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Page Description

What is Mana Tiaki? 

Mana Tiaki is one of the three core values of Kia Orana.

Tiaki means keeper or guardian and Mana translates as influence or power. It means guardianship with a sacred purpose, to preserve it for future generations. The keeper has the power or ability to keep our culture and heritage alive. Mana Tiaki also refers to our responsibility as guardians of these islands and environment. 


Vaka Pride

















Vaka Pride


















The Vaka Pride round two prize giving for the four months of Nov, Dec 2016-Jan, Feb 2017 was held at the Assembly of God Church in Takuvaine on Tuesday 7th March 2017. The Vaka Pride Committee unanimously decided to run the Prize Giving in collaboration with the ‘Practice Parliament for Women of the Cook Islands Forum’ to help promote and raise awareness on this community initiative. Read more to discover how the respective villages gained their placing including the first time bonus prizes added for this edition.

Akono I Te Ao Rangi

Takuvaine were successful with taking first place in this category based on the results from their monthly clean ups conducted by Internal Affairs. The second placing awarded to the village of Nikao including the third placing to Tupapa was also a result of their scores from their monthly clean ups initiated by Internal Affairs.

Tupuranga Tangata

The prizes for the Tupuranga Tangata category was based on the Police report provided for the respective months of this Vaka Pride Round. The community initiatives indicated in each village to ensure extra security measures conducted by people in the communities were also added into this round and bonus points were included from the Vaka Pride committee. Congratulations to Murienua who took first place, followed by the villages of Matavera and Akaoa.

Peu Maori

The Peu Maori category was judged by the Vaka Pride committee and was awarded in order of prizes to the villages of Tupapa, Matavera and Takuvaine. The Vaka Pride committee visited areas within these villages and their totaled scores indicated the winners for this round of the Peu Maori category.

Bonus prizes

For this round of the Vaka Pride competition only, an incentive prize was provided for the increased involvement of more historical sites such as Maraes and community village clinics. A bonus prize of $500 for the best Marae for this round was awarded to Arai Te Tonga Marae. An extra $500 was also awarded to Takuvaine clinic for their involvement in this round of the Vaka Pride competition.

Congratulations and Meitaki Maata to the communities for your continuous efforts in keeping our little paradise clean, green and beautiful. Don’t forget Round #3 for Vaka Pride starts immediately starting with the month of March, April, May and June 2017. If you missed out in this round of the Vaka Pride competition, use this next round as the opportunity to win up to $10,000 worth of funding to go towards a community project of your choice for your village. For more information contact Sieni Tiraa on email: [email protected] or phone: 29435.


The New & Improved Vaka Pride Competition 2016 - 2017:

The Vaka Pride Competition has undergone some minor changes since the the first three rounds of the competition. The Vaka Pride committee has been able to identify what has worked well, and those areas where there can be improvement. And so the Vaka Pride Committee sat and decided involve additional committee members to the existing committee made up of representatives from the Cook Islands Police Department, Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, National Environment Service and Cook Islands Tourism Corporation. New additions to the committee include representatives from the Ministry of Cultural Development, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Cook Islands National Council of Women. The new members were chosen to widen the engagement by the community, enhance components of the judging criteria, and to add new elements to the competition. The Vaka Pride Committee are working with these respective agencies to identify additional judging components that fall within their areas of expertise and are currently part of their operations or activities. The new Vaka Pride representatives will most certainly broaden the areas to be judged by the panel.

The major change to the way the competition is run has been changing the judging based on the three Vakas, to judging by the ten villages or constituencies on Rarotonga. This change was brought about following the requests made from the community and a recognition of the lack of cohesion across all three Vakas. The 10 villages known as constituencies are as follows: Tupapa, Takuvaine, Avatiu, Nikao, Akaoa, Ruaau, Murienua, Titikaveka, Ngatangiia and Matavera. As a result of this change the prizes for each category will now be split into first place, second place and third place to allow more chances for villages to earn rewards.

Round 1 for Vaka Pride Competition 2016-2017 ran from July 2016 - October 2016.
The committee members were extremely pleased by the efforts portrayed by the village leaders and community and wish to encourage everyone to continue keeping our little paradise clean, green and beautiful. Check out the results for Round #1 Below


Kia Orana from our new and improved Vaka Pride Committee

From left to right we have,
Metua Vaiimene (Director of Destination Development, Cook Islands Tourism), Maire McFadzien (Destination Development Officer, Cook Islands Tourism) April Le'Monk (Ministry of Cultural Development) Tevai Tatuava (National Council of Womens) Henry Tupa (Ministry of Internal Affairs) Rose Kairua (National Council of Women) Phillip Strickland (National Environment Service), Rima Moekaa (Office of the Prime Minister) Sieni Tiraa (Destination Development Coordinator, Cook Islands Tourism).

Absent: (Ministry of Health) (Cook Islands Police)


Vaka Pride Competition 2015 - 2016

Vaka Pride is an extension of Kia Orana, under the value of Mana Tiaki. Its purpose is to give the three Vakas on Rarotonga, the chance to win $10,000 in donations to go towards a community project of their choosing. Vaka Pride has three categories that focus on a different aspect that affects tourism on the island. The Vaka Pride competition uses the combined results from the Cook Islands Health Services, Cook Islands Police Department and Internal Affairs Cook Islands, with representatives from each sector making up the Vaka Pride Committee.

Vaka Pride Round 3 Results:

Congratulations go out to Vaka Te Au O Tonga for taking out the major category of Akono i te Ao Rangi and receiving $5,000 towards their community initiatives.  This section has been awarded to Vaka Puaikura in the last two rounds.  Key in this section was the extra work carried out by the community teams to identify mosquito breeding sites in upper Tupapa and having these cleared which earned the district bonus points.  In addition Vaka Te Au O Tonga also took out the Peu Maori category which saw them receive an extra $2,500 in this round of awards.  Vaka Puaikura took out the Tupuranga Tangata category and gained $2,500 for their community efforts.  All rewards are put towards a community project decided on by the Vaka committee.  Meitaki Maata to each Vaka for your continuous hard work in ensuring our communities put their best ‘face’ forward for Tourism.



Vaka Pride Results 2015 - 2016

Round One: 

23rd October 2015
Vaka Puaikura took out the major category of Akono i te Ao Rangi, having won a $5,000 donation towards their community beautification project at Tuoro otherwise known as Black Rock. In addition Vaka Puaikura took out the Peu Maori category which saw them receive an extra $2,500 in funding to go towards the up keeping and maintaining of burial grounds. Congratulations to Vaka Puaikura who have led the way in being a Mana Tiaki in helping to keep our environment beautiful. Vaka Takitumu took out the Tupuranga Tangata where they won $2,500 towards an initiative in their Vaka to deal with dog compliance and registration costs. It is encouraging that the community want to invest more into addressing our problems with dogs on the island.

Round Two: 

03rd March 2016
Once again Vaka Puaikura have taken out the major category of Akono i te Ao Rangi, winning a further $5,000 towards their ongoing community beautification projects. Vaka Takitumu took out the Tupuranga Tangata category once again, where they have won funding of $2,500 to continue their dog compliance and registration initiative. The final category of Peu Maori went to Vaka Te-Au-o-Tonga, winning $2,500 to go towards their stream and river improvement initiatives. Congratulations and Meitaki Maata to all the Vaka committees and their respective communities who have really stepped up in this round of the Vaka Pride Competition. 

Round Three: 

01st July 2016
Vaka Te Au O Tonga definitely stepped up their game during this round and took out the major category of Akono i te Ao Rangi and winning $5,000 to go towards their ongoing community beautification projects. In addition, Vaka Te Au O Tonga also took out the Peu Maori category winning an extra $2,500. Vaka Puaikura took out the Tupuranga Tangata category which saw them win $2,500 to go towards their ongoing community projects. Congratulations goes out to each Vaka for their great efforts in ensuring our little paradise is kept beautiful.


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Te Vaka O Ru

Te Vaka O Ru

Te Vaka O Ru Round #3 Results: 

Te Vaka O Ru (TVOR) competition on the island of Aitutaki is mirrored on the Vaka Pride competition on Rarotonga. The TVOR committee which is made up of representatives from Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Aitutaki Conservation Trust, National Environment Services and the Police department, are the decision makers for the competition.

Previously, TVOR was judged by the 3 constituencies on Aitutaki – AU, ARE NIKAU and VAIVAITAU. The TVOR committee decided to move from judging by constituencies to villages, similar to the Vaka Pride competition. This is the first round of TVOR that the competition has implemented judging by village and so far it has been a successful one.

Last week, Friday the 31st of April TVOR held their final judging and inspection of the villages for the competition.

With the combined results from the TVOR committee the winners for this round of the competition have been finalised and are as follows:
Akono i te ao rangi, with a cash prize of $2,500 was awarded to Amuri
Tupuranga Tangata, with a cash prize of $1,250 was awarded to Reureu
Peu Maori, with a cash prize of $1,250 was awarded to Amuri

The TVOR committee awarded the Akono I te Ao Rangi and Peu Maori prizes to the village of Amuri. Taken from the TVOR committee’s monthly inspections, the village of Amuri was noted to have conducted regular clean ups, replanted some Tipani trees along their roadside as a beautification project, and maintained public areas, to earn their win.

The small village of Reureu stood out for the committee by taking the recently added community initiatives in the Tupuranga Tangata category to another level. On inspection day the people of Reureu showcased their Tivaevae, handy crafts and highlighted their proactive cultural initiatives. It was these community initiatives that the community of Reureu attributed to there being NO crime in the village of Reureu.

The prize giving for TVOR was last Friday the 7th of April 2017 and all winners were announced and acknowledged on live broadcast with Aitutaki radio station.

Well done to the people on the beautiful island of Aitutaki who participated in their village clean up. The next round for TVOR is already underway with judging scheduled to take place at the end of June. So, keep up the good work Araura Enua!

For more information about the Te Vaka O Ru competition, contact Misepa Isamaela on: [email protected]

Te Vaka O Ru Round #2 Results:

Te Vaka O Ru Round 2 Prize Giving: A massive congratulations to AU (Amuri – Ureia) constituency for taking out the Akono I Te Ao Rangi category and awarded a cash prize of $2,500. The community of Amuri have continued to maintain their clean-up/recycling program since the beginning of Round 1. Beaches are regularly cleaned from any man-made litter with the children sorting the recyclables. This has enabled them to understand the recycling process and become proactive at keeping the environment clean and pristine. It is now evident the work being done is maintaining the first rounds initial big clean up. Mosquito breeding sites, in particular at Ootu are being cleared by an Ootu beach resident and is also ongoing with the support of the Au community.
Peu Maori category was awarded to ARE NIKAU (Arutanga, Reureu, Nikaupara) with a cash prize of $1,250 for their fantastic efforts in maintaining the beach area as noted in category 1. The three villages have moved further inland as identified in their project plan and have undertaken a major cleanup of roadsides and public areas across all three villages in this constituency. Beautification was also addressed in this round, by trimming hedges on public roads as well as around the Araura College grounds.
Tupuranga Tangata was awarded to VAIVAITAU (Vaipeka, Vaipae, Tautu) with a cash prize of $1,250 as livestock areas seen in this constituency are well looked after and kept clean and also kept away from dwellings, as this has been raised as a concern from the Ministry of Health. It encourages all members within their respective constituencies to seriously look at their livestock practices and its impacts. In terms of crime rate, it is evident that Vaivaitau have stepped up by minimizing crime activities/involvement to ensure they have a fighting chance at being rewarded.
Meitaki Atupaka to each constituency for your continuous efforts to be tidy kuki’s and for doing your part in keeping our little paradise clean, green and beautiful. Bring on Round 3 which will run from November 2016 to January 2017.


Te Vaka O Ru Round 1 Results:

The awards ceremony for the first round of the Te Vaka O Ru competition was held on Thursday 30th June on the island of Aitutaki. Congratulations go to Are Nikau constituency (Arutanga, Reureu, Nikaupara) for taking out the major category of Akono i te Ao Rangi, winning $2,500.  AU constituency (Amuri – Ureia) took out the Tupuranga Tangata category and won $1,250 towards their Children’s community sports initiatives.  For the Peu Maori category the Vaivaitau constituency (Vaipae, Vaipeka, Tautu) won $1,250 for having the best kept flower gardens and public areas such as sports fields, on the island.  Like Vaka Pride, all funding won goes towards a community project of their choice.  Once again congratulations to each district for being great Mana Tiaki’s and helping to keep Aitutaki Clean, Green and Beautiful.


Te Vaka O Ru (TVOR) Update

The constituency of Au have been busy gaining tally marks for the Te Vaka O Ru competition in Aitutaki. They were out last week collecting rubbish from the Aitutaki Airport to the Amuri Hall, each day ending with meals being served to these proud guardians as a small gesture of appreciation. Au continues to lead by example says the TVOR committee.

We are looking forward to seeing all the constituencies of Aitutaki get behind the competition to activate their social & cultural responsibility to keep Aitutaki a little clean & tidy paradise, says Te Vaka O Ru coordinator, Misepa Isamaela. 

Te Vaka O Ru is off to a great start

This week saw the youth of Amuri take on the role of great Mana Tiaki’s as they set out to collect rubbish along the Amuri beaches and the airport roadside. Coming together fortnightly for at least an hour to an hour and a half of cleaning of the community to ensure their #littleparadise is kept clean and tidy. The ever so famous Kia Orana Spirit kicks into overdrive at the end of each day as local businesses donate food to feed the Mana Tiaki’s as a reward for their hard work.

The driving backbone behind this project Te Vaka O Ru is the ever so eager, hardworking committee members who come from a number of sectors from L-R:
Vavia Puapii (National Environment Service), Mataiti Pitomaki (Ministry of Health), Naomi Patterson (Aitutaki Conservation Trust), Alfred Marsters (Police) 
Absent: Kaleena Davey (INTAFF)

The committee members set out once a month to conduct site inspections around Aitutaki to ensure the standards are kept high. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of Te Vaka O Ru. 

Te Vaka O Ru Competition Launches in Aitutaki:

Due to the fantastic turnout with the Vaka Pride Competition here on Rarotonga, we have decided to launch a similar competition in Aitutaki and have named it Te Vaka O Ru. Te Vaka O Ru Competition provides the people of Aitutaki the opportunity to be part of a rewarding project that will benefit their village, community and island. 

Click on the link below to download an application form: