Exhibition & Launch of CITVCNZ

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On Monday 22nd October, the Cook Islands Taokotai’anga Vainetini Collective NZ (CITVCNZ) was officially launched at a Cook Islands exhibition. The Collective was first set-up in 2016 with three members – Tepori Teariki, Nana Kamo-Mataroa, and Vaine Areora. Over time, the group grew, becoming 44 members strong and steadily rising.

With a vision to unite and prosper the Cook Islands community, CITVCNZ have several projects underway, including upcycling materials donated by the Takanini Sikh community, and adapting Cook Islands to be sold at the Te Papa Museum.

The launch of CITVCNZ was met with great enthusiasm from the Cook Islands community who rallied together in support of the women. We look forward to seeing more from our Mama’s.

 

Empowering Young People Through Ei Katu-Making

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Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of recovery and rehabilitation services designed to empower people to reach their full recovery potential. They believe that everyone is capable of living a meaningful life and are committed to helping their service users to be the best they can be – resulting in improved overall community well-being and participation. On Wednesday 18 July, Emerge Aotearoa, through Cook Islander Louise Tito, joined forces with the Cook Islands Taokotai’anga Vainetini to teach a workshop on ei katu-making to young people facing difficulties in their life. With changing times, young people are challenged constantly to be the best version of themselves, especially in an environment where social media and the media play a big role in building up the self-esteem of young people. Sometimes being the best version of themselves is not always easy to do, especially when young people don’t have the right people or values in place to support them. And sometimes this leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and many other mental health conditions affecting our mapu. The ei katu workshop was part of three workshops offered on the day. Through it our Mama’s – Nane, June, Mariana and Nana, were able to get to know these young people and through their humor and kindness, were able to bring these young people out of their shells to enjoy a craft most Cook Islanders have grown up with. Although the Cook Islands Taokotai’anga Vainetini have been highlighted across several news media articles, as our favorite Auntie Nana Kamo-Matoroa says “we’re more than just a group of women that sew tivaevae’s.” Vainetini’s are a group of skilled women who make Cook Islands crafts. Lately the Cook Islands Taokotai’anga Vainetini are teaching us that they’re more than that, especially through their work with the Sikh Community, and our young Pacific and Maori people.

NOW CLOSED – Funding applications for CILW community activities & events!

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[APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED!]

The Cook Islands community are the second largest Pacific ethnic group in New Zealand (after Samoans) making up 20% (61,839) of the Pacific population (295,941) with 59.5% (36,810) living in the Auckland region (Census 2013).

The annual ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week is being held from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 4 August 2018.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (the Ministry) supports community efforts to encourage the preservation and retention of the Cook Islands language by Cook Islanders living in New Zealand. In 2012 the Ministry in partnership with CIDANZ and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) delivered the first Cook Islands Language Week.

Since 2012, engagement in Cook Islands Language Week has grown and is being celebrated across New Zealand through schools, tertiary institutions, workplaces and communities. Cook Islands Language Week is a chance for all Kiwis to celebrate our rich language and beautiful culture.

If your community, organisation or group is holding an activity/event in celebration of Cook Islands Language Week 2018, applications are now open from today 2 July, and will close on Friday 20 July, 1.00pm. Your applications will be assessed by Wednesday 25 July, the results of which will be communicated back to you via email.

Application Criteria:

  • Articulate in written form how your activity, event, or workshop will contribute to the following: use of language, awareness, resources, literacy proficiency – knowledge (speaking, listening, and writing)?
  • Clearly outline your budget distribution across all activities.
  • Provide a calendar of events/activities to be held.
  • Activities should not weigh heavily on ‘catering’ as the key component to gathering the community or holding the event.
  • Provide an accountability (financial/none financial) report with a small write up and photograph of the activities/event held.
  • Organisation or Group must be based in New Zealand.

For any questions or to submit your application, please contact Janet Akai at janet@cidanz.co.nz.

“Telling a New Story” – A Cook Islands Vainetini’s twist on an old craft

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The years have been kind to the development and growth of our Cook Islands crafts. There has been a steady rise in the skills and numbers of Cook Islands craft-makers, including our very own Vainetini’s, with 13 formulated groups currently operating in the Auckland area alone. Of those 13 is the Cook Islands Ta’okotai’anga Vainetini (Taokotai Vainetini) headed by Tepori Teariki.

Under the umbrella of the Cook Islands Development Agency NZ (CIDANZ), this vainetini was the first National Cook Islands Vainetini group formed in July 2016 . The vision of the group was to unite and prosper the Cook Islands community, its formation being an example of how they were achieving that vision. Comprised with over 30+ members from over 7 other Auckand vainetini groups, the true strength of the group is their ability to create an equal platform that recognizes each mama’s strength, knowledge, and the strength of that knowledge when combined. Individually these mamas are craftswomen sustaining our Cook Islands heritage, but together they are a powerhouse of mama’s sustaining our community.

On June 10th, the Taokotai Vainetini was featured on ONE News Network. The story highlighted the women’s creative abilities to give new life to the the traditional Sikh fabric known as the Rumala Sahib, a fabric destined to be burned to protect its sacred role in the Sihk religion. The women have given our traditional tivaevae’s a new twist by incorporating the Rumala Sahib into it; a technique that up until that moment, had never been attempted before with another cultures traditional cloths. At first the Mama’s were reluctant to cut into the beautiful material, but through prayer, trial and error, they were able to respectably give the Rumala Sahib a second chance at life, ultimately telling a new story.

Currently the women are recycling the fabrics by sewing it into beautiful pieces of arts and crafts. They look forward to featuring a few of their creations in October 2018.