Thursday, October 24

NZ Governor-General visits Rarotonga

Hmmm. It’s more than three weeks since I last posted to this blog but never fear, I haven’t disappeared completely, it’s just been a busy time.
After getting back from the US I was involved in making a short film, fetching, carrying, holding reflectors and such. It was a follow on from Film Raro earlier this year. The National Women’s Council, a local NGO, wanted to build on the experience of “Little Girl’s War Cry” but to highlight some of the problems that older teens might sometimes (sadly) experience. It was just like old times with many of the Film Raro crew back on board plus a few new faces. Shooting has now finished so we’re all looking forward to seeing first a trailer which should be ready soon and then the finished short film probably in late November or December.
The New Zealand Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae with his wife Janine Lady Mateparae,  has just made an official visit to the Cook Islands, spending time on Rarotonga and Mauke.
Among the events they attended was a traditional welcome ceremony at Atu Pare Marae in Puaikura, hosted by members of the House of Ariki, the Koutu Nui and the people of Puaikura.
This video shows some of the highlights.
Sir Jerry arrived on Rarotonga on Sunday afternoon and when planes are due or on the tarmac the Crash-Fire Service fire engine has to stay at the airport. And that was the time when the main classroom block at Avatea School caught fire. Massive damage – six classrooms destroyed. And the previous night Nukutere College also suffered huge damage in a fire with a block containing classrooms, a science laboratory and canteen destroyed. Naturally everyone is saying ‘arson’ but investigations are still going on with a fire expert from NZ here to help out.
The next post to this blog will have footage of the Avatea fire.