Cook Islands Language Week

Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week

‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language week kicks off from Sunday 30 July to Saturday 5 August 2023. In the latest 2018 Census, 80,532 people of Cook Islands descent live in Aotearoa and 46,668 people of Cook Islands live in Tamaki Makaurau.

Teia te tumu tāpura – The theme for 2023 is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te au peu o tōku kāinga Ipukarea, which beautifully translates to “Connect me to the traditions & culture of my homeland.”

The heart behind the theme for ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani, is about intentionally strengthening the ties that bind us to our language. It is about cherishing our familial connections, embracing the cultural practices passed down through generations, and celebrating the songs, dances, and pe’e’s that define our identity.

These pillars of our heritage empower Cook Islanders, filling them with immense pride in who they are. They form the heart of our collective journey and reinforce the significance of ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te au peu o tōku kāinga Ipukarea.

Activities and events

Kaikai (Opening Lunch)
Monday 31 July
: 11am-1pm
Location: O Lagi ‘Ātea Moana (C-Space)

If you have never tried Cook Island food before then come along and indulge in AUCISA’s (Auckland University Cook Island Student Association) opening lunch.

Ura & Ei Katu Workshop
Tuesday 1 August
12pm -2pm
Location: O Lagi ‘Ātea Moana (C-Space)

An “ei katu” is a traditional flower crown or flower headdress worn in the Cook Islands and other Polynesian cultures. The term “ei” refers to a garland or wreath made of flowers, leaves, or other materials, and “katu” means to encircle or place on the head. Come along to learn how to weave an ei katu for yourself!

Cook Island Ura Workshop – Te Tumu Herenga
Wednesday 2 August
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Room G07, Ground Floor, General Library (behind Student Hubs desk)
What to bring? Pareu (sarong), water bottle and good vibes!
Facilitator: Co-President, AUCISA – Lahaina Toleafoa

Want to learn the basics of dancing like a Cook Island dancer? In celebration of o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Island language week, Ura Tabu dancer and AUCISA Co-President, Lahaina Toleafoa is here to give us some quick tips on how to move your hips with Cook Island flare! This workshop is a light and fun dance class of all levels, so be sure to come along and bring a friend or two!

Cook Island Day
Thursday 3 August 2023
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: Quad

To celebrate ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week, there will be a mini festival of cook island performances, songs, and fire dancers on display at the student quad. Be sure to come and check out some of the performances!

Be sure to keep up to date with AUCISA’s events for the week by connecting to their Instagram page.

Read two rare issues of Te Manu Rere

Te Manu Rere is a Cook Islands Māori-language newspaper published in Rarotonga in the early 1870s.

Started by Reverend James Chalmers (1841-1901), of the London Missionary Society, the paper included coverage of shipping movements, news from around the island group and from overseas publications, letters, and some educational and religious content.

Masthead for 1 November 1870 issue of Te Manu Rere.

Masthead for 1 November 1870 issue of Te Manu Rere.

The two issues from 1870 – one held by Special Collections in Te Tumu Herenga | Libraries and Learning Services, the other by the Alexander Turnbull Library – have been brought together online thanks to a joint digitisation project. To read them and more about the history of the paper, go to Papers Past.

TV and Radio playlist

Fay Nanai, Pacific Academic Engagement Adviser and Jo Birks, Cultural Collections Adviser