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​​Shots of the beautiful display of Kūki 'Āirani culture.

Te Maeva Nui was held over the weekend in West Auckland.

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Language & Culture

'Shouting out our reo': Te Maeva Nui organiser explains their why behind festival

Event coordinator Kimi Marsters considers the future generations of Kūki 'Āirani as the purpose for Te Maeva Nui NZ.

The biggest Cook Islands festival in the world - Te Maeva Nui o Aotearoa - took place in West Auckland over the weekend.

The festival originated in the Cook Islands more than fifty years ago and was first staged in Aotearoa in 2019.

Kūki 'Āirani music, dance, arts and crafts were on display in Trusts Arena in Henderson.

Event coordinator Kimi Marsters says this is their third time organising Te Maeva Nui and it has been a struggle, especially since their teams are small.
"Our teams have really gone through the hard yards. I take my hat off to all of them," Marsters says.

She says last week teams committed to rehearsals despite only getting an hour each.

"You can tell that 'yes they're amped' but they've also been dealing with struggles: financially, emotionally and physically.

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"It all gets the best of us but I know in the end it's worth it for our community."

Marsters says a major difference between the Cook Islands Te Maeva Nui and New Zealand's is that the motherland's event lasts a week, whereas in Aotearoa it is "pushed into a day and a half".

"But it's worth it for our future generations," she says.

Marsters says the Cook Islands language is one of the endangered languages of the Pacific, particularly for those in the New Zealand's diaspora.

"So it's important for us that we establish these events to make sure that we're shouting our reo into the community."

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