Seacology Award for Best artistic representation ‘Kia tapu to tatou Marae Moana’. From left: Tim Meyer, Travel Ngatamariki, Archarlita Ngatokorua and Kevin Iro. MARAE MOANA/23101601
Aitutaki students have conveyed strong messages through “amazing art” pieces to signify the importance of ocean conservation and its environment.
The Marae Moana (Cook Islands Marine Park) Environmental
Awareness Poster Competition Aitutaki drew 41 entries from Araura College students
which featured eight winning posters, and 12 deserving artists receiving awards
Tim Meyer, the Marae Moana community outreach
coordinator, said the aim of the poster competition was to create educational programmes
in Cook Islands schools to inspire young people including the next generation
to actively engage with their marae moana (ocean).
“Engaging with traditional legends, fishing techniques
and general awareness of what the ocean and its health signifies in Cook Islands
culture,” said Meyer.
He said that Marae Moana anticipated that throughout
the activity of the poster competition project, the students would have the
opportunity to discuss topics about their ocean.
‘Plastic is not fantastic in our seas’ art piece by Shonnia Katu. MARAE MOANA/23101625
Meyer and Kevin Iro, ambassador for Marae Moana, flew
to Aitutaki to present the awards to the talented artists at Araura College on
“We were touched by the strong cultural messages, the
deeply rooted cultural awareness of the students’ art work and the overall
level of artistic skill,” said Meyer.
He said the poster competition contributed to raising
ocean environmental awareness among the students.
“The posters speak for themselves, this opened up
doors for discussions in student groups, and amongst peers in school.”
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) staff and Marae
Moana Community Outreach Project were involved in the pre-selection of the art
entries that were posted up on Facebook.
The winners were selected by popular vote from users
on the Marae Moana Facebook page.
Looking ahead, Marae Moana is hopeful that this art
project becomes a self-funded annual event.
Greeting cards showcasing all the winning art pieces
will be produced and sold to assist with the future poster competitions.
In conjunction with Araura College, Marae Moana is
attempting to establish a distribution network through local hotel desks to
sell the greeting cards to tourists.
Kevin Iro, ambassador for Marae Moana (left), and Araura college Environmental Awareness Poster Competition recipients. MARAE MOANA/23101626
Meyer said this enterprise would achieve two
objectives – more awareness about the environment for visitors in Aitutaki, and
secondly, to learn the details in running a small business to help fund the art
Soon, a delegation of four students and a teacher from
Aitutaki will be arriving in Rarotonga to assist artist Gonzalo Aldana with
finishing touches to the Aitutaki piece on the Marae Moana seawall mural in
Marae Moana would like to acknowledge former Araura
College principal Gaylyn Lockington, current principal Corina Mose for
facilitating the successful campaign, and the students who participated in the
“You are all winners in our eyes.”
The Marae Moana art competition Seacology Awards are
as follows: Best cultural representation ‘Marae Moana Kia Tapu’ - Tai Manea, Best
artistic representation ‘Kia tapu to tatou Marae Moana’ -Archarlita Ngatokorua and
Travel Ngatamariki, Best visual message - Mary Ngapoe, Best message ‘Stop ocean
pollution’ - Tiare Teaukura. Public Vote Award: 1st ‘We suffer with
our planet’ - Kymani Cecil, 2nd ‘Plastic is not fashion in our seas’
- Shonnia Katu; 3rd ex-aequo (jointly) ‘If you don’t protect our
ocean……who will’ - Nicholas Mataiti, ‘The ocean is our home too’ - Teitiaaukura
Ngaoire, Heniata Marsters, Pururangi Mataiti and Geopite Bishop.