With the mountain backdrop and misty skies, it was as if the ancestors of the new Teeiao Mataipo Tutara Willie Kauvai were giving their approval of the first investiture of the title in decades.
More than two hundred people surrounded Taumata-Ki-Avaiki Marae to watch Kauvai’s investiture ceremony, which was a rich display of cultural pride.
Kauvai was guarded by his four Rangatira, Unuunu Ariki Rangatira, Tinorua Rangatira, Taarua Tupangaia Rangatira and Mokoroa Rangatira.
During the ceremony Kauvai was adorned in traditional dress and ate the ear of a pig, the last step in the investiture ceremony.
His wife, Mii Kauvai, said it was a beautiful ceremony and it was only fitting that the title was passed on to the next generation.
Kauvai’s uncle Te Pui Ariki held the title and passed away more than 20 years ago. The title has been in the family line for over 100 years, adding to the significance of the ceremony.