Since 2014, each Vaka has conducted its own Ui Ariki celebrations, with the exception of the the joint 50th anniversary celebration in 2016.
Ui Ariki day is a public holiday, marked this year with the theme, “Te Au Inangaro O Toku Matakeinanga/Enua”. This is Maori for the love and passions of my tribe/island.
After the formalities in the morning, each vaka will hold kai korero on issues of concern.
Tupuna Rakanui, Clerk for the House of Ariki said: “It is hoped that discussions will be open, we hope that the speakers of the Ariki will be present too.
“We need to stop the disputes, let people bring out their grievances in the open, we should acknowledge the differences of opinion.
“This is the time to sit down and discuss things with everyone there, let’s hear from the communities, what their troubles are.”
Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penrhyn haven’t had an ariki for some time, said Rakanui. “We would like to encourage them to decide on their ariki.”
Vaka Puaikura will meet at 9.30am at Te Aumaru Marae, and from there they will attend the CICC service at 10am, then return to Tinomana Ariki’s palace for the kaikai and korero. Tere Taio said everyone in Puaikura was welcome to join in the day’s events, and there will be a live band for entertainment.
Te Au o Tonga will start the day with a 10am service at the CICC church, followed by morning tea at the Sinai hall, then moving to Karika George Ariki’s place for “kai korero”.
Vaka Takitumu starts off the earliest: 6am at the CICC church in Teimurimotia in Titikaveka. Presentations, kaikai and kai korero will continue after.
The Pa Metua will celebrate Ui Ariki day on their own islands.