30 Jul 2007

The Cook Islands swings into constitution celebrations

9:15 am on 30 July 2007

The Cook Islands will mark 42 years of self government this week, with the traditional Te Maeva Nui, once known as the Constitution celebrations.

They started in 1965, the year the country become self governing in free association with New Zealand.

Te Maeva Nui is regarded as the most important celebration and reflects the significance the Cook Islands places on the annual festival, which kicked off with a float parade yesterday.

Performing groups from the main island Rarotonga and the 14 outer island will gather at the National Auditorium for a colourful display of dances, songs, traditional costumes and drum beats for the week.

This year's theme is Te Maeva Nui o te Basileia, Celebrating a Nation.