25 Oct 2012

Voyages highlight need for environmental awareness

12:23 pm on 25 October 2012

An international environmental organisation says an exhibition about the Kermadec Islands and an expedition to Rapanui, or Easter Island, reiterates the importance of caring for the Pacific Ocean.

Kermadec - Nine Artists in the South Pacific opened at the Wellington City Gallery on 4 October, a month after two double-hulled canoes set sail for Rapanui to retrace the journeys of Polynesian ancestors.

Pew environment group director Bronwen Golder, who took the exhibition to Easter Island earlier this year, says travelling to both islands highlighted the need to protect the ocean.

She says the show has become not just a story about the Kermadecs but about how the unspoilt marine life around those islands symbolises pristine nature as something to aspire to.

Ms Golder says the current voyage to Rapanui is also helping to raise people's awareness of treasuring the ocean space.

The Waka Tapu expedition is nearing Mangareva in the southern part of French Polynesia for its second stopover before reaching Rapanui.

The people of Mangareva are preparing to warmly welcome their Maori cousins during a traditional ceremony.