Sunday, April 29

Cook Islands women cricketers zumba for funds

Here’s a video of another Zumba fundraiser, this one by the same group who washed my car a few weeks ago – the national women’s cricket team. Come to think of it, the car could do with another going over.
Back when Tattslotto first came to Rarotonga in the early 1990s its promoters claimed that because a portion of the Tatts profits went (via the government) to the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC)  it would make fundraising by sports teams a thing of the past. Yeah, right!
Well, CISNOC is now a shambles; it’s insolvent and the executives seem to spend most of their time and money organising overseas trips for themselves and very little on the grassroots sports people here.
Even in the early days fundraising never went away but at least now there’s more to it than raffles. And you get good value for your money; plates of food and movie premieres for example as well as clean cars and zumba sessions. And let’s not forget the people who generously give their support like the Empire Cinema and the zumba instructors as well as businesses that provide spot prizes.
This fundraiser was a very enjoyable occasion. Lots of people, lots of fun. So I hope the girls made lots of money.
The 19 squad members are – Maire Kamoe (Aitutaki), Maine Puarangi Daniel (Aitutaki), Marii Kaukura (Aitutaki), Shardae Neale (Aitutaki), Tekura Kaukura (Aitutaki), Teremoana Nooroia Aue (Aitutaki), Marion Heather (Rarotonga), Teinakore Diana Tamaiva (Rarotonga), June Ura Pori Makea George (Rarotonga), Punanga Kaveao (Rarotonga), Luciana Matenga (Rarotonga), Tina Turua (Mato) (Rarotonga), Lacynthia Rani (Rarotonga), Makiroa Maire Mato (Rarotonga), Raita Moetaua (Rarotonga), Amelia Moetau (Rarotonga), Marguerite Dean (Rarotonga), Grace Ngarua (Rarotonga), Maui Teroi Keri Daniel (Rarotonga).
 It will be cut to 14 before they leave for Vanuatu and an ICC tournament that includes the host island, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Fiji.

Sunday, April 22

Drumming up interest – Te Maeva Nui’s Tangi Ka’ara competition

Tangi Kaara is one of the cultural competitions at the annual Te Maeva Nui (constitution celebrations) on Rarotonga.
Tangi means ‘make a sound’ or ‘play (an instrument)’. Ka’ara, a large log drum, is probably one of the oldest instruments in the Cook Islands.
Cook Islanders are justifiably proud of their skill and rhythms – our drumming is the best in the Pacific!
Six teams entered the 2011 contest; Puaikura, Avarua, Mitiaro, Mangaia, Aitutaki and Manihiki.
Manihiki were the defending champions and they won the contest again. In fact I think they’ve been the best for many years. But you can see (and hear) from the video the many different styles and beats that the teams produced.
This was the traditional section of the competition but there was also a creative drumbeat section in which all sorts of odd instruments were used - hollow steel pipes for chimes, garden hoses and sawn off plastic bottles to create trumpets.
DVDs of the whole 2011 Te Maeva Nui are available from the Ministry of Cultural Development. The pack of 4 DVDs includes cultural performances by teams for all four nights and also the Imene Tuki, Choir and Tangi Kaara competitions. The cost is $50.00 (+p&p).

Ministry of Cultural Development Overseas Orders
(Postage is for New Zealand –contact MOCD email: for postage to other countries)
Composers Competition               DVD + CD            $40+$10pp
Dancer of the Year                        4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Te Maeva Nui                               4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Mire Tama                                    2xDVD                  $40+$10pp
Composers Competition               DVD + CD            $40+$10pp
Dancer of the Year                        4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Te Maeva Nui                                4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Composers Competition               DVD + CD             $40+$10pp
Dancer of the Year                        4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Te Maeva Nui                               4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Miss Tiare                                     2xDVD                  $40+$10pp
Composers Competition               DVD + CD            $40+$10pp
Dancer of the Year                       4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Te Maeva Nui                               4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Miss Tiare                                     2xDVD                  $40+$10pp
Composers Competition                DVD                      $25+$10pp
Dancer of the Year                         3xDVD                  $45+$20pp
Te Maeva Nui                                4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Miss Tiare                                      3xDVD                  $45+$20pp
Composers Competition               DVD                      $25+$10pp
Te Maeva Nui                               4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
Miss Tiare                                     2xDVD                  $40+$10pp
Te Maeva Nui                               4xDVD                  $50+$20pp
TMN Highlights                           CD                         $25+$5pp
Re-mastered from Videotape to DVD
A’Ti Vee (1995)                 1xDVD (3 hours)              $50+$10pp
Katikatia (1994)                 1xDVD (3 hours)              $50+$10pp

Saturday, April 14

Beach Night Out – Rarotonga’s Easter music festival

We had fine weather over the Easter break here on Rarotonga. Ideal for outdoor activities like sports, barbecues, dining al fresco and visiting the beach. Since then we’ve also had some heavy rain showers and a couple of thunderstorms so I guess we were lucky with the holiday.
One of the organised events was the Beach Night Out, a Good Friday music festival now into its fourth year (although this is the first time I’ve come across it).  It's a family occasion where people can bring a picnic and the kids and enjoy local musicians in a local environment. It was held on a sheltered section next to the beach at Nikao/Panama.
The music started round about 4pm island time and was due to go on until about 10pm. I was only able to stay for the first two groups, Triggerfish (Kura Happ and Mo Newport) and Nocturnal Habitz (Mark Franklin, Albie Marsh and Rio Taripo).
Triggerfish was the only band from the Cook Islands at this year's Pasifika festival in Auckland. Kura on vocals and acoustic guitar and Mo on drums and percussion produce what they describe as a mellow, happy sound. Their set at the festival was relaxed, enjoyable, fun. See and hear for yourself on the video which, naturally, features one of the songs I particularly liked. (For more of Kura check out 'Kura Happ at Club Raro' here.)
Acoustic classic rock trio Nocturnal Habitz has been together for about three year. Mark (rhythm guitar and vocals), Albie (lead guitar and vocals) and Rio (percussion and vocals) perform well known hits with Pacific panache. Good nostalgic stuff. They did a series of gigs in the Bay of Islands over the new year.
I wish I could have stayed longer; it would have been a great night.

Sunday, April 1

Rarotonga Girls’ Brigade Zumba fundraiser

Zumba fitness is as popular on Rarotonga as it is in the rest of the world. There are classes morning, noon and night in various villages around the island, and it costs only two or three dollars a session.
Locals and visitors, young and old, big and small you’ll find us all dancing off the kilos, keeping in shape and having a ball!
And we’ve got some really great instructors showing how it’s done.
Three of the best, Frankie, Nana and Miss G, recently organised a fundraiser for the local Girls’ Brigade. It was held at the Telecom Sports Arena, built for the mini games in 2009 with space for two full-size netball courts, so there was plenty of room to move and the sound system at the TCA is pretty good too.
It was all very kid-friendly. Plenty of space for the little ones to sit down near mum or get up, wander around and join in.
I had a great time and you can see from the smiling faces in the video that everyone else did too.
Having fun, keeping fit AND helping out a good cause. What more could you ask for?