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New book launched in Tokoroa for Cook Islands Language Week

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

12 Cook Island women publish a book about their lives in Tokoroa

Te Kinakina: E Ngara I te Ngari, Remember who you are and where you come from is the result of a series of creative writing workshops led by poet Vaughan Rapatahana and facilitated by South Waikato Pacific Island Community Services (SWPICS) with support from the Ministry of Education and Read NZ Te Pou Muramura.

The project is part of Read NZ Te Pou Muramura’s Writers in Communities programme, which aims to nurture new readers and writers within a community and help share their stories widely.

The Cooks comprise 15 islands in the Pacific, each represented on the flag with a star. It’s said that Tokoroa is the sixteenth star.

In Te Kinakina: E Ngara I te Ngari, Remember who you are and where you come from, twelve contributors detail why their families initially travelled to Tokoroa and candidly describe their varied life experiences in South Waikato.

The book opens with introductions by Papa Timote Turu and editor Vaughan Rapatahana, and the stories are illustrated with colour photographs.

These elements combine to create an illuminating account of Pasifika life in Aotearoa and confirm the authors’ communal commitment to kōpu tangata, family, home, church and each other.

The anthology’s editor Vaughan Rapatahana says it’s an important book for two reasons.

"For the first time, it sets out in detail the experiences of Cook Islands women living in Tokoroa, and their combined stories express many emotions, portray many events, and display several consistent themes.

"I feel privileged to have edited this collection," says Rapatahana.

SWPICS CEO Akarere Henry, who is also one of the contributing authors, says the writing project and resulting anthology are very special to the community.

"We see it as a realisation of some of the aspirations and dreams of our community. We’re so grateful and proud to be able to share our stories in this way," she says.

Te Kinakina: E Ngara I te Ngari, Remember who you are and where you come from will be available, in limited edition, from all good bookshops and libraries.

The book will be launched at 1 pm on Tuesday, August 3 at South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Trust in Tokoroa.

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