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Aitutaki’s Oire Reureu raises $69,000 from annual Koni Raoni

Friday 30 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, Entertainment, Features, Local, National, Outer Islands

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Aitutaki’s Oire Reureu raises $69,000 from annual Koni Raoni
Oire Reureu dancers at the Boxing day Koni Raoni on Aitutaki. MACK MARONA/22122805

Oire Reureu has raised a whopping $69,000 in the popular annual Koni Raoni festive celebrations held on Boxing Day on the island of Aitutaki.

The Koni Raoni loosely translates to dance around and is exclusive to the island of Aitutaki, the event is a traditional exchange between oire or villages that is held over the Christmas and New Year season to raise funds for the hosting village.

Every year each oire takes turns at hosting – dancing, singing and travelling through the villages on the island receiving donations. This year Reureu hosted the event.

Mata Charlie, the treasurer for Oire Reureu, said: “As always the event was awesome, and although it was a hot sunny day it was fantastic.”

“We were welcomed to every village with fresh ei and kai manga afterwards – a heavy duty kaikai feast.”

The hosting Oire Reureu celebrating Koni Raoni on Aitutaki.  MACK MARONA/22122806
The hosting Oire Reureu celebrating Koni Raoni on Aitutaki. MACK MARONA/22122806

The Koni Raoni started at 9am, the first visit was to the village of Vaipeka followed by Vaipae, Tautu, Nikaupara, Arutanga, Ureia and Amuri. The day wrapped up with the collection of $68,616.20.

More donations were presented to Reureu including from the Matauia line of the Palmerston Islands Marsters family who kindly donated $1100, taking the total donations to $69,716.20.

Following is the list of donations from each village: Vaipeka $9690, Vaipae $10,095, Tautu $11,200, Nikaupara $7810, Arutanga $9240.40, Ureia $7930, Amuri $12,650.80, for a total of $68,616.20.

“We are thankful and appreciate all the donations from everyone,” said Charlie.

“E reo akameitaki no matou te Oire tangata Reureu te mata o Teerui to runga nei te enua to Australia, Aotearoa Nu Tireni e Pamati e pini uake teia nei ao no ta kotou tauturu i roto i teia ra e te maoraora i te ariki anga ia matou ki te kapu vai e te manga ta matou i kai, te ei rore e te vai atura. Kua pumaana te ngakau. Kare ra e tumu ke, mari ra no te Aroa ua o to tatou Atu ko Iesu Mesia. Meitaki atupaka.”

Oire Reureu drummers celebrate Koni Raoni. MACK MARONA/22122807
Oire Reureu drummers celebrate Koni Raoni. MACK MARONA/22122807