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Warrants presented at Are Ariki Assembly

Friday 28 October 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, Local, National


Warrants presented at Are Ariki Assembly
Attendees at the 51st Are Ariki Assembly, from left, Tiori Rangatira - Nooroa Teina; the Ariki who received their warrants, Vaeruarangi Tuaine Ariki (Aitutaki), Tararo Ngamata Ariki (Mauke) and Makea Vakatini Phillip Ngamatoa Ariki with Are Ariki Clerk - Tupuna Rakanui and Tai Manavaroa. Picture: SYLVANA TAORO-PUIA/22102509

The 51st Are Ariki (House of Ariki) Assembly opened with the recognition of official warrants which were presented by the King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters to three Ariki on Monday.

Vaeruarangi Tuaine Ariki (Aitutaki) – Tuaine George invested on November 5, 2020, Tararo Ngamata Ariki (Mauke) – Ngamata Tapoki invested on September 3, 2021 and Makea Vakatini Phillip Ngamatoa Ariki – Phillip Vakatini invested on July 20, 2020, can now vote in the Are Ariki.

The three received their warrants at the opening of the 51st Are Ariki Assembly being held at the National Auditorium.

Te-O-Tari-Kura o te Are Ariki (Clerk) Tupuna Rakanui said receiving the warrants on Monday was “very heartening and a great achievement”.

Rakanui extended their appreciation to the King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters who presented the warrants.

The theme for this year’s Are Ariki Assembly is Te Mana Maori.

Rakanui said the traditional and political leaders have expressed their concerns over the ongoing squabbling in certain lines of the Ui Ariki over traditional titles that eventually end up in court.

“We are keen to look into the processes in confirming traditional titles including the Ui Mataiapo, Rangatira, and all traditional titles,” said Rakanui.

When members of the tribe disagree with the selection process for an elected title holder and some conduct another investiture (double investiture) for the same title, challenges are filed in court.

Rakanui said some of the court processes had taken years to resolve.

“This impacts on what we want to do and sometimes delays our sessions waiting for these cases in court to be heard.”

“These issues will be discussed (at the meeting) and the Are Ariki will determine a way forward.

“It could mean that we will make recommendations to Government to change legislations … but then it means we have got to put the processes in place. It’s got to be robust.”

Rakanui expressed that traditional title processes must be given to the Are Ariki – the view is that investitures and procedures should not be endorsed by one single person in a particular tribe.

“It should be endorsed by the tribe, by the Kopu Ariki those involved in making the determination in that tribe.

“Yes, it can be done, but a lot of people are not making any move to bring the procedure into the Are Ariki. We need a resolution from this session.”

Last year, the first Are Ariki Runanga Tango Enua (Native Customs) Special Committee meeting was held at the Atupare Marae.

The committee is a combined effort, made up of some members of the Are Ariki, Aronga Mana, Koutu Nui, legal advisors and a technical support group to discuss the “roadmap” to “define the rule for the election processes” of Ariki and other Taonga Maori such as the Mataiapo, Kavana, Rangatira and its legislation.

A presentation from Runanga Tango Enua looking into the traditions, customs and customary reports which were submitted in the 70s to Parliament, is also expected to be discussed during this week’s meeting.

The 51st Are Ariki session closes today.