Taau Taku Tita

Taau, Taku Tita - young dancers encourage us to take responsibility for waste

Taau, Taku Tita - young dancers encourage us to take responsibility for waste

By Itirangi Pennycook

Taau, taku tita. The latest dance track written by Phoebe Happ of Kuki Time 4 Kids, and presented by a group of talented young dancers from Kuki Time Cre8tive, is Te Ipukarea Society’s newest waste awareness advert coming soon to a TV screen near you.

Last week, before the borders opened and before the weather started to pack in, four talented young dancers showcased their talent and passion for our environment. The key theme of the latest dance track is all about waste management, and that your waste is everyone’s waste making it a team effort to combating our small island's insidious waste issue.

The stars: Liam Aviu- Kurariki, Ruby Newport, Teau and Teuruaa Goldsworthy, all between the ages of 9 and 12, spent a day dancing in significant spots around our island. Liam, Ruby and Teau are attending their senior year at Apii te Uki Ou while the young Teuruaa is at Apii Takitumu. Each being part of an experience that they can share with their peers in the new school year.

Sunshine and pizza, the young dancers had fun dancing on the beach and being able to show off their outstanding dance and acting skills.  This new advert was inspired by the last big hit by Kuki Time 4 Kids track ‘Orei te rima’ which shared a strong message from Te Marae Ora about keeping safe by washing your hands.  Both Ruby and Teau also starred in that advert and now, bright eyed and bushy tailed, these youth were ready for more action with their new awareness raising performance, Taau, taku tita.

Under the guidance of producer Jo Holly, we were able to get incredible footage of the dancers in their best form of presenting.   Jo is a volunteer who is also currently holding free workshops in Rarotonga to educate and prepare youth who are interested in a career in media including presenting, acting or videography.

Our locations Black Rock, the social center and the Rarotonga landfill in Arorangi enabled the young ones to connect with the environment and see how much waste is produced, by exploring the masses of the tita building up at the landfill, which we have had a hand in creating.

This allowed us to catch raw expressions on camera of how the dancers felt in regards to the amount of rubbish found along the roads, beaches and landfill. As you could see from their faces, they were not impressed.

The song ‘Taau, taku tita’ is written by Phoebe Happ with music by Jim Perkins and vocals by Kura Happ.  It expresses the significance of each of us taking responsibility for our own rubbish, and saying no to plastic in the first place.  Recycling is unfortunately not a perfect solution for rubbish because of the cost and difficulty of finding markets to deal with our waste.  Taau taku tita lyrics talk about refusing plastic in the first place, such as bringing your own drink bottle.  It also talks about reusing things instead of throwing them out after one use.  There is no excuse for single-use!

Sponsored by CITC and the US Embassy in NZ,  the advert portrays what we need to do to take responsibility for our rubbish on our islands, now and in the future by being good role models for the next generation.

It also serves as a friendly reminder that too much rubbish in the landfill always finds its way into the ocean because there is just far too much.

Everyone from the camera crew, choreographers, and acting stars learnt new things in the production of the Taau, taku tita advertisement. It was great to see everyone pitching in ideas, helping out and generally giving moral support. Definitely a great team to be working with in the next awareness raising video.

The experience shared between all who were part of the ad production is surely not one to forget. Hopefully more people in our community take up the responsibility of applying the messages of this ad in their everyday lives so that we can develop a more sustainable and eco- friendly environment.


Because in the end it really is just Taau, taku tita.