[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Cook Islands Voyaging Society Inc was established as a non-profit organisation in 1992 after the 6th Pacific Arts Festival held on Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The Society was registered in September 1993 under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the registered office is c/o The Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Development. The aims in the Constitution of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society are to:
- Recover and relearn knowledge, skills and traditions about constructing traditional Cook Islands ocean voyaging canoes.
- Cook Islands voyaging heritage.
- Building mastery in the canoe building arts.
- Training of crew to safely and successfully complete an ocean voyage throughout the Pacific.
- To recruit young people from throughout the Cook Islands to be trained in the skills of canoe building, sailing and celestial navigation.
The objectives are to:
- Perpetuate this knowledge through a masters and apprenticeship program.
- Validate the findings of the project by successfully undertaking and completing open ocean voyages along ancient migratory routes.
- Perpetuate and preserve the knowledge, skills, practices and traditions generated by this project through a broad range of educational programs and made part of the Cook Islands education curriculum.
- Develop pride and appreciation for Cook Islands voyaging heritage and accomplishments of Cook Islands voyaging people today through communications and dissemination of information about the project.
Members from a cross section of the community make up the Voyaging Society. Executive Committee
- President – Ian Karika (Ministry of Environment)
- Vice President – Tua Pittman
- General Secretary – Teresa Tararo (Ministry of Education)
- Assistant General Secretary – Thomas Wynne (Ministry of Education)
- Treasurer – Cecile Marten
- Assistant Treasurer – Malcolm Laxton-Blinkhorn
5 Elected Executive Members
- Jamaal Pakoti
- Alex Olah
- Andrew Uritaua
- Sam Napa
- Sam Timoko
- Sonny Williams – ex oficio (Ministry of Culture)
- Honorary solicitor – Mike Mitchel
- Patron – Joe Vakatini (Vakatini Ariki Traditional Leader)
The Society is actively engaged in raising awareness of its activities & aims and has spearheaded many successful campaigns since the construction in 1994, of a 72’ replica of a Polynesian double hulled voyaging canoe ‘Te Au O Tonga’, under the leadership of the canoe builder & designer, Sir Thomas Davis, in 1994 – to participate in a joint voyage with other Polynesian canoes to Hawaii and as a vessel to carry out the aims of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society (CIVS).
- Te Au O Tonga made her inaugural return round voyage in 1995 to Raiatea, Tahiti, Nuku Hiva, Hawaii, Molokai and Oahu.
- In August 1995, Te Au O Tonga sailed as part of the protest fleet to Moruroa.
- In 1996, the voyage of ‘Te Au O Tonga’ to the VII Pacific Arts Festival in Samoa and then on to Tonga and New Zealand and return voyage to Cook Islands.
- Voyage to the 2000 Millennium celebrations in Gisborne, NZ in 1999.
- To the VIII Pacific Arts Festival in New Caledonia in 2000.
- Voyage in 2002, to Tahiti, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Borabora, Mitiaro and return.
- 2002, a short trip to Aitutaki for ‘Te Au O Tonga’ to participate in movie “The Legend of Johnny Lingo”.
- 2010 – Te Mana o Te Moana Voyage
- 2013 – Voyage to Suwarrow
- 2014 – IUCN Voyage to Sydney
- 2015 – Te Mana o te Vaka
The Traditional Voyaging Vaka ‘Te Au O Tonga’ was badly damaged during the 5 cyclones that hit Rarotonga in February 2005. Despite efforts to secure the Vaka from sustaining damage during the cyclones one of the hulls was smashed and other damage was incurred. The Society has spent 3 years raising funds to repair the damage and working on the vaka. Repair work has been carried out by a dedicated and committed team of CIVS members and other individuals committed to seeing the vaka sailing once more. Over this period the Society has been the recipient of sponsorship from the EU Fund & some very generous individuals. One of these individuals was Deiter Paulmann from the Okeanos Foundation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
- September 2014 MUA Voyage to IUCN World Parks Congress 12th-19th November, Rarotonga, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Brisbane, Auckland
- Feb 2015 Auckland-Waitangi-Auckland 75th Anniversary Celebrations
- April 2015 Auckland-Rarotonga
- 2015 50th Anniversary of Cook Islands Self Government – voyage to Australia to commemorate 50th Anniversary
- 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts, Guam – voyage via Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomons, New Caledonia, Micronesia
- 2019 Gisborne, New Zealand – voyage to New Zealand to commemorate 250 years since the arrival of Endeavour to Gisborne, the first meeting of English and Maori in Aotearoa.