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Thursday 1 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, Local, National


$0.5m budget for Gospel celebration
Vaa Tuatua o Tinomana Tokerau Ariki, Tere Taio and the Arorangi CICC congregation celebrate the arrival of Christianity on Gospel/Nuku Day. 22113006

The Arorangi Cook Islands Christian Church has started preparations for the 200-year commemoration of the arrival of the Gospel in July next year, setting a budget of just under half a million dollars.

The organisers have set a budget of $495,000, however, costs are being adjusted as quotes from overseas and around Rarotonga are being received.

Vaka Puaikura have been in full swing preparing since the launch of the bi-centennial celebrations to be held on July 26 and 27 next year.

Over 3000 people are expected to attend the district’s biggest event in living history.

To assist with the expenses, a radiothon on Radio Cook Islands will start tomorrow from 12 noon to 6pm, hosted by Nga Teao-Papatua and supported by Sam Crocombe and Vaa Tuatua o Tinomana Tokerau Ariki, Tere Taio.

People are encouraged to ring the station and make a donation.

Last week, Vaimutu and families in Ruaau, successfully hosted a fundraiser in the district.

Team leader of the organising committee, Jane Wichman Poa said they are yet to discuss other activities, including a Thanksgiving Service of peace and unity for Vaka Puaikura.  

“Building on positive relationships of peace and harmony in Vaka Puaikura is a significant goal to achieve working in consultation with all denominations locally and with families overseas,” said Poa.

The celebration requires many volunteers, resources and financial support.

Media/communications administrator, Violet Tisam said: “We are working on getting our young people to feel connected and get involved and be included in the decision making, making it meaningful and memorable for them as well.”

The bicentennial programme will include prayer services, commemoration ceremonies, festivals, uapou’s (imene tuki), choir (Gospel singing) and dinner.

It will also include a commemorative stone dedicated to mark Tinomana Enuarurutini’s acceptance of the Gospel in 1823; commemorative stones dedicated to the faithful service of Reverend John Williams and Reverend Papehia; commemorative stones dedicated to the faithful service of the Arorangi Missionaries who served beyond the Cook Islands and dedicated prayer service celebrating the gift of faith and for peace uniting Vaka Puaikura Christians.

Members of the organising committee are: Celebration co-ordinator Patrick Arioka, lead IT expert developer Anonga Tisam, media and videographer consultant Terence Pera, photographer and graphics consultant Taa Pera, research consultant Nooroa Tuoro, radio broadcaster Sam Crocombe, marketing consultant Susan Sadaraka, media/communications administrator Violet Tisam, team leader and editor Jane Wichman Poa

The committee is co-chaired by the Vaa Tuatua (spokesperson) for Tinomana Tokerau Ariki, Tere Taio and Diakono – Okirua Teokoitu.

The Cook Islands Christian Church is the largest religious denomination in the Cook Islands. The church has congregations in the Pa Enua, New Zealand and Australia.