Culture secretary Anthony Turua said feedback he had received, “recognises that it was the best and most successful Te Maeva Nui”.
“However, this is my first major Te Maeva Nui event and I am unable to make a comparison with prior years,” he added.
In terms of sheer reach, this year’s celebration must surely rank right up there, with more than 300,000 viewers around the world watching via livestream, and MOCD Facebook posts garnering more than 688,000 video views during their four-week-long campaign to promote the event.
Turua described these numbers as one of the highlights for his team, adding that another highlight for him was the work experience gained by the Tereora College students who ran Te Maeva Nui’s technical division.
“They were just keen and passionate to learn the technical areas of providing the service for our Te Maeva Nui cultural performances,” he said.
With regard to the success of the event itself, Turua said there were several factors that contributed, including increased support from sponsors, who contributed $127,000 in prize money alone.
“Also, the cultural performance standard has significantly increased to another level, including the awesome and extraordinary costume design.
“Lastly, the cultural passion of our people from the Pa Enua and Rarotonga is what makes our Te Maeva Nui so extraordinary and unique across the Pacific and the world.”
Te Maeva Nui was not without “a few hiccups” however, and Turua acknowledged that there had been certain issues, perhaps most notably with the opening float parade and also with parking at and around the National Auditorium on performance nights.
“There are lessons to learn and we will address them during our post-review meeting, identifying the gaps and making improvements for future Te Maeva Nui,” he said.
“The parking is always going to be an ongoing saga because of the weather and the limited parking space available, and the float parade will definitely be looked at to address issues raised by the general public.”
This year’s float parade got Te Maeva Nui off to a hesitant start when it began more than an hour late. Problems for would-be spectators waiting in the heat for what promised to be an entertaining sight got worse when instead of travelling the length of the main road, the parade turned off at St Joseph’s Road.
Among those affected were young children and a group from the Creative Centre.