Dear Editor, we should still respect our arikis but I am just amazed at how we humans seem to be more concerned about our own laws than God’s.
If there’s anyone who really deserves honour, respect and our obedience, it is Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things. He set aside the only “Ariki Day” of the world from Creation — the seventh day of the week which He later called the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11).
He commanded that no work of any kind (except “to do good on the sabbath”),
including sports, should ever be done on His day. Now, how many of the world
are obeying this command? How respectful are we of our Creator, Saviour and
King? Or, do we love Him enough to obey Him.
Ui Ariki haven’t done much for the reintegration of our indigenous knowledge or
practices, they have just upheld the same set of rules and knowledge our
ancestors created but only with their own agenda. Ui Ariki day is literally
another gospel day, there’s no traditional sports, it isn’t a day to learn or
share space or knowledge around our indigenous practices. They cannot garner
the respect of our people if they have not served the people in the ways of our
ancestors and that starts with sharing indigenous knowledge.
Ui Ariki Day started in 2013 which was chosen as a
part of commemorating the first time the House of Ariki met in 1966.
Since then there isn’t much that has been done to
not only commemorate our ancestors but also the structures of leadership they
We live in a society that has put religion on a
pedestal, this makes it hard for us to celebrate many facets of our culture.
Ui Ariki Day which should be a day to celebrate
traditional indigenous knowledge but has become another gospel day. This is
because many Vaka, tribes, and Matakeinanga celebrate by doing church-related
Our Ariki were men and women who sought to serve
the people, to create safe spaces to harbour our knowledge. In current years
this ideology has been flipped, with many people now only wanting a title just
to have it. There is no service, there is no cross-communication there is no
The trickle-down effect of this is desecrated
Marae, descendants who don’t know what their Ngatis are and people who do not
respect our culture.
The fundamentals of being an Ariki come down to
what you are willing to do for the people, without the people we wouldn’t have
The current House of Ariki cannot garner the
respect of our people without doing the necessary work it takes to be Ariki.
Our ancestors left behind a plethora of knowledge
for us to learn, but we keep shunning it for the sake of our religion.
We hope for the continuation of our indigenous
knowledge that we as a people can decipher how to practice religion and culture
Ui Ariki Day should be about bringing together our
community for the continuation of our culture.
Let’s make Ui Ariki Day what it should be, a day to
celebrate our ancestors.