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Marumaru Atua showcases traditional heritage

Saturday 15 July 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Features, Weekend


Marumaru Atua showcases traditional heritage
Aotearoa New Zealand’s Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson, Makea Karika George Ariki, Vaka Marumaru Atua captain Deon Wong, crew and guests. NZHC/23071412

The Vaka Marumaru Atua Cook Islands Voyaging Society (CIVS) were thrilled to have Aotearoa New Zealand’s Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson and Aotearoa Film Director/Writer/Producer Te Arepa Kahi on board for a brief sail.

Captain Deon Wong said the short cruise at sea was an opportunity to share with the Minister and guests, the resilience and beauty of traditional sailing.

Also on board for the sail on Thursday were Makea Karika George Ariki, master carver Mike Tavioni, CIVS president Ian Karika, Nick Henry and New Zealand High Commission staff and the hard working voluntary crew.

Earlier this month, Cook Islander Johnson Raela, host of the new ABC Australia TV show ‘The Pacific’ was a special guest on board to film a piece about Marumaru Atua and Cook Islands Voyaging Society.

The Northcote Intermediate School from Aotearoa also experienced several ocean sails on the vaka.

In the lead up to the Digitisation Kit arriving at the end of this month, the Society is asking members of the public who have old video tapes/cds/dvds or hard drives of vaka related material to contact them.

Digital copies for future access can be done with the digitisation kit.

Videos of the Vaka Te Au O Tonga (The Mist of the South) launch in 1994 being hand carried from Avatiu valley to the sea will be appreciated.

The Society have also been conducting an education outreach programme at Apii Takitumu School to teach the kids about the history of the vaka.

The children were also invited on board the vaka for a site visit and more lessons on navigation.

During the school holidays in a few weeks’ time, Marumaru Atua is scheduled to sail to Atiu for the Kōrero o te 'Ōrau 'Ātui'anga ki te Tango school holiday programme.

For the past few years, these programmes have embracing the significance of voyaging in our history and culture, and the students are given the opportunity to sail on the vaka.

Students from Atiu will also have the opportunity to sail to Rarotonga for the exchange programme.