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2014 Pacific Dance Artist in Residence Announcement

The Pacific dance artist in residence is the only one of its kind in Aotearoa. It is offered to established dance practitioners of Pacific Island heritage. 2014 is the fifth year of the residency and the second consecutive year it will be hosted in Porirua. 

Pacific Dance New Zealand is proud to announce this year's recipient of the Pacific Dance Artist in Residence 2014 - Tuaine Robati ONZM, MEd (VUW), BA (VUW), Dip Teach, Dip TESL (VUW).

Tuaine is the Senior Lecturer of Cook Islands dance in the Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree at Whitireia New Zealand.  In addition to teaching dance and creating choreography Tuaine is also the Artistic Director, International Tour Director and Cook Islands Community Liaison at Whitireia.

Involved in a variety of educational fields since 1972, Tuaine has taught at a range of levels from Primary School right through to the University level. He has been a member of the Creative NZ Pacific Arts Board; the Ministry of Education Languages Expert Panel; Chair of the Ministry of Education Cook Islands Maori Language Curriculum; and Advisory Council to the Minister of Pacific Islands Affairs.

Tuaine was awarded the ONZM (Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit) in 2013 for his services to Education and Pacific Communities.

PUERA – meaning to blossom or bloom- is the working title of Tuaine’s residency.  The aim of this residency is to foster and enhance pride in being of Cook Islands descent through engaging in heritage dance and culture.  The workshops will be tailored for Secondary school students. 

The weekly workshops will consist of the five methods of PUERA:

Peu                 -            Culture and Customs

Ura                  -            Dance

Evangelia        -            Spirituality

Rakei               -           Costuming

Akateni            -           Music and Instruments

Participants in the workshops will be guided by Whitireia performing arts graduates who have been trained by Tuaine and will also be mentored as part of the residency. 

Tuaine would like for this residency to build confidence and pride in Cook Islands heritage for youth living in Aotearoa as well as raising educational aspirations and achievement. 

In his time at Whitireia New Zealand, Tuaine has taken Whitireia Performing Arts students to international festivals every year since 1994; and adjudicated at numerous Cook Islands Dance competitions including the ASB Auckland Secondary Schools Maori and Pacific Islands Cultural Festival. He was a member of a delegation led by Prime Minister Helen Clark to Rarotonga in 2001 and a delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Phil Goff to Tahiti, New Caledonia and Rapanui in 2005. He has also presented works to Prince Edward upon his royal visit to Wellington in 2009.  Tuaine is currently an advisor/consultant for the Ministry of Education and member of PIPEF & the Norman Kirk Scholarship Board.

Pacific Dance New Zealand would like to wish Tuaine all the best in his residency and we look forward to what may come from this development opportunity.

~ Meitaki Ma’ata, Kia Manuia ~

The 2014 Pacific Dance Artist in Residence is supported by Pacific Dance New Zealand, DANZ (Dance Aotearoa New Zealand), Creative New Zealand & Pataka Art and Museum.

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