The Vaka Pride competition celebrates ten successful rounds since its launch in 2015. For this particular round from July – October 2018, the Vaka Pride committee focused on Public toilets and historical sites for the Peu Maori section. The Vaka Pride judging was held over two days on the 22nd and 23rd of October where the Vaka Pride committee inspected 13 public toilets and 6 historical sites around the island, along with general inspections of the villages on Rarotonga. The winners for this round of the Vaka Pride were announced during the Titikaveka College Island Night on the 1st of December.
The Vaka Pride committee along with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation would like to extend a big meitaki maata and a massive congratulations to all the participants and winners for another successful round of the Vaka Pride competition.
The winners for the Vaka Pride competition are as follows:
Akono i te Ao Rangi category focuses on most clean public areas helping to keep our islands pollution free and disease free.
First place: Avatiu - $3,000
Second place: Matavera - $2,000
These prizes are awarded to the village with the most points collected from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAFF) monthly Tama Oire clean up results, Ministry of Health Tutaka results, and the National Environment Service (NES) compliance report. The villages of Avatiu and Matavera had high scores in their monthly clean up reports with INTAFF, particularly the village of Avatiu who scored extremely well with their extra cleaning efforts under their special projects. Both villages had relatively low complaints recorded in these areas through the NES compliance reports. Their winning funds will go towards a community project to assist with the maintenance and upkeep of their respective villages.
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: Teau Rakei - $1,000 Teau Rakei was nominated by the Vaka Pride committee to receive the award for $1,000 for her continuous efforts with the Puaikura communities to reduce the crime rate. The crime rate in Puaikura has dropped significantly in the last six months according to the Crime Stats report. This has been a direct result of the policing efforts by Teau Rakei. Since her appointment to constable for the Puaikura district she has personally visited the homes of repeat offenders to speak with their families, and has included the Aronga Mana of the village in her efforts. Furthermore, she has initiated and been an advocate for the Puaikura community watch group which aims to alleviate the crime within Vaka Puaikura including the careless and drink driving issue.
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, public toilets and historical sites which are both important areas for visitors to our little paradise. The Vaka Pride committee visited thirteen public toilets and six historical sites around Rarotonga in October.
The top three public toilets as judged by the Vaka Pride committee were:
First place: National Auditorium - $800
Second place: Avana Harbour- $650
Third place: Are Tapaeanga, Western Marina, Avatiu- $550
The public toilets were judged based on cleanliness of their interior & exterior facilities and their appliances. The toilet at the auditorium had received top scores for all three categories making them come out on top. The toilet at Avana wharf next to The Mooring Café and the Are Tapaeanga at the Western Marina at Avatiu wharf followed closely behind also scoring relatively well in all three categories. Well done to the organisations who continue to maintain these public facilities which are frequently used by our visitors, but also by the general public.
The top three historical sites as judged by the Vaka Pride committee were:
First place: Nikao Cemetery - $800
Second place: Ngati Arera Burial Grounds - $650
Third place: Te Makirau Marae - $550
The historical sites were judged on maintenance and historical significance. During the Vaka Pride judging day, Paula Paniani met with the Vaka Pride committee to explain the amount of work that had gone into the restoration site of the Nikao cemetery and shared a wealth of information providing the historical context of the cemetery. The journey of the site to full restoration shows the hard work, passion and commitment to this project deserving a first placing from the Vaka Pride committee. The Ngati Arera Burial grounds is a similar restoration site of significance in Avarua. Over the past four months, the Ngati Arera family have been undertaking restoration work at the burial grounds, which was overgrown and still holds many graves which have crumbled apart. The family hope to restore all the remaining graves and document the history of the cemetery through signage, so that the public may be able to learn more about the the piece of land and the families buried there. The third placing went to Te Makirau Marae which has undergone a major makeover since the investiture of Morea Pokokeu Antonia Rangatira in September of this year. The Vaka Pride committee are pleased that the funding won for this section of the Vaka Pride prize giving will go towards the gathering of information and maintenance of these historical sites.
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
The Te Vaka O Ru (TVOR) competition on the island of Aitutaki has been ongoing for over two years now and is similar to the Vaka Pride competition on Rarotonga. Similar to the Vaka Pride competition the decisions for the three judging categories are made by the TVOR committee who is made up of representatives from Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Aitutaki Conservation Trust, National Environment Services and the Police department.
On Wednesday the 19th of September the TVOR committee conducted their quarterly judging around Aitutaki. The committee was extremely impressed with the level of engagement from the Aitutaki communities for this round of the competition. The village of Vaipeka registered their interest for this round of TVOR for the first time and they focused on clearing the area from the main road leading to their beach.
The Vaipae fishing club have clearly been active in maintaining their wharf area by using pass winning funds to install lighting poles, BBQ tables and a water tap for fishing boats. The collaboration from the Vaipae community has been exceptional as they have also been working on replanting trees such as coconut trees.
Arutanga village was commended on their ongoing efforts in ensuring their sports fields and wharfage is always clean and replanting around the field. A new project for the Arutanga community is the clearing of vacant land that overlooks the harbour with a prime view overlooking the CICC Church and Arutanga harbour. The plan is to beautify this lookout area and hope to be able to utilise as a scenic lookout point for visitors and locals.
The TVOR committee awarded the Akono i te Ao Rangi prize money to the value of $2500 to the Aitutaki Conservation Trust as they have been proactive with ensuring that recycle bins are stationed in areas required, be it for sports or leisure activities. The funding will be used towards a Clean Aitutaki Officer to help to maintain the compost toilets stationed at Ootu beach and Base 1, as well as maintaining recycle bins around the island.
The Tupuranga Tangata award of $1250 has been awarded to Arutanga Village as they have been proactive within their village. There has been focus within this village on working with the youth to steer them from getting into trouble and establishing cleaning groups.
The Peu Maori category was awarded petrol vouchers to the value of $350 to three deserving individuals for their efforts to beautify and maintain public access way and consideration of traffic when working on the road. Congratulations to Repaio Kiria, Tutai Anitonia and Thomas Hewett for their hard work and efforts that contribute towards the Te Vaka O Ru competition.
A special bonus prize for our Mana Tiaki champion was awarded to Papa George Henry who continuously cleans Ootu beach area from the inland to the shorelines. George Henry takes home a $250 voucher from Aquila for his extra efforts into maintaining this public area. Ootu beach is the main launching place of the lagoon cruises in Aitutaki.
The prize giving for TVOR was on Saturday the 7th of April 2018 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]