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”.
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”.