The two-day judging which started on Monday, looked into the Peu Maori category. The category deals with the overall tidiness of villages and their surrounding areas.
The judges focused on plantations and marae which also took in other historical sites.
Cook Islands Tourism’s Sieni Tiraa said they were pleased with the condition of the sites they visited this week.
“In this judging, we did not only focus on marae, but other historical sites around Rarotonga. There is a historical site in Nikao where archeologists have uncovered a traditional umu site for study,” Tiraa said.
The judges also paid a visit to centuries-old Ara Nui o Toi or Ara Metua (known to locals as the back road) where archaeologists are working on a study.
“The nomination for Ara Metua project work came from the Tupapa committee,” Tiraa said.
She said they had also received a proposal from the Tupapa Tama Oire committee to help young people doing volunteer work to maintain the community.
Alongside the Peu Maori category, the judges this week also reviewed the “Tupuranga Tangata” category which focuses on community initiatives that assist with dog issues and crime in each of the villages.
Tiraa earlier said the Vaka Pride competition, which started in 2015, had undergone a number of changes since its launch to improve the competition and increase the number of organisations involved. She said they have seen many valuable projects come into fruition through the initiative.Completed community projects as a result of funding won from Vaka Pride have included beautification projects, upkeep of public burial grounds and historical sites, renovation of bus shelters, clearing of hiking tracks around the island, and the purchase of a ride-on lawn mower, to name just some, Tiraa said.