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Atiu dancers gear up for Te Maeva Nui despite late start

Monday 8 July 2024 | Written by Talaia Mika | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features

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Atiu dancers gear up for Te Maeva Nui despite late start
Atiu won the top spot at Te Maeva Nui in 2022. Photo: MELINA ETCHES/23072718

The 2024 Te Maeva Nui Atiu cultural group is coming off strong with their preparations for the upcoming annual national cultural event.

Over 40 members of the group with majority being youths are participating with vigour and enthusiasm, showcasing their dedication to preserving and celebrating their rich cultural heritage.

Preparing at the Atiu Hostel, the Atiu cultural team which is amongst eight other teams taking part in Te Maeva Nui, is optimistic and driving despite the late start.

Atiu started practicing about a fortnight ago.

Bob Williams, Atiu’s team leader, says the enthusiasm is there and the members are driven to participating in the country’s biggest cultural event of the year.

“We had a late start; it is near where the national activity is happening and we are now concentrating. Although we have a strong start but we’ll be waiting for the actual competition,” he said.

“There will be no last day of practice (it will continue) until the competition is finished.”

The power outages late last month affected their preparations but did not dampen the spirits of the group.

“There were things we could do but there was no practice,” Williams said.

He invited the Atiu supporters to come out and support the group as they practice their way towards the competition.

Te Maeva Nui, the nation’s biggest and most prestigious cultural celebration of self-governance, kicks off at the end of this month.

The teams that are confirmed to participate include Tupapa Maraerenga – led by Terry Strickland and Maru Willie, Oire Nikao – Darryl Rairi and Simiona Teiotu, Vaka Takitumu – Sonny Williams, Vaka Puaikura – Simona Nicholas, Atiu – Bob and Helen Williams, Mangaia – Teina Tearii, Pukapuka – Junior and Anjima Ruarau, and Manihiki – Maiti Samson.

The week-long national culture and dance event will kick off on July 26.