kiaTAERIA is a Cook Islands based organisation seeking to support and connect with like-minded organisations and groups working ‘Towards Awareness of Environmental Responsibility and Individual Action’.
‘Kia’ gives the present tense action to the word ‘Taeria’. A translation of kiaTAERIA is: ‘To reach for and achieve.’ TAERIA, also an acronym, (as above), forms the basis of our mission statement.
To work within our communities and networks to reach for and achieve a growing awareness of our social and environmental responsibilities; encouraging individual action to reduce negative impacts on the environment and our communities.
We embrace the three main ethics of Permaculture:
- Care for the Earth - Care for People - Future Care -
Aims & Objectives:
Effect positive behaviour change = Lead by example and encourage ongoing learning and networking towards regenerative solutions for living in our environment
Mana Tiaki (Kaitiakitanga) - Be good stewards of the gifts God has given us = Reduce our consumption. Conserve and regenerate the natural environment. Use our skills to care for nature and communities, and engage with others do the same
Live life holistically = Mind, body, soul and spirit requiring equal attention. All four pillars of society; economy, environment, culture and community in balance
Live a sustainable lifestyle = Advocating life in harmony with the Earth as a lifestyle goal for everyone, not just an alternative lifestyle
Take on the challenge of ‘zero waste’ Reduce the volume of waste we produce. Where waste is unavoidable, reuse, repair and recycle.
Be realistic and sustainable in our actions = Making the most of existing and ongoing research, learning and adapting to our local situation, working within the realities of available finances, resources, culture and our community
kiaTAERIA was founded by the Torea-Allan family led by June and Andrew Hosking in Mauke, Cook Islands in 2008. Having returned from Rarotonga to live on family land in Mauke, they hoped to lead by example; to provide an example of sustainable practice and encourage others to be proactive in realising the potential of the outer islands; whilst ensuring the care and healing of our environment.
kiaTAERIA has been very active in the Cook Islands, supporting and working alongside organisations such as Te Ipukarea Society, Marae Moana, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Marine Resources; supporting organisations with their expertise in education, project management, translation and graphic design; assisting with Cook Islands Lagoon Day from its inception in 2008, then taking over project management from 2011-2015; creating multiple educational resources including a book, board game, short film, articles and kids’ activity pages for local papers.
Lagoon Day 2011’s face to face encounter with changes on land leading to sad changes in the lagoon left a sense of urgency as we visited Aroko salt water marsh, the soldier crab’s only remaining habitat on Rarotonga.
Lagoon Day 2012 challenged us to ‘Dream the possible dream’; change can only happen if we first believe it is possible. The story book theme – ‘You’ve got to change your thinking or our future’s really stinking’
Lagoon Day 2013 asked the question WHAT NOW? In 2012 the creation of a Marine Park was officially announced by the Cook Islands Prime Minister at the Pacific Islands Forum. This was only the start; now with the need for effective public consultation and ownership, it was time to inform on matters from ridge to reef and beyond. This awareness resulted in many taking an active interest in conserving our deep waters. A public call out produced more than 6000 fish crafted and displayed to represent the 6000 children in the Cook Islands hoping for fish in their future and the beginning of petitions and protest marches against Purse Seine fishing, a hot issue to this day.
Lagoon Day 2014 called us to step forwards, not backwards; to cherish our green heritage or perish. Awareness focused on reducing our carbon footprint, our waste footprint and tourism’s footprint; that we might ‘step lighter on our world’,
Lagoon Day 2015 celebrated 50yrs of self-governance and presented a youth’s approach for better care for the next 50 years with many student groups presenting their solutions for agriculture, alternative energy, marine care and so on.
For more information about the Lagoon Day see our report here..
To see more of what KaiTaeria is up to in Christchurch see Roz Rolls profile.