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Marae Moana Community Outreach Team visits Aitutaki’s Araura College

Wednesday 14 December 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Education, Local, National

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Marae Moana Community Outreach Team visits Aitutaki’s Araura College
The Marae Moana Community Outreach team, Kevin Iro and Tim Meyer, with Araura College students. SUPPLIED/22121211

The Marae Moana Community Outreach team, Kevin Iro and Tim Meyer, visited Aitutaki this week.

By invitation of Araura College principal Gaylyn Lockington, Marae Moana ambassador Kevin Iro presented on Marae Moana to 120 year 7-10 students at Araura College.

Student representatives led by acting principal Corina Mose greeted the Rarotonga delegation with magnificent neck eis, singing and lots of smiles.

Iro said: “It is always special being in the outer islands. You could feel the kids’ passion for the ocean. They asked very deep questions and hopefully we were able to plant the seed for them to one day choose a career that will help protect our Marae Moana!”

The very engaged students listened to the 50-minute presentation and a lively discussion about the ocean and our guardianship for it followed in the forum. The students were amazed when Iro shared the fact that our Marae Moana is about seven times larger than New Zealand.

Ten lucky students were given Marae Moana uniform as prize for answering ocean related questions based on Iro’s presentation.

Marae Moana community outreach coordinator Tim Meyer said: “The whole idea of the Marae Moana community outreach programme is to talk about all ocean related topics and to show pathways for the young generation to actively engage with their ocean.”

“This was the initial visit to engage with stakeholders in Aitutaki; old relationships have been rekindled and new friendships formed. For 2023 the Marae Moana team is preparing an art competition in the ocean conservation and ra’ui space in partnership with the Aitutaki Conservation Trust (ACT) and Araura College.”

Meanwhile Iro who was honoured by Seacology for his contribution in establishing, supporting and facilitating Marae Moana, has re-gifted his prize stipend fund back to the project.

Iro received an award inclusive of a monetary benefit to his credit. He has since re-gifted this back in to the Marae Moana Public Education Campaign to support the efforts of the team managing the project.

The project has since funded school visits, the uniform design of the Marae Moana polos and more notably the Nikao Seawall project to date.

Iro was adamant in saying, “I want to give this back in to our efforts to continue providing the people with more communication on Marae Moana including the need to be able to provide more information as well as get more of our people involved in this project. We have still got a lot to do, and we need to keep going to do this justice”.

Office of the Prime Minister chief of staff, Ben Ponia said“this gesture by Kevin reflects the commitment and passion that he brings to the table. In his special role as Marae Moana Ambassador based at Prime Minister’s office we look forward to the journey ahead of us”.