Te Maeva Nui NZ

is the home for Cook Islands Culture in New Zealand.

Exclusively growing

Cook Islands


In Aotearoa, New Zealand

Te Maeva Nui o Aotearoa New Zealand Charitable Trust has been setup as the New Zealand based governance arm of the Te Maeva Nui celebrations. Our aim is to deliver Cook Islands event services to the world, with the hopes of maintaining the pride of Cook Islanders living away from their homeland.

These celebrations are held in the hopes of maintaining Cook Islands language, heritage and culture.

The Trust is a collaboration between the Cook Islands community, its leaders, and business entrepreneurs in the Auckland Cook Islands community. This is an opportunity for Cook Islanders to put their best foot forward by becoming involved in the planning and implementation of events for their people from a governance, and management perspective.

This is a trust for the people, with the people, and by the people!

Te Maeva Nui has been a staple in the calendars of many Cook Islanders around the world. Several attempts have been made to initiate Te Maeva Nui celebrations outside of the Cook Islands – in order to bring the celebration to the Cook Islands diaspora across New Zealand and Australia.

In 2019, Te Maeva Nui o Aotearoa New Zealand Charitable Trust, along with members from eight island and village associations brought the first Te Maeva Nui to New Zealand. Several government officials from the Cook Islands were in attendance to assist in its execution – with all commenting that the passion and dedication demonstrated by participants surpassed expectations.

The success of this first festival has set the bar for future Te Maeva Nui events, both in New Zealand and in the Cook Islands.

The Board

The Te Maeva Nui o Aotearoa New Zealand Charitable Trust is set up with 4 members of the board, Papa Noo Pare QSM – Heimana Music, Mai Nio-Aporo – Community Leader, Charlie Borrell – Businessman and Frances Topa-Fariu – Community Leader.

This board has been instrumental in the development of the first Te Maeva Nui NZ in 2019; ushering in a new and exciting wave of community participation on a level not experienced by Cook Islands culture in New Zealand.

Registered participation exceeded the 800 people initially forecast, with thousands more in supporters. Post event viewership was estimated at 4,000 plus through DVD video sales and community viewing exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia, the Cook Islands, and the world. Te Maeva Nui NZ has established itself as the epitome of cultural display for Cook Islanders in New Zealand.

Noo Pare QSM


Noo Pare QSM

For almost 30 years, Noo Pare has been a mainstay in Cook Islands entertainment in New Zealand. Through his creative genius, Noo has spread Cook Islands music around the world, cementing it as the true sound of paradise. Noo has been recognised as the biggest producer of Cook Islands music, worldwide.

Vice Chairman

Mai Nio-Aporo

For 41 years, Mai worked as an electrical tradesman for Dickson-Gray Electrical, working in domestic, commercial and industrial wiring and design. He worked his way up within the company owned by Ted Dickson and Dave Gray over the years from Site Foreman/manager, Contracts Manager and eventually taking the lead in Project management.


Charlie Borrell

Charlie Borrell is an established businessman, based in Auckland. He is the founder and director of several businesses, including Airopac Industries, iPak and PPI. Charlie was also instrumental in the development of several community based projects, including the Tangi Reka Arts & Cultural Trust, and subsequently the Tangi Reka Music Awards.


Frances Topa-Fariu

Frances has a background in Health and Human Resources Development in the Cook Islands. Frances was instrumental in the establishment of the Cook Islands Tertiary Advisory group which was tasked with supporting Cook Islands Tertiary learners in Auckland. Through her work with the Cook Islands Tertiary group she was nominated on behalf of the Cook Islands Auckland Community as a representative on the MIT Pacific Advisory Board.

The Team


Rosaline Blake

After more than four busy decades taking Pacific sports to the world, this Cook Islands pioneer has stepped up to her next level. She switched sport for diplomacy after retirement from the Cook Islands Sports and Olympic umbrella body, and is has now retired from serving as the Cook Islands Consulate General, based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has come out of retirement to become the Patron of Te Maeva Nui NZ.

Festival Director

Duane Wichman-Evans

Duane is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry. Skilled in Production Management, Sound, Performing Arts, Tour Management, and Events Production. Music Producer and a strong business development professional with a Diploma focused on Maori studies from AUT University.

Creative Director

Adrian McBirney

With over 15 years of experience as a photographer, 6 years in television broadcast, documentary creation, short films and major community events, Adrian comes on board for a second term with Te Maeva Nui NZ – dedicated to moulding the stories of the Cook Islands people in New Zealand.

Principal Administrator

Kim Marsters

With many years experience in the music industry, being heavily involved in events, Kim joins the Te Maeva Nui NZ team after holding positions on the festival team in Rarotonga. Her events experience is an asset to the Te Maeva Nui NZ team. Kim comes on board as the principal administrator of Te Maeva Nui NZ in 2021.

Cultural Director

John Kiria

John has a background in Cook Islands dance. As a former champion dancer, John has grown to become respected in cultural circles, and in the wider Cook Islands community.

Event Coordinator - Awards

Carmena Wong

In 1983, Carmena represented the Cook Islands at Miss Universe, the first person to do so. She has been involved in the Sport and Recreation industry for well over 40+ years in various Management and Leadership roles, including Administration, Coordination and Event organising. Carmena comes on board again as the event coordinator for the Tu Rangatira Awards.


23 & 24 July 2021

6PM Friday | 9AM Saturday

Tickets from Ticketmaster

Available from April 10 2021

Tickets $30/day

Children 5 and under free


9 Teams

Representing islands of the Cook Islands, the three large villages of Rarotonga, Porirua (Poneke), and Tokoroa, the 16th island of the Cook Islands.

Over 1000 Participants

Each team has 100+ members participating in various forms - dancing, drumming, costume making, composing, singing etc.

Over 7000 Attendees

It is estimated that over 3500 people will be in attendance per day of the festival - as patrons of Te Maeva Nui NZ, and the outdoor markets.

What are we developing?


Through costume making, we are promoting the creation of Cook Islands artistry. Known for its skilled use of natural colours and materials, Cook Islands costumes have evolved over the years to embrace the locations that our Cook Islanders have migrated to.


A Te Maeva Nui NZ performance is not complete without the requisite singing and accompanying instrumental music. Some compositions are a marvel and tell stories of ancestors who have done great things for their people, while other compositions share a love story. Whatever the style, composing Cook Islands music is not easy. There is the language to consider, then the poetic use of the language, and then forming a tune to accompany it.


Dancing is a prerequisite to Cook Islands performance. Using dance as a channel to tell our stories with the accompanying music and costumes has been a tradition for many years. Most of what is displayed in public is the result of tourism based entertainment, however, that does not diminish the quality of the performances, or the strength of the stories and characters each dance portrays. Using tutors skilled in the art of Cook Islands dance, our teams learn Cook Islands dance for performance.

Current Artwork

Photos & Videos

Feel free to use the images below to accompany articles about Te Maeva Nui NZ – all we ask is that credit be attributed to the photographer in the following manner:

Photo: Gerardus Verspeek/Te Maeva Nui NZ

Press Contact

For all press related enquiries, please contact:

Duane Wichman-Evans

For pre-event access (team rehearsals), contact:

Kim Marsters

For event access and filming permissions, contact:

Adrian McBirney

Alternatively, use this form below to lodge your enquiries.