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Eight teams gear up for annual Cook Islands’ cultural spectacle

Thursday 27 June 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, Features

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Eight teams gear up for annual Cook Islands’ cultural spectacle
Members of the Manihiki team during a Te Maeva Nui 2024 practice session last night at the TMS Headquarters in Avarua. 24062622

Te Maeva Nui, the nation’s biggest and most prestigious cultural celebration of the country’s self-governance, is gearing up to hit the stage at the end of next month.

This year, eight teams have registered to participate on Te Are Karioi National Auditorium stage in the nation's most coveted cultural event

They are 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.

Samson said their preparations started slow but the turnout picked up this week.

“Preparation has been okay, started slow as expected with everyone being busy with other functions and commitments. But this week the turnout has improved,” he said.

“So looking forward to the stress and fun ahead. At the end of the day, it’s all for our culture and islands.

“Look forward to seeing our people come together.”

Ngatuaine Maui from Tauranga Vananga Ministry of Cultural Development said representatives from each of the groups attended the signing of Te Maeva Nui contracts earlier this month.

Maui says like every other year, the teams are doing their utmost to showcase the best of each item they will be performing.

“Rehearsals have already started for most groups, and some are still trying to put together their songs and chants,” said Maui.

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