HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

Carving on

The show goes on despite hiccups

You may be wondering what’s going on with the canoe carving.
At first there was no sign of any canoe carving activity at the usual site, the park opposite the Banana Court when Vaka Eiva kicked off last Saturday.
Then, on Tuesday morning, four partly carved canoes and a team of young carvers are seen at work in the park.
What’s been going on?
Master carver Mike Tavioni told the Herald it’s been a matter of funding, that’s the issue of concern.
This year, the Cook Islands Arts Council-Konitara Are Ta’unga managed to secure some funding through the Ministry of Education to conduct a workshop on canoe carving during Vaka Eiva.
Tavioni, who is the President of the CI Arts Council, is running the workshop along with Vaine Aberahama a carving tutor from Mauke.
When the Herald visited Tavioni on Monday morning at his Atupa home, the carving workshop was well under way but on the vacant section across the road from Tavioni’s workshop in Atupa.
Tavioni explained that the funding allocated, while appreciated, was insufficient to set up the workshop opposite the Banana Court. According to Tavioni, the funding was enough to cover some equipment, the large canvas for shade, travel costs for three young carvers from Mauke and the tutor’s fees. There was no funding for buying the logs, no funds for refreshments and food for the carvers, no funds for other equipment which Tavioni supplied himself, no funds for transportation of the logs.
Tavioni said T&M Heather provided transport for the first lot of logs and he is appreciative of that. TAVs donated some funds for refreshments for the carvers. Other young carvers, locally based Pukapukans, did not attend because they discovered they would not be paid. Tavioni is providing the young carvers with some of his fee to help with their costs.
Tavioni said to set up opposite the Banana Court will require extra funds for transporting the logs, setting up an electrical source for the power tools and provision of more equipment such as adzes, drills and chainsaws.
Work is proceeding on five canoes but Tavioni said if they manage to re-locate to opposite the Banana Court, they will complete just four canoes.
Since carving began at the Atupa site, Tavioni said some 200 people had visited.
Tavioni said on Monday evening, a truck arrived and four partly carved canoes were loaded on the back and taken down to the park opposite the Banana Court. He does not know who sent the truck or who paid for it.
Work proceeded at the park but by lunchtime, all work had stopped. Tavioni said there was no more fuel for the chainsaws and no funds to get more. Also Te Aponga would not connect the power for the carver’s electric hand tools until someone paid and again there were no funds to cover this.
Tavioni said unless some funds become available for glue and varnish, the canoes will not be able to be sealed and therefore will not be able to be launched.
Tavioni said he and his wife are working to create some paddles for sale to the paddlers and visitors here at present in the hope of raising some funds. The intricately carved paddles will sell for $200 while the plain paddles will sell for $60.
Filming the workshop, with a view to making a one hour documentary is Alina George a year 13 student who has just completed her studies at Tereora College. A media studies student, she won third prize for Media this year.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.