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Teurukura Ariki investiture held at Orongo Marae

Thursday May 23, 2013 Written by Published in Culture

Rere Mataiti of Aitutaki shares some of the atmosphere during the investiture of Makirau Haurua as Teurukura Ariki on the outer island on Wednesday.

The whole programme started at the Teurukura Marae called Kaionu, where Makirau Haurua was raised on the paata by his warriors and carried to Kautea Marae where the are taunga (traditional leaders) of Aitutaki clothed the soon to be invested Ariki with tapa fabric and presented his crown.

However, some are taunga denied the party access to the marae by blocking the entrance with their supporters.

Instead of pressing forward, the occasion took place at the entrance of the marae with Teremoana Taruia who was part of the are taunga residing in Rarotonga.

She clothed Makirau Haurua with the tapa fabric. The crown was presented by Tama Joseph (Tepaki Tama Mataiapo) who like Taruia is a member of the are taunga residing in Rarotonga.

The are taunga protested against the investiture as there are two others contesting the Teurukura title.

During this time of intense protest and frustration – Araura College students sang the biblical song ‘My God loves me’ to calm the weary crowd and young children who had no idea what was going on.

Another song ’Koe Araura te tiare’ was sung because of so much tension between the protesters and Teurukura Kopu Ariki.

From Kautea, the paata was carried to Orongo Marae where the final blessing and investiture process was held.

Pastor Taiti Toroma blessed Makirau Haurua while Tepaki Tama Mataiapo presented the final crowning and title of Makirau Teurukura Ariki.

The last proceeding at Orongo Marae was the investiture of Mataiapo titles to six recipients. Two of the invested Mataiapo, Taamo Charlie (Tamatekore Mataiapo) the Putokotoko (right hand) and Repeta Riki (Ru’eparutu Mataiapo) as the Vaevae orooro (messenger).

From Orongo the crowd walked behind the newly invested Makirau Teurukura Ariki to Nikaupara hall for a huge island feast and official speeches from Tupuariki Puna who had earlier been invested with the title of Tuaine Mataiapo.

Puna was nominated as chair of the kopu ariki of Teurukura Ariki some years back.

Other speakers were House of Ariki president Tou Ariki who offered his support to the investiture and strongly opposed two people carrying the same title.

Aitutaki mayor John Baxter and Prime Minister Henry Puna offered apologies for their absence due to important national commitments they had to attend to.

Likewise absent from the investiture was Manarangi Ariki and Tamatoa Ariki.

The feast was more than enough to feed all the school students on Aitutaki and the general public who were present.

The second investiture title is to be held on June 13 on Jieul Tearetoa.

The final speech by Makirau Teurukura Ariki thanked the Kopu Ariki, all their supporters and his wife Mama Kimi for standing by his side during the hard times.

Many of his children and family from Rarotonga, New Zealand and Australia were present to witness the investiture.

The nomination for Makirau Teurukura Ariki was carried out rightfully by the Kopu Ariki of Teurukura which some believe is the proper procedure laid by our forefathers.

However, others have ignored the procedure and have gone with the choice by the village of Reureu. Who knows the truth...only God knows.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Yannis Mea Thursday, 05 October 2017 22:07 posted by Yannis Mea

    I'm just genuinely interested in why there seems to be confusion between who is the rightful title holder of Te-Uru-Kura Ariki? Does nobody know the line of this title and the families who belong to it? What is the right way of going about things like this? What is complete proceedure of the fore-fathers?

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