Niue Constitution Day in Auckland

Good food, singing and celebrations marked the start of the 42nd Niue Constitution Day at Avondale Community Centre in Auckland recently. 

Niue Constitution Day at Avondale Community Centre in Auckland.
Niue Constitution Day at Avondale Community Centre in Auckland.

Niue Aho Pulefakamotu is celebrated on the 19th October marking the day Niue was granted self-government in free association with New Zealand in 1974.

The day is part of a week of celebrations with events in various Niue communities from Niue to New Zealand and Australia.  Pacific Periscope attended the Avondale community event organised by the Niue Advisory Council (NAC) in Auckland.  The day attracted some 300 people. Food stalls sold traditional Niue food including the very popular traditional Niue dish called takihi, thinly sliced taro and pawpaw with coconut cream.  Handicrafts and weaving displays decorated the walls.

A Niuean hymn and prayer came from Reverend Fieta Ikitoelagi-Faitala who blessed the day. This was followed by the Niue and New Zealand flags hoisted on flag poles at the front of the hall. And finished with a beautiful song sung by a family group. The formalities concluded with the blowing of candles on two special cakes with everyone in full voice singing Happy Birthday.

Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Niue communities held their own special activities throughout the official Niue Language Week including stories, songs, crafts, stalls and church services.

Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) has carried out various projects in Niue. This year PT&I sponsored the University of Canterbury 21 Day Pacific Challenge in June-July.

The challenge focused on meeting the needs of problem identified in Niue. Five teams of students competed for the opportunity to travel to Niue on an all-expenses paid trip to Niue to put in place their winning proposal.  A panel of judges from the University, PT&I and the NZ Niue High Commissioner Mrs O’Love Jacobsen selected the winning team, EduKai.  The team created a cook book of traditional Niue foods and then travelled to Niue to set up a traditional kitchen featuring an underground earth oven for the local community to use as a cooking and teaching facility for the nearby Niue High School and Primary School.  The group worked in consultation with the local schools, and Taoga Niue Cultural Centre to build the kitchen, umu pits and charcoal stoves in one week.  The kitchen was conveniently located behind the Taoga Niue Cultural Centre and close to the school’s entrance.

Last year PT&I also sponsored an event during the inaugural Kai Niue Festival 2015 that brought celebrity chefs to Niue to judge local cooking competitions using traditional ingredients to create contemporary dishes.

PT&I supports the members of the Forum Island Countries by promoting their independence or constitution days.

For more information please email Eleanor Ikinofo at Eleanor.i@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

 

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