Te Maeva Nui annual float day drew a large expectant crowd that patiently waited and lined the pavements for the start of the annual float parade spectacular, themed this year: Te Au Inangaro O Toku Matakeinanga/Enua or The love and passions of my tribe/islands.
Minister of Culture George Angene delivered the welcome speech with Rose Brown, the acting Prime Minister opening the occasion and lighting the torch for the festivities, before the procession of floats made their way to the Constitution Park and towards the centre of town.
Visiting the island, Mereanau Mara was impressed with most of the floats, “I especially liked the cultural dance performances, getting a glimpse of what to expect next week, I’ve purchased my tickets for the cultural nights, I’m excited.”
Another sightseer praised the effort and time it took to all those involved in the parade, “I can imagine it’s a big job, and every year it’s good to see, the kids love coming.”
Various departments displayed their support for causes such as Atiu with ‘No smoking’, Teariki and Margaret Matenga pushing for vanilla planting, Oire Matavera MP Vaitoti Tupa promoting growing crops and Internal Affairs with the message that, “we should not tolerate unsafe and unhealthy habits and practices in our workplace, out of love for one another and out of passion for our work.”
Their Internal Affairs mascot, the rooster, represented the change that is operating: “In a similar way, the rooster calls in a new dawn, we are calling our people to wake up and bring a change to our work and life styles.”