Te Maeva Nui NZ

Te Maeva Nui is an important celebration for Cook Islands people. It is their time to display their culture through language, performance and music, and it is a time to recognise their individual cultural identity. This is an important device for young people, and for Cook Islanders born outside of the Cook Islands, to discover and explore the culture of their ancestors.

Since 2019, Te Maeva Nui NZ has been helping young Cook Islanders develop their sense of cultural identity – working with various collectives to teach and grow the Cook Islands culture in New Zealand.

Play Video

Te Mana o te Ngakau Toa e te Ruru’anga Okotai, Kia Autu

Through the Power of Resilience and Unity, we stand

Event Details

23 & 24 July 2021

Fri 5PM | SAT 9AM

Barfoot & Thompson Stadium

Through unity, they overcame adversity.

In 2019, Te Maeva Nui established a presence in New Zealand – becoming a focal point in the calendars of many New Zealand based Cook Islanders, and the catalyst for the unification of many Cook Islands people based in Auckland.

Less than year after the first Te Maeva Nui NZ, the world was hit with the COVID 19 pandemic. A huge portion of the work force were put into redundancy as businesses struggled to make ends meet. Some families lost their homes, and struggled to feed their families. Others worked hard to overcome the mental stresses of isolation and social seclusions. Following two lockdown events, New Zealand was back on its feet, and so were the Cook Islanders who lived there – encouraged by their unique ability to unite by commonalities.

Te Maeva Nui NZ 2021 explores these difficult situations, and similar situations that our ancestors encountered. With stories from lived experiences and tales of old, our teams are composing and choreographing their stories for a grand theatrical spectacle.

Shaping the future

Te Maeva Nui NZ is more than just cultural theatre, it is a vehicle – one of many – in which Cook Islands children and youth get the opportunity to explore their culture, learn their language and engage in the essence of what it is to be a Cook Islander.


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.

Our Supporters

Helping the people of the Cook Islands in New Zealand maintain their culture