Students could write in Maori or English about “love of their friend, their neighbour, their dog, their island, their new car, their grandmother … love of Christmas, God, fresh fish, a great song, creamy chocolate, or the way the waves come in at the lagoon … whatever they wished.”
Almost 630 entries were received from schools throughout the Cook Islands, with an amazing number coming from the Pa Enua; particularly Pukapuka, Mauke and Atiu.
Judges of the Maori sections were Vae Papatua and Jane Taurarii. The English sections were judged by Rachel Smith and Jessica Le Bas. Competition prizes were kindly sponsored by CITC, Moana Gems and the Ministry of Education.
Today, we present the winning entries from years 1 to 8.
Congratulations, and meitaki maata to all those fine young writers who entered, and to the teachers and parents of participating students for their encouragement and support of good writing in the Cook Islands.
Kia manuia e kia toa
- Jessica Le Bas
Ministry of Education
Some of the poems:
First place English, Y1-3
Apii Arorangi, Rarotonga
I like to train him.
But he don’t really care.
I turn my back.
He sits in my chair.
He jumps and barks.
He even sits and stares.
No matter what he does
I show him I care.
TOKU INANGARO KO TAKU METUA VAINE
First place Maori, Y1-3
Apii Avarua, Rarotonga
Ngaupoko writes of heartfelt love for a humble and loving mother.
Toku Metua Vaine ko Liz Tatuava.
E metua vaine meitaki.
E metua vaine inangaroia e au.
E metua vaine akamoeau e te maru
E metua vaine mataora a ia.
E metua vaine tuna kai a ia.
SAILING WITH MY BOAT
First place English, Y4-6
Apii Takitumu, Rarotonga
Wind blows across the sea.
Here I come in a needle,
pulling in the mainsheet, pushing
the tiller away, speeding across
the water. Watching whales
jump side by side. I can see
the bright sky. Blue as oceans,
white as ice. Fish swim fast as
light. Rain drips and drops, sailing
towards my dreams, I finally rest
at home. That’s all I need to
feel free. That’s what I love.
TAKU TIARE MAORI
First place Maori, Y4-6
Apii Mauke, Mauke
Nelson writes of the cherished flower that decorates the home, blooming in the morning, planting more so it won’t be lost.
E tiare akaperepereia
E tiare inangaroia
Rakei i toku kainga
Muka to kakara
Ki te ao nei
Poeia e te au
To tu ieie
Puera i te popongi
Pumaana ki toku
Tanuia kia kore
Taku tiare maori.
First place Maori, Y7-8
Apii Mauke, Mauke
Tupuna writes of grandmother Oliva Tobia, born 96 years ago on Mauke, and her love of weaving and tivaevae sewing with the women on her village of Kimiangatau. She’s a kind, loving and stern Nena and her legacy remains in Tupuna’s heart forever.
Ko koe rai tei tuke i te au vaine katoa.
Ko taku tua no runga te reira i toku Tupuna Vaine ko Oliva Terangi-O-Avarua Tobia.
Te tuanga mua, no runga te reira i tona tupuanga.
Te rua, ka akakite atu au i tetai au putuputuanga tana i tomo, e te au angaanga meitaki tana i rave.
Te toru o te tuanga, ka akamarama atu au i tona inangaro e te akapererepere i aku.
Ei akakoukou atu i taku tua, e Tupuna Vaine ngakau aroa e te akaperepere i aku e apiinga tau ki aku no te tuatau ki mua.
E 96 o Mama Oliva mataiti i te ao nei. Kua anauia a ia i te ra 17 no Tianuare mataiti 1923. Ko Maria Rourumaora raua ko Tauraariki Paparonga tona nga metua.
E taingauru ma tai ratou i te katoatoaanga, e toru tamaine, e varu tamaroa.
E noo ana ratou ki te enua anau ko Akatokamanava ki roto i te oire ko Kimiangatau ki Parai.
Kua noo mai a ia i a Tangata Mouauri ei tane nana e kua anau mai e 13 a raua tamariki.
E 45 ana mokopuna, e 96 ina, e 33 inarere. E oraanga ruperupe e te mataora tona i te ao nei. E Tupuna Vaine inangaro e te nakunaku i tana anau, are mokopuna e te are ina.
E nui te putuputuanga ta Mama Oliva i tomo ki roto mei te Legio, Vaine Tini, St Benedette e te vai atura.
E vaine maroiroi a ia i te rangaranga e te tuitui i roto i te putuputuanga Vaine Tini e te St Benedette.
A tae ana a ia ki te Legio i te au Monite Katoatoa.
E vaine ano pure katoa a Mama Oliva. E pakau inangaro e te mou nana te Atua e te pure i te au ra katoatoa o tona oraanga.
Kia tae ki tetai ra kua topaia a ia e te maki, kare i reira a ia i tae ki te pure. E vaine maroiroi i te tavini i te Atua, te akaroa ra kua ngaro teia tiare mura e te muka kakara o Akatoka i te ra 13 no Tiurai i te mataiti 2017.
E vaine maroiroi katoa i te takiruru mai i te putuputuanga ki te ngai okotai . Me e manamanata tetai e tupu ra i roto i ta ratou putuputuanga ka kimi a ia i tetai ravenga i te vavao i te reira. E vaine maroiroi tikai.
E inarere au na Mama Oliva. Kua utuutu a ia i aku mei toku ouanga e tae ua atu ki te ra i takake atu ei a ia na te ara tiroa o te mate. Ko au te rua o tana inarere, e ko au te inarere mua i kite mata a ia.
E nui te apiianga meitaki i apii mai a ia ki aku. Kua utuutuia au e tona marama, kua akonoia e tona rima e kua inangaroia e tona pukuatu. Kua rave mai a ia i aku mei roto mai i te rima o toku nga metua e kua utuutu, e tae uatu ki te ra i akangaroi ei a ia.
E peu reka na toku mama i te ongiongi i toku paparinga e te upoko i te au ra katoatoa. E mareka ana au i teia. E pakau mou katoa nana te takave i aku me teretere au ki vao ake ia Mauke.
E oko ana a ia i te au pakau e inangaro ana au mei te manga venevene, taku pakau apii e te vai atura. I tetai au taime e tauturu mai ana a ia i aku i taku apii ngutuare. E mataora ana au i teia.
Ei akakoukou i taku tua e tupuna ngakau aroa e te akaperepere i aku, ka vai rai a ia ki roto i toku pukuatu e rau te tuatau.
A QUEST FOR LOVE
First place English, Y7-8
Apii Te Uki Ou, Rarotonga
On the little island there lived a girl called Tiare. Now came the time
when Tiare’s mum was expecting a baby and when it was born there
was a great commotion in their village. Neighbours, friends and family all came to see it. Many brought beautiful gifts. Tiare went over to her grandma and asked, ‘What can I give to my baby brother?’
Smiling, grandma replied, ‘Give him Love, the greatest gift of all.’
Tiare set off to find Love. Her small canoe was resting on the shore and she pushed it into the blue. Above her a white bird circled.
‘Tavake!’ she called, ‘What is Love?’
The bird perched on the kiato, cocked its head to one side and said, ‘Love is gentle like an ocean breeze and warm like a baby chick.’ With that it flew away.
Soon a green shell rose out of the water.
‘Onu, what is Love?’ Tiare asked. The turtle looked at the girl with his old eyes.
‘Love is strong like the sea current and dazzling like the light of dawn,’ he said and vanished into the depths. Tiare kept on going. Suddenly, ahead of her an enormous shape emerged.
‘To‘orā, tell me what Love is!’ pleaded the girl.
‘It’s as precious as pearls and as bountiful as grains of sand. You will know it’s love when you find it!’ said the whale and disappeared.
Now Tiare realised her island was also gone, hidden behind the horizon. She trembled with fear. Then, in the last rays of setting sun something glimmered in the distance. It was Tiare’s father, sailing his vaka to the rescue. Later that night, as the silver moon shone over the village, the family celebrated being safely together. Tiare held her baby brother in her arms. She had found Love.