Starting off the year as usual with the annual showdays was the village of Hikutavake Mahinatumai which took place last Saturday; the first showday of the year 2022.
Despite the wet weather and cloudy skies, the show still went on as people from around the island gathered to the village to support the people of Hikutavake as they showcased their arts and handcrafts, activities, agricultural produce, cultural performances and most importantly food.
Variety of foods such as umu food ranging from pork, takihi to fai kai, barbeque plates, sushi and desserts such as sago and trifle were sold on the day.
As seen in recent years, there have been two separate showdays for the village; one at the top past the hill where Matapa Bar is located and one at the bottom on the village green.
BCN news understands that this division has been occurring for a while for the village showday over the past couple of years and had begun due to political tensions between families and people within the village.
A sad and critical topic of discussion amongst the locals as showdays are a focal representation of a village’s sense of community and unity.
Nevertheless, the showday located at the top began with its programme with formalities as seen by the attendance of the Premier and government officials such as the Minister of Social Services Sauni Tongatule, Member of Alofi North Va’aiga Tukuitonga, Deputy NZ High Commissioner Nigel Ewels and Australia High Commissioner H.E. Louise Ellerton present at the showday.
In her speech, the Chairperson for Hikutavake Olevai Pipitolu said that the village has made huge efforts to renew the village water tank that has been rusting and getting old as to avoid any physical damages that may be caused by cyclones or rough weather conditions.
She also asked the government for a village and handcrafts hall for the village people and women.
Member for Hikutavake Opili Talafasi asked the government in his speech for funding and support for the Matapa Bar business.
Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi responded to the requests saying that he is sad that the government was not able to contribute to the renewal of the water tank as it is government’s job to do so but they will be reimbursing the funds used for it.
He also added that they will be looking into the village requests on a hall as well as tending to the village sea track but to understand that the Airport project is a major priority for the government at the moment.
BCN news spoke with some of the villagers to express how they felt about the day and most responded saying they were excited and happy to have sold out their food and enjoy the festivities set for the day.
They were also happy for the support from families and friends for the showday.
Next on the village showdays calendar will be Makefu to be held on Saturday the 14th of May.