Wednesday 12 March 2014 | Published in Regional
The adults interviewed were all involved in the last games and felt things were better in the past than they are now at this stage of planning.
Some suggested that the ones planning now should ask advice from the old committee members so their jobs would be easier.
Their memories are that the first time the Manea Games came to Mauke the people of Akatokamanava had everything prepared and well organised before, during and after the Manea Games.
It was not a heavy burden on the people as there were different committees such as the accommodation committee, transport committee, catering committee and also the sports committee.
The perception of some non-committee members is that things are not running so smoothly and outside influences mean that organisation isn’t being done the “Maukean way”.
As Papa Tautara Purea put it: “There are too many cooks trying to cook one thing.”
One said the organisation is trying to follow what the other islands have done during their time for southern group island sports event and this has become a big burden on the people.
Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee has also interfered by telling the island which sport codes should be played, where in the past it was the island’s decision on which sports were played.
Some people believe that the committee is trying to fundraise $200,000 while others think it is somewhere over $300,000.
Mauke’s population is under 300, so even if it is the lower figure, people believe it is still too big a burden for the island.
Mauke’s cadet writer says she has learned that during the 1999 games Mauke raised $20,000 locally through housie and CISNOC gave $30,000.
Mama and Papa Tautara Purea mentioned that the meat was sourced locally and the athletes praised Mauke, saying that no one could beat Mauke’s food.
Local families donated their own food as well as buying food, for example, two sacks of potatoes per household.
Keeping costs down also was the fact that New Zealand Maukeans provided the bedding, Australian Maukeans provided the crockery and uniform, and the local MP at the time gained help from the New Zealand Government with cooking facilities.
Added to this, Canada funds paid for fencing and Mauke Infrastructure bore the costs of preparing the sports grounds.
A $1000 fee was also paid by each participating island.
At the 1999 games Papa Mapu Taia mentioned that 400 people came to the island, half of those were athletes and the other half were supporters, sports fans, officials and VIPs. He mentioned that at these games, Tereapii Tapoki, who has now known success internationally, really showed an interest in athletics.
All of the problems aside, the teenagers interviewed are really looking forward to meeting new people and old friends, and most importantly, they can’t wait to represent their island.