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Honouring our traditional leaders

Saturday 2 July 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National

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Honouring our traditional leaders
Tinomana Tokerau Ariki and Reverand Tinirau Soatini blow out candles to mark the 12th year of Te Ra o te Ui Ariki public holiday. Photo: Melina Etches/22070105

Aronga Mana, Ekalesia, dignitaries, family and friends attended Te Ra o te Ui Ariki yesterday with their respective Ariki in recognition of the nation’s traditional leaders’ public holiday.

Each vaka, tribe, and matakeinanga on Rarotonga prearranged their activities and celebrations to mark the day with a good turnout of families and members of the community.

Makea Karika George Ariki and Makea Vakatini Phillip Ngamatoa Ariki of Te Au O Tonga combined their celebrations starting with an early Pure Popongi service followed by breakfast.

Prime Minister Mark Brown who also holds the traditional title of Te Ara Rangatira attended the important occasion as well as New Zealand’s High Commissioner Tui Dewes, Australia High Commissioner Dr Christopher Watkins and Aronga Mana of Te Au O Tonga.

Vaka Puaikura including its new permanent resident applicants came together at the Au Maru Palace in honour of their Aronga Mana and Tinomana Tokerau Ariki.

A special cake also featured at Au Maru Palace to mark the 12th anniversary of Te Ra o te Ui Ariki.

Vaatuatua (spokesperson) for Tinomana Tokerau Ariki, Tere Taio welcomed guests to Au Maru and Minister Patrick Arioka spoke about the significance of the occasion which was followed by Te Au Tua Taito (Historical Oration) by Tangata Vainerere, and a scrumptious hearty feast.

Matavera, Ngatangiia and Titikaveka of Vaka Takitumu each held their own programmes to observe the day.

Te Are Ariki (House of Ariki) council is made up of 24 traditional leaders who play an important role in dealing with issues, including land, customs, traditions and public welfare.