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Ngamaru Ariki invested

Friday 16 July 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands

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Ngamaru Ariki invested
The newly invested Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki leads at her investiture ceremony in Aitu yesterday. SUPPLIED/21071644.

Hundreds gathered on the island of Atiu on Friday, to witness the akamarokura'anga (investiture) of 25-year-old Tupuna Moeroa Ngamaru as Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki, in the second ceremony for the same title. By Melina Etches.

The newly-invested Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki said she was excited and relieved to see the island come together for her investiture yesterday.

She was appreciative of all the support, preparations, ata manga (food gifts) and hard work from the people of Atiu.

The Ngamaru Ariki investiture was marred with controversy after a family member held a separate ceremony to claim the title.

Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki said she paid a visit to her uncle – her father’s brother Ngamaru Tereaa Ariki (Papa Katu Tereaa Okirua) – who was invested with the same title last month, on a personal level.

“I went to visit him on Thursday as he is my uncle, and it went well,” she told Cook Islands News.

Ngati Apai – Komono o Apai Mataiapo William Framhein said during the procession outside Te Arii O Te Rangi, a small group of protestors led by Patoro Tutu Ina, Ngamaru Tereaa Ariki, Elena Tavioni and others had stood on the road.

But he said despite the objectors, the proceedings continued according to plan.

The police were at hand to ensure there were no physical interactions, Framhein added.

The day’s event started in the morning at Te Arii O Te Rangi, then to a church service where Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki was anointed by the president of the Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) Tuaine Ngametua.


Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki with two of her Ui Mataiapo on Te Au Tapu marae in Atiu. SUPPLIED. 21071642.

At the Te Au Tapu marae at Te Arii O Te Rangi for the investiture, the pa’u (drum) was pounded by Paavo Mustonen, the pu (conch shell) was blown by Carl Glassie and the karakia (traditional chant) was performed by Casper Mateariki.

Five umu’s had been fired up on Thursday night to cook the astonishing amount of food that was received for the feast – 200 pigs, 400 cartons of chicken leg quarters, 100 cartons of whole chicken, and over 200 sacks of Atiu taro, and many hands were involved in grating about 1500 coconuts.

Ngamaru Tupuna Ariki will receive Rongomatane Ariki Elect Nicholas Nicholls at Te Au Tapu marae for his investiture on Monday August 19.