The Vaka Pride judges were impressed with the efforts of the Rarotonga Community in the latest round of the Vaka Pride competition despite obvious need for improvements in some areas. The Vaka Pride judging was held on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of February. The judging for the Vaka Pride competition is conducted by the Vaka Pride committee. The committee members are made up of representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Cook Islands National Council of Women, Ministry of Cultural Development, Office of the Prime Minister, Cook Islands Police, National Environment Services and coordinated by Cook Islands Tourism Corporation.
According to Destination Development coordinator, Sieni Tiraa, “Vaka Pride judging on both days went extremely well. There were a variety of plantations inspected on the first day and a mixture of Maraes and historical sites visited on the second day all around Rarotonga. The plantations and historical sites on Rarotonga were the focal areas to visit for these two days as part of the Peu Maori judging category for the Vaka Pride competition.”
The Vaka Pride committee were impressed with the level of commitment and dedication from our local farmers. The traditional forms of planting capturing Peu Maori by using ‘Arapo’ (the moons and tide schedule) to plant Kumara (sweet potatoes) were pleasantly noted by the Vaka Pride committee. The committee noted however that there were pockets of littering and dumping of household waste all around the island. This along with overgrown sections and abandoned motor vehicles highlighted to the Vaka Pride committee that while people are generally showing their ‘Vaka Pride’ some in the community are letting us down.
The Ministry of Cultural Development representatives led the second day of the Vaka Pride judging focusing on historical sites and Maraes. This day of Vaka Pride judging started with traditional leader, Tangianau Tuaputa from the House of Ariki leading the Vaka Pride committee to various Maraes around the island. At each historical site he would provide the history and story of each Marae as he knew it. A total of 12 Maraes were visited around Rarotonga with maintenance and details of the historical significance of each Marae being part of the scoring criteria.
The Vaka Pride prize giving has been scheduled for Wednesday the 21st of March to coincide with our visitor activities week. Save the date to celebrate the progress of our local farmers and the continuation of our significant historical sites.
Meitaki maata to all the community groups, Vaka Pride committee and members of the public who have contributed to making this round of the Vaka Pride competition a huge success.
The Vaka Pride Prize giving was held on Thursday the 30th of November at the National Auditorium, coinciding with the International Dancer of the Year competition.
Congratulations to the following individuals and groups who took out first and second placing within their respective categories for Round 7 of the Vaka Pride competition.
Akono I te Ao Rangi category focuses on most clean public areas helping to keep our islands pollution free and disease free.
First place: Takuvaine/Tutakimoa - $3,000
Second place: Tupapa/Maraerenga - $2,000
These prizes are awarded to the village with the most points collected from Ministry of Internal Affairs monthly Tama Oire clean up results, Ministry of Health Tutaka results, and the National Environment Service (NES) complaints reports.
Well done to both these villages who scored very high in their monthly clean up reports. This was reflected in their high Tutaka results and neither village had any complaints recorded in their areas through NES reports and complaints.
Peu Maori category judges villages on their efforts to maintain the overall tidiness of their villages and surrounding areas. This round of the Vaka Pride competition focused on, ‘flower gardens’ as avid gardeners began preparing for Tiare Week.
Individuals within each village, working in the focus areas are chosen and nominated by their village committees to receive special prizes from the Vaka Pride Committee.
First place equal: Ana Savage and Maryanne Strickland.
Awarded to Ana Savage - 2 nights’ accommodation in Premium Garden Suite at the stunning four star adults only Manuia Beach Resort.
Awarded to Maryanne Strickland - 2 nights’ accommodation in a Premium Garden Suite at Pacific Resort.
Consolation Prize: Tinomana Tokerau Ariki winning a voucher for Crown Beach Resort and Spa Island Night Buffett.
These individuals and other nominees were chosen by the Vaka Pride committee as they all have beautiful flower gardens that are well maintained, have joined our Vaka Pride competitions in previous rounds and use their flowers for community events, to beautify their local churches and make ei’s (flower neck garlands) for our international visitors amongst other things.
Tupuranga Tangata category judges villages on their community efforts to address issues of crime, dogs and other pests, and all other safety related issues in their communities.
First place: Tupapa Maraerenga Community Policing - $1,500
Second place: ‘A’ Team -$1,000
Consolation Prize: Are Manu Clinic – 2 nights’ accommodation at Muri Beach Club Hotel
Nominations are received via the Oire Committees and the Vaka Pride Committee awards prizes according to the criteria and the effectiveness of the community initiative to address the issues. Tupapa Maraerenga Community Policing addresses the issue of crime as well as the “A” Team group. According to the Police representative on the Vaka Pride committee, burglary rates have reduced as a result of the increased youth and community policing efforts.
A special acknowledgement to Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Manuia Beach Resort, Muri Beach Club Hotel and Crown Beach Resort and Spa for their valuable contributions towards the prizes for this round of the Vaka Pride competition.
Get your village groups ready for the 8th round of the Vaka Pride competition which is scheduled for February 2018. The focus area for the Peu Maori category will be on plantations through their agricultural productions.
For more information or to get involved in the Vaka Pride competition, please contact Sieni Tiraa from Cook Islands Tourism: [email protected] or +682 29435
· Most Clean Beaches
· Most clean streams and free of animals
· Least amount of mosquito breeding sites
· Best reuse of rubbish and recycle centres
· Renewable Energy or Sustainable living
The Akono I Te Ao Rangi judging category is based on the results from Internal Affairs Tama Oire (monthly clean-ups), Ministry of Health Tutaka and the National Environment Services monthly monitoring reports. The Vaka Pride committee also add bonus points to the ten villages if they are complying with the judging criteria for Akono I Te Ao Rangi.
Tupapa was successful in leading this category based on their bonus points attributed by the Vaka Pride (VP) committee. They demonstrated the best areas to visit for the VP committee during judging day. Oire Takuvaine came in second placing with the highest results from their monthly clean ups demonstrating an active cleaning community.
· Least reported dog nuisance complaints & wandering dogs
· Least reported crime
· Community initiatives
The prizes for the Tupuranga Tangata category was based on the Police report provided for the respective months of this Vaka Pride Round. Congratulations to Matavera who took out first place indicating the least reported amount of crime in the area. The second placing went to the village of Akaoa who had a very low rate of wandering dogs.
Well done to all the villages on Rarotonga who did an amazing job in the Tupuranga Tangata category.
· Best voted flower and/or agricultural production
· Best voted bus shelters
· Best kept public toilets
· Best kept public areas e.g; sports fields, burial grounds
· Best voted historical sites e.g; marae
· Best voted traditional handicrafts eg; tivaevae
The Peu Maori category is judged by the Vaka Pride committee during their judging where top place was awarded to the Oire of Titikaveka followed closely by Tupapa. There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the local planters, community clinics, and historical sites including the overall cleaning efforts around the island. Three of the community clinics had their Tivaevae (hand woven embroidery) on display for the VP committee, and a couple of the Marae’s (historical sites) visited had their Mataiapo (chiefs) greet the VP committee upon arrival to provide information on their Marae’s. These were the highlights for the VP committee making it a very tough round for them to judge.
Congratulations to all the villages and communities for your continuous efforts in keeping our little paradise clean, green and beautiful. Don’t forget the next round for Vaka Pride starts immediately starting with the month of July, August, September and October 2017.
If you missed out in this round of the Vaka Pride competition, use the next round as your opportunity to win monetary awards to go towards a community project of your choice for your village. For more information on the Vaka Pride competition contact Sieni Tiraa on email: [email protected] or phone: 29435.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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: