well, because that’s the link with sea, the voyage and where we come from,” Tiria said.
“We in the office have an interest in what happens with the vaka. We have been around for fundraising and many weekends down at the dock helping to get it ready for voyage.
“We also a did boat master’s course which took a few weeks, where we learned about what we do in the ocean, and boat safety.”