Tokoroa Cook Islands Community Set the Theme for Cook Islands Language Week 2019


Cook Islands language week has been a project that we have committed to administering across New Zealand for our Cook Islands communities. We do this in partnership with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, and have done so for over four years now. It is a project of the heart because the process of setting the theme has always been a vulnerable one because we hear the stories of our people right across the country.

In 2018 we attended a CILW event held by Tokoroa Cook Islands Society. It inspired our team so much that this year  we reached out to our sixteeth star with the proposal to set the theme for language week 2019. Tokoroa is a community rich in our culture, and when we traveled down on February 22nd, we were again reminded of that fact. We were welcomed by students of Tokoroa High School and the Tokoroa Cook Islands Society with a tuoro befitting a high chief.

The community had also gone above and beyond to set the theme for language week 2019, and we couldn’t be more proud. The theme is currently being finalised by MPP, with a release date yet to be decided.

Meitaki ma’ata to the Cook Islands Community Society Tokoroa Inc and the students of Tokoroa High School not only for hosting us, but for being champions of our reo and culture. Here is a video of the community singing a beautiful song:

A Message from our newest Board Member – Terekino Vaireka


Kia Orana,

I was appointed onto the Cook Islands Taokotai’anga Board of Trustees in July 2018. I’m honoured for the appointment and the opportunity, and look forward to the challenges this role may present, but even moreso to the good work that we will no doubt do in our communities. First and foremost, I want to offer words of gratitute to the Chairman, Board members, and CEO for the introduction and the on-going support whilst being in this role, of which I am very humbled by.

My interest and inspirations have always been heavily focused on the development of our people and community, and more importantly enhancing individual and collective resiliance. I’m located in Christchurch (South Island), where resiliance has been integral in providing us with the will and motivation to rebuild our city, and regather our communities. It is my hope that my role as a Board of Trustees member will provide significant opportunities and benefits to our Cook Islands communities on the South Island.

During the months I’ve been in this role, I was impressed with the level of passion, commitment and the strategic direction which the Board and CIDANZ offers to the community. The portfolio under my guidance is the oneCHILD project, a significant milestone in the development of our Cook Islands language and culture in New Zealand. We look forward to turn soil this year.

There are two distinct focus area’s that Id like to see going forward into the future. For one, a rise in investment opportunities in the South Island so that our communities there continue to gain from the good work done in Auckland. And secondly, for more South Islanders to sit on the Board, a vision I know that the Board will be moving towards.

I understand the challenges our communities face, and the reluctance to trust an organisation like CIDANZ, so here is a little word of encouragement: CIDANZ is equipped with the right tools and instruments such as strategic development plans (both short and long-term), supported by unique partners. They are servants of the people, working not for their own benefit, but for the good of us all. It’s in our best interest to align ourselves not with their vision, but our vision of a united and prosperous community. And lastly, we need more champions to take our work forward, so when the next elections comes around, please consider championing an organisation working for the people, and apply to be a board member.

Meitaki atupaka

Te Atua Te Aroa

Terekino (Tino) Vaireka | Christchurch