House of Ariki secretary Puna Rakanui says this year’s celebrations may be “watered down” a bit because of the “heat” generated by the June 14 snap election.
He says many tribes and islands were late to firm up this year’s programmes. However, the House of Ariki executive has resolved to go ahead with programmes they agreed to at a meeting last week.
Rakanui says the day will focus on the contributions made by the country’s present and past Ui Ariki and Aronga Mana in helping to shape the country to what it is today.
“In 2017, the House of Ariki annual conference resolved to celebrate Ui Ariki and Aronga Mana Day on a tribal-island format, as was the case last year.
“Before this, Rarotonga carried the responsibility where all the Ui Ariki gathered, and with the assistance of the three vaka and the various Pa Enua communities, jointly hosted the annual events.”
This year the vaka of Rarotonga will host their commemorations in their own vaka and at their own pace, he says.
“Judging by the reactions in 2017, Puaikura will probably be the highlight as there is an intention to hold a similar programme to last year’s. It will kick off with a Vaka Puaikura service at the CICC, followed by a variety of activities at Tinomana Ariki’s marae, Aumaru, including a “brunch” for the people of Puaikura, at Aumaru.
“There will also be a brunch for the people of Te Au o Tonga and the Sinai hall, and for the people of Takitumu at the CICC Sunday school hall.
“Pa Ariki is back on the island and will most likely join forces with Kainuku Ariki to lead the day’s activities in Takitumu, with the Aronga Mana and the people of the vaka.
“In Te Au o Tonga, Vakatini Ariki has given the green light to the Aronga Mana of the Karika clan and the Makea clan to lead the celebration.”
Rakanui says Kaumaiti Nui, Tou Travel Ariki is urging Rarotonga residents to spend time on the day with the Aronga Mana and the Ui Ariki in giving thanks to the Almighty for all the blessings he has bestowed on the nation.
“It is a time for us to recollect the efforts of our Pa Metua in bringing our people and nation from the many struggles of the past, to the present.
“The Kaumaiti Nui asks that all sports code and fundraising activities to be suspended on the day until at least 1pm.”
More details of Ariki Day programmes on Rarotonga and the outer islands, in tomorrow’s CINews.