Blog Archives

Radio 4 – Lights Out, Series 4, Fallout


BBC Radio 4 are presenting a documentary about the atomic tests conducted by the British military in Kiritimati and Maralinga during the 1950’s and early 60’s. The programme aims to tell the human stories behind the bomb through the intertwined experiences of veterans, islanders and families.

The documentary will be broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 (live) at 11pm on Monday September 6th.

Do tune in!!

The Olympics Opening Ceremony 2021

From David Little

Good evening and Mauri !

The Olympics Opening Ceremony happens as you have your Chedworth get-together. Kiribati will be represented – not only by the best flag – but by the following ‘athletes’ in Tokyo:-
Judo (Women)   Kinaua Biribo.   Training in Budapest.  In the under-70 Kg. class.   She took part in the World Judo Championships and is ranked 177 in the world.
Weight-lifting (Men)   Ruben Katoatau, younger brother of Glasgow champion David.   Training in Nauru.   Will be in the 69 Kg. class.   Was ranked 6th. (of 14) in the Commonwealth Games of 2018 on Gold Coast.
Athletics (Men)   Lataisi Mwea.   Has been training on Gold Coast with Oceania AA for two years.  He went there to prepare in High Jump for Tokyo 2020; was trapped there by Covid but set a new National Record in High Jump (2m.).   Switched to Sprints.   Broke the KAA Mens’ 200m. National Record.   Will take part in the Mens’ 100m. Preliminaries.
Thanks and “Tekeraoi ni kabane !”
Regards and stay safe.
David Little.   (Tawita te Uarereke !)

2020 Get-Together Update

Hi all,
I know that you’ve all been waiting for an annoucement about this year’s indepence (not only for the details, but whether it is going ahead or not!) We’ve been watching the updates from the Government, and trying to put off the inevitable… but sadly due to COVID-19, we’ve had to make the hard decision to cancel this years get together. So that we can still celebrate together, remotely, we would like to bring the community together by requesting videos of you and your family answering the attached questions, so we can create a video montage that we can share with everyone on 25th July. Attached are the details. It would be great if you could record yourself performing one of your dances, to be included in the video! It will be lovely to see as many faces as possible. The good news is, we have secured the site for next year and so we have a whole year to make 2021 a year to remember. Chedworth Village Hall has camping and parking onsite, along with a playground and although we’re sad we won’t be able to meet, laugh, dance and sing with each other this year – we’ll see you all again from 22nd – 25th July 2021 at Chedworth Village Hall ( The LONG awaited copy of Te Buu will be finalised and sent out to you soon – we apologise for the delay in sending this out.
All the best and tekaroi,
The KTA Committee xx

Reardon Kiribati Photo Archive

Special Thanks to Kate Armstrong, who kindly shared below a collection of photographs from her family’s personal archives.

Kate’s father Patrick Reardon, served in the British Government’s Ministry of Overseas Development and was key in working with ministers in the years before Independence. They were there for the Independence Celebrations, leaving in 1979. Patrick Readon served initially in 1972 as Development Secretary, then in 1973 Financial Secretary and Acting Governor, and then with the Gilbert Islands Development Authority as Administrator from 1977-79. Patrick and his wife Margaret both considered their time on the Islands a great privilige and were some of the happiest times of their lives.

Some of the photos form part of a collection in the Weston Library at the Bodlean at the University of Oxford. (They form part of the collection of my mother’s which is related to her book An Unexpected Journey by Margaret Reardon There is a chapter on the Gilbert and Ellice Islands as they were then known.)


Kiribati Photos 1970s:



Previous KTA Independence Gatherings:


Kind Regards to Kate for her generosity in sharing the above, we hope you all enjoy looking through the photos.



Kiribati was represented at the IAAF World Championships in Doha in 2019

From David Little

After suitable trials held by the Kiribati Athletics Association on Tarawa, top sprinter Tirioro Kamoriki Willie was selected to travel to the heat of Doha, Qatar, for the 17th. IAAF World Championships.   These were staged between September 27th. and October 6th.    Travelling with Tirioro was the current KAA Treasurer, Tekua Reeu Tekua.   The travel arrangements were arranged centrally by the Competitions Manager of Oceania AA.  For this trip there were no complications with visas !

They left Tarawa on Thursday, September 19th., stayed a few days in Fiji, then flew on to Hong Kong for their transit to Doha.  They arrived at 0445 on Tuesday, Sept. 24th.  To satisfy the drug-testing requirements, Tirioro was due to have his test on arrival in Doha, it being currently impossible to do it in-country through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services at Nawerewere on Tarawa.   

Having attended the Oceania AA Meeting later that day, while Tiroro recovered (!), Tekua had to be ready to attend the IAAF Congress.

They were both involved in the Opening Ceremony on the morning of Friday, September 27th., Tirioro marching in the athletes’ parade and Tekua watching on!

Amazingly, Tirioro had recovered enough by 16.35 that afternoon to take his place at the start of lane 7 in Race 2 (of 4) of the Mens’ 100m. Preliminary Round.  (The best of the athletes from these four races qualified to compete in the actual Heats later that evening.)   The athletes and spectators in the renovated, 30,000-seat Khalifa International Stadium were protected against the desert heat of Doha by huge cool-air blowers at track level.

Having reacted very well (0.172 seconds) and started strongly, Tirioro stayed in contention for maybe 50m. but then the superior fitness and speed endurance of the other five enabled them to pull away.  So he finished 6th. in 11.57.  This was not far off his PB.   For comparison, the winner of this race clocked 10.32 !) The four images (taken from the live BBC TV broadcast) herewith show him (in red top and blue tights) soon after the start; during the race; nearing the finish, and with his name on the results display.

They stayed a few days more, then Tirioro stopped off in Fiji while Tekua flew home. This was an unforgettable experience but perhaps a little disappointing due to the low attendance for these races.  He should be proud to have shown the (best !) flag!

16th. Pacific Games

From David Little
Please warn your readers that, starting on Monday in Apia, Samoa, is the 16th. Pacific Games.   Kiribati will be taking part in TEN SPORTS, i.e. Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Power-lifting, Taekwondo, Tennis, (Indoor) Volleyball, and Weight-lifting.
The Games web-site is accessible now, simply by clicking on “Samoa 2019”.   People may wish to support from afar !

KAA at the OAA Area Championships staged at Townsville June 2019

Report by David Little using data from OAA in Townsville.  (June 29 2019)


KAA at the OAA Area Championships staged at Townsville, June 25-28 2019.

Nei Kairao Tune, current Secretary of KAA, was Team Manager for the six athletes who travelled to Townsville, N. Queensland, for this competition.  Between them they covered some Mens’ and Womens’ sprints, Mens’ LJ and HJ, and Mens’ Discus. They were:- Nei Ruta Tooma, Tirioro Kamoriki Willie, Biira Burennara, John Ruuka, Lataisi Mwea, and Tongalua Walker Tune.   Results:-



Name Pos/ Time/


Rank in event Comment
June 25
M 100m. Prelim 2 Biira 5/7 11.63 23/33 Q for SF
              Prelim 3 John 6/7 12.02 28 Non-Qual
              Prelim 4 Tirioro 6/7 11.60 22 Q for SF
June 26
M 100m. Semi F 2 Biira 7/8 11.56 21/24 Non-Q for Final
                          3 Tirioro 7/8 11.41 20 Non-Q for Final
M Long Jump Biira 11/11 5.90m.
June 27
U20 M High Jump Lataisi 4/5 1.88m. 1 jump from 3rd. !
SM 200m. Prelim 4 Tirioro 6/7 23.59 20/28 Non-Qual
June 28
U18W 200m. Prelim1 Nei Ruta 7/7 30.73 15/15 Non-Qual
Open M Discus Tongalua 8/8 23.79m. Not yet 18 !


A few other random points:-

  • Nei Ruta ran against a serious headwind of – 2.3 m/s   She had been entered for the u18W 100m. but missed that event; so OAA transferred her entry to 200m.
  • Tongalua will be 18 in August and was entered in the u20 Mens’ Discus.  He missed that event and his entry was transferred by OAA into the Open (Senior) Mens’ event, meaning he had to throw a 2 kg. (Senior) discus against Senior Men !   The fact that he then had 5 legal throws (out of 6) and threw over 23m. are all good signs for his future, if the experience did not upset or damage him !
  • Lataisi – current KAA National record-holder – jumped clear first time at heights up to 1.88m. but could not manage 1.91m. for a bronze medal !
  • John was the KAA male sprinter at the Rio Olympics in 2016 !
  • KAA male sprinters need to be sub-11 for 100m. to be competitive.  Maybe the newly-constructed RKU Stadium at Bairiki will give them the facility and encouragement !
  • There are three images: one with the flag and Oceania first-lady Yvonne at their “Welcome”; one of four males with Nei Kairao (L-to-R Biira, John, Nei Kairao, Tirioro, Lataisi); and Tongalua with Ruta.
  • The uniform (red vests and blue half-tights) was provided by David Little, to be stored by KAA and be available for future athletes.
  • We say “Tekeraoi ni kabane” and safe journey home !

Report on Kiribati participation in the 2019 Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia.

Report from David Little, observing from UK.  May 2nd. 2019.

Brief History.

The Arafura Games began as the “Arafura Sports Festival” in 1991 with 1500 athletes in seven sports.   From 1999 the name changed to “Arafura Games”. With the exception of 2003, they have been held every two years until 2011, when they incorporated the Oceania Paralympic Championships in four sports.  For various reasons, including perceived cost, there were no Games in 2012, 2015, or 2017. A decision was made to re-commence the event in April – May this year. Invitations were sent out earlier this year.

2019 situation.

An approach was made to Kiribati Athletics Association (KAA) and this was referred to the National Olympic Committee (KNOC) since this is a multi-sport event.  It was decided to send KAA athletes and a pair for Beach Volleyball. Offers were made to KNOC to cover the cost of return travel and accommodation. The organisers did everything to encourage KNOC to respond by sending athletes/players.   But no application was made for the necessary FREE visas and thus no-one travelled from Tarawa. Fortunately four lifters, training in New Caledonia, were able to register for the Games and had their travel and other costs covered, independent of KNOC.   It was possible that I-Kiribati Para athletes might have been able to travel, but this arrangement also fell through.

So four weight-lifters arrived in Darwin and prepared to compete.   Their results:-

On April 27th. Ruben Katoatau (age 22) competed in the Mens’ 67 kg. category and won the GOLD medal, against five other lifters.  His performances were:- in the snatch he lifted 125 kg., in clean and jerk 160 kg., giving a total of 285 kg.

On April 28th. 24-year-old Taretiita Baraniko Tabaroua contested the Mens’ 73 kg. category and ranked 4th. of the 8 lifters.  His lifts were: 125 + 160 = 285 kg.

On the same day, 22-year-old Nei Tiiau Bakaekiri lifted 80 + 100 = 180 kg. in the Womens’ 71 kg. category and was ranked 4th. out of six.

Then on April 29th., the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, David Katoatau, contested the Mens’ 102 kg. division and won the silver medal.  His lifts were: 140 + 190 = 330 kg. In the absence of a travelling coach, David was supervising the team.

Thus Kiribati was successfully represented at this major Asian competition.   The next Arafura Games is due in spring of 2021.


Anote’s Ark Documentary English Premiere

Anote’s Ark English Documentary Premiere at The Science Museum

  • DATE: Friday 16 November 2018
  • TIME: 19.30–21.45 (doors open 18.45)
  • PRICE: £10 standard tickets, £8 concessions
  • LOCATION: Level 0,IMAX Theatre

Following its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Science Museum and Royal Society present the English premiere of ‘Anote’s Ark’, the very first feature film to be shot in the Republic of Kiribati.

An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is destined disappear within decades as a result of rising sea levels—granting its citizens the unfortunate title of first climate refugees in history.

This moving documentary follows the country’s former president, Anote Tong, on his journey through international halls of power leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference.

For more details, please click here.

Royal Academy Lates: Cosmic Ocean

Join the special RA Late event celebrating contemporary Oceanic culture and the unique natural landscape of the pacific islands, from seas to skies.

Covering nearly one third of the Earth’s surface, the pacific ocean is home to hundreds of islands, each with unique cultures and histories. Join us in celebrating these living cultures, from cosmologies and navigation, performance and ritual as well as the vast surrounding ocean.

Think pacific night star-gazing, coral reef drawing, traditional dance performances, street food and cocktail bars, lively talks and discussions plus DJs and music until late.

Please note that KTA dancers will be performing at the event, so all are welcome.

For more details please click on the event here.