Round 10 winners for Vaka Pride announced

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