21 February 2022
The Nikao Seawall is well known in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands since it was built to support the Rarotonga international airport in the early 1970s. Today, the grey concrete wall will be undergoing a transformation using art and be given a facelift based on the Marae Moana.
Marae Moana is our very own multi-use marine park with a concerted effort by all agencies involved in the ocean to support conservation efforts as well as sustainable management of our ocean resources.
A small team of individuals brought on board by Seacology International make up the Marae Moana outreach team to support the Marae Moana Coordination office with communications. “This ‘seawall proposal’ was an idea and the team felt, that if this was a key opportunity then they should take it on board” said, Tim Meyer (Marae Moana Outreach). “The support from Seacology goes a long way to looking at messaging for Marae Moana also and we would like the people involved in it also” adds Marae Moana Ambassador Kevin Iro.
The proposal was developed by artist Gonzalo Aldana in consultation with many different individuals including the Minister George Angene who wanted to support the concept.
The proposal was then sent through the Cook Islands Investment Corporation board members who supported the proposal further with recommendations also.
With the backing of Seacology, CIIC board including the Minister Angene the proposal was sent to Cabinet as an information paper and to gauge their support and interest. Cabinet came back happy to support if key agencies agreed to also support the proposal and that they were all kept informed every step of the way. Minister Angene, will be their focal point for the work and to support what is being carried out.
The preparation of the wall is underway, with the team prepping the base coat with the first touches of colour hitting the wall on Friday afternoon. Social media has been flooded with interest from both locals and visitors alike.
Gonzalo Aldana and local artist Katu Teiti will be a regular at the Seawall in the next few months. “I hope that the people will like this work that we will be doing as we support Marae Moana as well as include the Cook Islands community spirit, strong cultural identity and also inspire the new generation to get involved in the ocean.– MMCO