The people of Atiu in the Cook Islands are mourning the death of their traditional queen.
A Cook Islands’ hotelier in Rarotonga, Tata Crocombe, says the Rongomatane Ada Teaupurepure Tetupu Ariki will be remembered for her service to the people of Atiu and the greater Cook Islands community. [restrict]
Mr Crocombe says having received the Rongomatane title in 1972, she was the longest serving Ariki.
He said her humility and dedication earned her much love and respect from the people of Atiu and the Cook Islands.
“She was a true Ariki, she was all for the people. She worked day and night for the people and their welfare, and that’s reflected in the fact that many-many people have come from overseas and from other islands in the Cook Islands for her funerals.”
Tata Crocombe said Rarotonga will host the first service for the Rongomatane tomorrow at the Atiu community centre and the following day her body will be flown back to Atiu for her home funeral service.
Mr Crocombe said a government delegation will attend the service led by the Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters.
It will include various ministers as well as representatives from the House of Ariki.
Her burial will follow on Saturday local time. (radionz.co.nz) [/restrict]