Pa Tepaeru Tariki Upokotini Ariki on the pa'ata entering Takitumu Marae grounds for her 30th coronation anniversary celebrations. SUNPIX 20062906
Cook Islanders from around New Zealand gathered in Auckland to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pa Tapaeru Tariki Upokotini Ariki’s coronation.
New Zealand Labour MP for Christchurch East Munokoa Poto Williams acknowledged Pa Ariki as a woman of great dignity and poise.
Williams said Pa Ariki had openly admitted that at times it wasn’t a role she wanted and she had faced some huge issues, but she had represented Takitumu with pride and was a role model to young Cook Island women.
“As a woman in leadership, she is someone we all look up to and I’m glad to be here to honour her.”
The relationship between New Zealand and Cook Islands Maori was strong because of Pa Ariki and the connections she had made during her reign and the acknowledgement of the tuakana, teina roles, she said.
National MP Alfred Ngaro said Pa Ariki represented a royal line that goes back many generations.
"Today reminds us of how important our links are back to our akapapa," he said.