Rarotonga’s traditional leaders discussed traditional titles and Cook Islands culture during the first day of business at the 32nd annual meeting of the House of Ariki at Parliament on Thursday.
After the midday break Vavia Tangatataia from the Environment Service and the Secretary of OMIA, Nandi Glassie each gave hour-long presentations, followed by a discussion focusing on Ariki, Mataiapo and Ui Rangatira titles.
On Friday morning the meeting was scheduled to discuss this year’s Budget before the meeting was officially closed by Prime Minister Dr Robert Woonton, who is also Minister responsible for the House of Ariki.
The meeting opened at the Matavera Cook Islands Christian Church on Wednesday afternoon and was attended by Queen’s Representative Frederick Goodwin, Prime Minister Dr Robert Woonton, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Terepai Maoate and a number of MPs. An hour-long service was followed by an election of office bearers, held behind closed doors as required by the Constitution.
President Tou Travel Ariki of Mitiaro and vice-president Tamatoa Purua Ariki of Aitutaki were both re-elected. Tou is one of the youngest of the Ui Ariki and was elected at last year’s annual meeting held on Aitutaki.
This year’s meeting was held more than a month earlier than last year’s to follow the Constitution celebrations held on Rarotonga last week.