Te Maeva Nui 2016 – Cook Islands

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The 4th of August represents Te Maeva Nui on the Cook Islands and is a huge celebration of the Cook Islands’ Constitution. The event celebrates the Cook Islands’ nationhood, government and independence and has been held annually since 1965, bringing all the islands together for the celebrations. The celebration was rename Te Maeva Nui in 2001 as recognition of the cultural basis upon which the event is based.

Celebrating with the locals

Te Maeva Nui has grown considerably over the past 5-10 years and is now an event that attracts many people to the Cook Islands main island of Rarotonga. Over 1,000 Cook Islanders descended on Rarotonga in 2015 to join in the celebrations with representation from all 15 of the Cook Islands. This year, the organisers of the events are expecting even more people, including many tourists to join in with the celebrations.

In our last blog, we talked about the BCI Trade Markets Event that is taking place in Rarotonga in the lead up to Te Maeva Nui and this forms an integral part of this years’ celebrations. Whilst the markets will be taking place during the day, in the evenings there will be a series of events taking place in the run up to Te Maeva Nui. Below is a calendar of events and activities taking place before the main event on the 2nd of August.

Te Maeva Nui Events

Monday 25 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Trade Day, Family Fun Festival, Punanga Foreshore
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Tuesday 26 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Trade Day, Punanga Foreshore
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Wednesday 27 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Trade Day, Punanga Foreshore
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Thursday 28 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Trade Day, Punanga Foreshore
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Friday 29 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Trade Day, Punanga Foreshore
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Saturday 30 July
Day, 9am-2pm – Market Day, Punanga Nui Markets
Evening, 6-10pm – Te Maeva Nui Performances, National Auditorium

Sunday 31 July
Day, From 9am – Church Services, Various Churches
Evening, 6pm start – Imene Tuki Performances, National Auditorium

Monday 1 August
All Day – Official Government Programme, Various Venues
Evening, 6-10pm – International Night, National Auditorium

Whilst Constitution Day is on the 4th of August, events to celebrate the day often take place on or around that date and this year, the main celebration of Te Maeva Nui will take place on Tuesday 2 August with follow up events on the 3rd and 4th. Here is a schedule of the planned events and activities on the 2nd August:

Tuesday 2 August
Day, 9am – Combined Thanksgiving Prayer Service
Day, 10am – Market Day Tamataora
Day, 3pm start – Constitution Day Parade
Day, 4pm start – Constitution Day Ceremony
Evening, 6pm start – Tamataora Concert
Evening, 8pm – Fireworks
All events held at Punanga Nui Foreshore

Following the parade and ceremony, the amazing firework display can be seen all across the island and brings the day to a spectacular close. The following day, there are further events taking place including a drumming competition and a Cook Islands night of music and song and the national auditorium. The final day of the Te Maeva Nui celebrations takes place on the 4th when there will be an official closing celebration at the Auditorium.

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