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PM on Aitutaki for opening of Bi-Centennial celebrations

Thursday 21 October 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands


PM on Aitutaki for opening of Bi-Centennial celebrations
The mayor of Aitutaki Tekura Bishop, greets the Mauke arrivals yesterday afternoon. Picture: NANE PUREA/21102023.

The official opening of the Aitutaki Bi-Centennial celebrations begins this morning at 9am at Orongo Park.

Prime Minister Mark Brown, dignitaries and government officials from Rarotonga will be attending the opening ceremony. The Prime Minister left Rarotonga for Aitutaki late yesterday.

More visitors to the island arrived yesterday, including a contingent from Mauke.

Tekura Bishop, the mayor of Aitutaki, said: “This is definitely an exciting time for those attending this once in a lifetime celebration opportunity, and I’m confident they will enjoy the hospitality of the people of Aitutaki as well as the food and the beauty of our lagoon surroundings.”

Today’s grand opening and welcome ceremony will be held at the Orongo stage, starting at 9am. At 7pm, cultural entertainment by each island representatives and night market will be held at Orongo.

The Vainetini Exhibition and Sports Day will be held tomorrow, starting at 9am at Orongo Park and Amuri Field, respectively. At 7pm SDA Church Service will take place as well as a Darts Competition at the Fishing Club, also at 7pm.

Earlier this week, Air Rarotonga’s managing director Ewan Smith said they were expecting about 600 people from Rarotonga, Mauke, Mitiaro and Atiu to fly to Aitutaki for the celebrations up until mid-next week.

A group representing Palmerston and a team from Mangaia landed on the island as well as small clusters of families and individuals earlier this week. The final number of arrivals for the Bi-Centennial will not be known until later this week.

Aitutaki mayor Bishop is excited and looking forward to the historic event. “Everything is going according to plan and I’m happy that all our accommodation venues and villages are in a state of readiness to receive our visitors.”

The mayor of Aitutaki Tekura Bishop and Nane Herman Purea wait for the arrival of passengers from Mauke. Picture: NANE PUREA/21102016.