They are Oire Nikao, Vaka Puaikura, Vaka Takitumu, Tupapa Maraerenga, Aitutaki Enua, Atiu Enua, Mangaia Enua, Pukapuka Enua and Manihiki Henua.
Ministry of Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua said the teams had registered to take part in all cultural events, starting with the float parade on July 28 followed by the choir and Imene Tuki competitions on July 30 and cultural performances including ute, pe’e, drum dance and action song from July 31 to August 3.
“I am happy that we have another nine strong teams participating in this year’s Te Maeva Nui celebration.
Turua said the surprise entry this year was Manihiki Henua. Team leader Puapii William said they were fully committed to resurrecting the glory days of their Te Maeva Nui successes in the 1980s and 1990s.
“We are working closely with the private sector to ensure their support for our national cultural celebration remains at a high standard.
“This year we have two large (New Zealand) Maori kapa haka teams that have shown interest in joining our celebrations, as well as a local Cook Islands performing arts team from Sydney.
“We were hoping to include a 24 strong Chinese performing arts group in the celebration. They will be here earlier, in the middle of July, to commemorate the 10-year development partnership between the Cook Islands and People Republic of China.”
Turua said the ministry had released preparation funding for the Rarotonga Te Maeva teams to help them get ready for Te Maeva Nui.
“This year, the Pa Enua will be hosting their own Te Maeva Nui celebrations on their islands and Cultural Development will also be releasing funds for these.
“It is going to be another busy month for the Cultural Development with the Te Maeva Nui celebration and two big international conference straight after the celebrations: the Marine Resources Scientific Committee Meeting from August 9 to 17 and the WHO Pacific Health Ministers’ Meeting on August 28, 29 and 30.”