2015 was the 50th anniversary of independence in the Cook Islands.

To honour this auspicious occasion we created a sculpture to honu ~ the green sea turtle ~ at Rarotonga.

The monument is stone carved by traditional Maori master-carvers:

Ian George & Henry Tavioni.

The sculpture is outside the Ministry of Education & UNESCO buildings.

This was a wonderful collaboration between The Kerulos Centre in Oregon and our Honu research group at Tongareva Atoll. We hope to create monuments for the other honu species too.

The loggerhead statue will be made by a Cherokee artist in Georgia.

SAD NEWS: Ian George passed away on the 8th February 2016. Ian had been seriously ill for a couple of years and knew his time was rapidly closing. He did say that carving the honu was one thing that gave him a reason to survive. So our Honu Sculpture forms part of Ian's legacy as he begins this greatest of voyages.

"Into the West my Friend"

Also the Cook Islands Ministry of Education is going to publish a book that in time will be translated into the language of each island.

The first translation has been done into REO TONGAREVA by Turoa Taia. He lives at Te Tautua on our atoll and his careful and thoughtful work will allow translations to be made into the other languages.

Meitaki Poria!!!