Three residents of the Cook Islands swore an oath on Queen Elizabeth II in a citizenship ceremony presided over by New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter yesterday.
Today marks the start of the House of Ariki annual conference for traditional title holders.
The week-long conference was declared open on Friday during the Ariki Day celebrations by House of Ariki Kaumaiti (president) Travel Tou Ariki.
During his address at the Ariki Day celebrations, Travel Tou Ariki touched on some of the issues the traditional leaders would be discussing.
One matter he wants addressed is the process in which title holders are elected and invested with a traditional title.
His biggest concern is the in-fighting among family members vying for the title, and such matters going to the land court to be dealt with rather than family members discussing and mutually agreeing to the right person to hold the traditional title.
While this issue is set to make for robust discussion during the conference, there was nothing but peace and togetherness at the Ariki Day celebrations hosted by Vaka Takitumu chiefs Pa Ariki and Kainuku Ariki.
With arms wide open, Kaumaiti (president) of the House of Ariki, Travel Tou Ariki, accepts the kura (message) and invite by Pa Ariki and Kainuku Ariki to join Vaka Takitumu in celebrating Ui Ariki Day on Friday.
Seventeen-year-old Tumanava Karika Wilmott won the Year 13 Cook Islands Polyfest speech edging out 18 other New Zealand college students in the competition held earlier this year.
Cook Islands delegates have returned from Napier where they were hosted by the Ngati Kahungunu Iwi to investigate opportunities to strengthen ties with the Maori.
Prime Minister Henry Puna, fresh off a busy trip to the United States where he participated in 2013 Pacific Day festivities at the New Zealand Embassy, will be in Europe for the bulk of the week.