Cook Islands Voyaging Society members were “honoured” to receive a Rokirokitia Digitising Kit by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. From Left: Tetini Pekepo - vice president, Ian Karika - president, Aotearoa New Zealand High Commissioner Tui Dewes, Deon Wong - captain of Vaka Marumaru Atua and John Tierney - coordinator. MELINA ETCHES/23101810
The Cook Islands Voyaging Society as well as Tauranga Vananga were gifted a Rokirokitia Digitising Kit by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the New Zealand’s audiovisual archive.
The digitising kits are designed to digitise old
tapes, film, photos and audio recordings so that generations can relive
recorded cultural and historical moments.
Tetini Pekepo, speaking on behalf of the Cook Islands
Voyaging Society (CIVS) at the presentation on Tuesday, expressed a sense of
sadness that there are many cherished memories and visions of past voyages that
the younger generation has not seen.
Pekepo said they felt honoured in accepting the
digitising kit from Ngā Taonga, as they now have the resources to digitise old
videos and recordings to preserve the experiences of the Cook Islands’ recent
On behalf of the Society, Vaka Marumaru Atua captain
Deon Wong and the entire team, Pekepo conveyed heartfelt thanks, acknowledging
that this support will help maintain and preserve their treasured memories.
“It has been a great honour for our voyaging team to
try to walk in the footsteps of our tupuna, sailing out to new lands, and
sharing stories around an open fire, a tradition that continues to this day,” said
He said that there are many people who are passionate
about keeping this dream alive, “trying to discover who we are, where we come
from, and where we are going in this modern world”.
Pekepo also expressed gratitude towards the late Sir
Tom Davis, a founder of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, the late Sir
Geoffrey Henry, local businessman John Tierney, who is a member of the Society,
the government, and everyone for their support in turning their dream into a
Tierney said: “Sir Tom inspired all of us to do lots
“What we need to digitalise today with this equipment
is for tomorrow, for the next generation to see those things and to understand.”
Speaking at the presentation, Tui Tupa from the
Tauranga Vananga Ministry of Cultural Development archives unit said she was
“honoured” to be given the opportunity to attend training on this kit in
Wellington, which has “truly deepened my appreciation of Cook Islands cultural
heritage and its preservation”.
Tupa says this is an invaluable resource designed to
successfully digitise and store information from magnetic media material such
as VHS tapes, cassette tapes, DVD and CD to an accessible format “for people to
view and listen to their historical images and songs”.
The digitising kit is “essential” to the preservation
of Cook Islands culture which is the core of what identifies its people – “the
gatekeepers of our history and designers of our future”.
Emile Kairua, acting Secretary for Tauranga Vananga, said
the digitising kit will “capture all the memories that people have and gather
into evidence all the things that we have done over the history of our lives,
into safe keeping … so that we are able to look back and celebrate where we
Speaking on behalf of George “Maggie” Angene, the
Minister for Tauranga Vananga, former secretary Anthony Turua explained that
the digitising project was initiated around 2020/2021 when an agreement was
signed with Ngā Taonga. Ngā Taonga holds Cook Islands national audio-visual
heritage in safe keeping and make them widely accessible.
In November 2022, Turua and Angene attended the “emotional”
launch of the digital preservation audio visual at the National Library in
Turua said there are many historical records, including
videos, sitting in homes on Rarotonga and in the Pa Enua, and the job is to
retrieve those and get them digitised.
“Once it is all digitised our future generation will
have access to it,” Turua said.
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, is the audio-visual
archive of Aotearoa New Zealand that developed the Rokirokitia Digitising Kit
supported by Manatu Taonga, the Ministry of Culture & Heritage of