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Reuniting Ui Ariki day

Thursday July 02, 2020 Written by Published in Culture
Visitors from Australia dance at last year’’s Ui Ariki Day commemorations at Au Maru palace in Puaikura. 19070508 Visitors from Australia dance at last year’’s Ui Ariki Day commemorations at Au Maru palace in Puaikura. 19070508

The House of Ariki has decided to bring people back together to commemorate Ui Ariki Day.

Ra O Te Ui Ariki public holiday will be marked at the Tauranga Vananga National Auditorium dome at 10am.

Clerk Tupuna Rakanui said in previous years, each vaka would organize its own observance in their respective communities.

For now, the House of Ariki moment will focus on Rarotonga, but welcome the presidents of the Pa Enua island communities, their Mataiapo and Kopu Ariki who are on the island, to participate on the day.

“We need to bring back everyone together to discuss on the direction or the pathway for the next five years in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture,” said Rakanui.

Discussions on the day will be focused on a set theme at the start of each year for the whole country, rather than separate topics for the different national events.

In the past Te Tika Mataiapo the late Dorice Reid who was also the president of Te Koutu Nui diligently kept a registryof the Ui Mataiapo and Ui Rangatira that was updated each year.

The House of Ariki needed to re-ignite this practice, Rakanui said. They would create a new register for the nation that would include the name of the title, its holder, when and where the investiture was conducted and who participated.

A presentation of Kaveinga no te Maro Enua by the National Environment Services head of ministry Nga Puna will be delivered to the audience.

There had been many developments on the country’s wetlands that had now disappeared,” Rakanui said. “We want to hear to the ministry’s policies on particular issues that will impact our land and our customs.

“Hopefully will achieve something on these focused points.”

Rakanui revealed that planting indigenous trees on the Pa Enua had already taken place; 1,000 tamanu trees were planted on Mitiaro, 500 on Ma‘uke in March, with Atiu being the next island to do the same project in August.

There are 24 Ui Ariki of Cook Islands, but only 13 are registered in the House of Ariki. Rarotonga has 6 Ui Ariki, Aitutaki 4, Mangaia 1, Mauke 3, Atiu 3, Mitiaro 3, Rakahanga and Manihiki 2, Pukapuka 1, Penrhyn 1.

The usual kopu ariki structure begins with the Ariki, followed by the Ui Mataiapo Tutara, the Ui Mataiapo and next the Ui Rangatira.

However, it is important to note that some Rangatira are equivalent to a Mataipo – each tribal kopu ariki structure is different, Rakanui noted.

Meanwhile work continues on the new Te Atupare marae at Puaikura at the House of Ariki grounds, the opening is scheduled for August 3.

The annual conference of the House of Ariki conference will be held on August 5-6.