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Protecting Maori culture

Wednesday 11 January 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National

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Protecting Maori culture
Kōrero O Te `Ōrau students on Mangaia learn to weave kikau hats. 23011046

Mangaia is steeped in legend and mystical charm. Estimated at 18 million years old, it is one of the oldest islands in the Pacific.

It is the most southerly island of the Cook Islands and the second largest, after Rarotonga.

Kōrero O Te `Ōrau, is an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) passionate about protecting Cook Islands Maori culture, environment, and natural resources of the nation, are visiting Mangaia to learn more of its traditions and way of life.

The groups name translates to ‘knowledge of the sky, land, and sea’.


A Kōrero O Te `Ōrau student is happy to have completed weaving a kikau hat. 23011041

Twenty Kōrero O Te `Ōrau students and leads from Rarotonga and 24 members from Atiu landed on Mangaia on Monday this week for the week long 'Ātui'anga ki te Tango programme. Twelve students from Mangaia have joined the group.

Dr Teina Rongo, Chairman of the Kōrero O Te `Ōrau said the educational trip to Mangaia is to learn about the islands culture and  environment, te iti tangata Maori and its customs.

The students will be participating in activities and visit several of the islands popular spots which include: pa'ata lookout, Mangaia flora and geography, rangaranga (weaving), traditional taro planting, fishing, visiting the caves and marae.

Kōrero O Te `Ōrau would like to acknowledge the support of: Ministry of Agriculture, Nia Tero, GEF Small Grants Programme, Bank of the Cook Islands, Vodafone Cook Islands and Synchronicity Earth.