Cook Islands Heads of State Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Female Head of State of the Cook Islands
(Female Suffrage 1893)

The island of Rarotonga, which has always had about half the population of the country, is the centre of government and is divided into three large districts or Vaka known as Te-au-o-Tonga with three Paramount Chiefs: Makea Nui Ariki, Makea Karika Ariki and Makea Vakatini Ariki.  The Vaka of Takitumu has two Paramount Chiefs: Pa Ariki and Kainuku Ariki while the Vaka Puaikura has one Paramount Chief: Tinomana Ariki.

Tinomna - Chief in the District of Arorangi

Kainuku Ariki - Chief of the District of Takitumi (Tribe of Tangiia, which was jointly lead by the Kainuki (generally responsible of the Southern Section)  and the Pa Ariki (generally responsible of the Eastern Section (largest and most important))

Karika - Chief of the Tribe of Teu o Tona or Avarua

See also Cook Islands Ministers and Cook Islands Parliament

1845-1857 Makea Te Vaerua, 24th Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe
She succeeded her brother, Makea Davida with the involvement of the missionaries and was married to the European missionary Tiberio who died 1901. She was daughter of Makea Pori and was succeeded by a younger brother, Makea Daniela. (d. 1857).

Around 1847 Te Paoro, Rarotonga
That year she married James Maguire with the missionary Antoine Colombon as a witness.

1855-95 Pa Ariki Pa Upoko Takau Ariki, 44th Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe
Also known as Mother Pa or Mary Pa, she succeeded her father, Pa te Pou Ariki, becoming the second female chieftainess in Rarotonga. She married Opura, had no children and adopted Pa Maretu, son of a Rarotongan woman and a Frenchman.

1871-1911 Makea Takau Ariki, 27th Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Roatonga and Aurua
1874-1911 Queen/Supreme High Chiefess of Cook Islands
1888-1900 Leader of the Council of Chiefs
1891-1901 President of the Executive Council (5.6-11.6)
In 1885 4 of the 5 high chiefs of Rorotonga were women. Her father, Makea Davida was Chief 1839-49 and succeeded by sister, Te Vaerua and two other brothers, the latest Makea Abela was in office until 1871, She married Ngamaru Rongotini Ariki (d. 1903), one of the three chiefs of Atiu, was succeeded by her son, Rangi Makea Ariki, and lived ca (1845-1911).

1881-1908 Tinomana Mereana Ariki Tinomana Ariki of the Pauaikura Tribe in Rarotonga
Tinomana Ariki was the younger daughter of Tinomana Teariki Tapurangi or Setepano, and succeeded her brother, Tinomana Makea Tamuera, and married John Mortimer Salmon. They did not have any children and the title went to another line of the family.

Circa 1893-1942 Makea Karika Takau Tuaraupoko Mokoroa ki Aitu. 25th Makea Karika Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Originally named Takau Tuaraupoko Mokoroa ki Aitu, she was member of the Rarotonga Island Council around 1923-1925. Mother of Pa George on 1 August 1893 at Avarua, Rarotonga, He married Ngapoko (also known as Ngaupoko) Ariki o Tangiia, who was said to be the daughter of a sea captain by the name of Wilson; she was also a descendant of the Piltz family of Kiel, Germany, and was in her own right a Kamoe Matiapo, a high-ranking title under Makea Nui. Makea Karika Ariki (d. 1942).

1907-1923/24 Pa Ariki Tetianui
Adopted by Pa Ariki Upoko Takau (Mere Pa), she succeeded her adopted brother. She was married to Daniela Makea Vakatini. Since she had no children, she was succeeded by a representative of another line, that of the current Pa Ariki. She lived (1867-1923/24)

1915-16 Tinomana Ngataraiau Ariki Tinomana Ariki of the Pauaikura Tribe in Rarotonga
Succeeded her cousin Tinomana Pirangi. She was daughter of Tekao and grand-daughter of Papehia and Te Vaerua o te Rangi.

1921-? Te Ora Aitu
Her father, Eturoa Taopua, died and his rangatira title and his landrights passed to her. He had succeeded through the rights of his mother Te Upoko and her mother Teioata, but her female ancestors did not hold the title.

1923-90 Pa Ariki Pa Tepaeru Terito Ariki, Lady Davies, 47th Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe (Cook Islands)
Terito Succeeded her mother as Pa Ariki, one of the two titles of the Takitumu Tribe. In her first marriage she had 3 sons and 6 daughters. After she divorced her husband, she married Sir Tom Davis (1917-2007) in 1979, the Premier of the Cook Islands, (1978-83, 1983-87) but refused to act as "first lady", was was President of the House of Arikis 1980-90 and openly critizised his politcal decisions. She was a prominent member of the Baha'i Faith, was succeeded by her oldest daughter, Marie Peyroux, and lived (1923-90).

1932-43 Pa Tapaeru Ariki, 46th Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe
Succeeded by her daughter, Pa Ariki Pa Tepaeru Terito Ariki.

1939-47 Maka Nui Takau Margaret Ariki, 30th Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Makea Nui Ariki succeeded her father, Makea Nui Tinirau Teremoana Ariki, and married in 1928 Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Te Whiti Rongomai Love, a Maori from New Zealand, who became a hero in World War II. Mother of 4 children: Mokoroa, Inanui, Veia and Myra, and succeeded by sister, Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki. She (d. 1947).  

1949-75 Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki, 31st Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Also known as Makea Nui Teremona Ariki Tapuanoanoa Tinirau Cowan, she was member of the Rarotongan Legislature 1947-59 and represented the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Commission an institution established by the regional Colonial powers to promote 'native welfare' in their Pacific colonies in 1947. Premier Sir Albert Henry offered her the position of the first Queen's Representative (head of State) in 1975 but she declined and died shortly after. She succeeded her sister, Makea Nui Tinirau Ariki, and married Kainuku Parapu Ariki and was succeeded by daughter, Margaret Tepo Vakatini Ariki, who died in 1988 and then by her oldest daughter. She lived (circa 1910-75).


(31/37/33) Makea Nui Tapumanoanoa Teremoana Ariki (1950-1994) est la seconde fille de Makea Nui Tinirau. et succède à sa sœur aînée en 1950. Elle a deux filles, Te-Marama-Eru-Tea Paula (Lineen) et Mere Maraea (MacQuarrie)[16]. Elle décède en 1994.

1978-80 and 1990-94 President of the House of Ariki Makea Karika Takau Margaret Ariki
She had the title of Makea Karika Takau since circa 1935 and was the Highest Ranking Chief in the House of Ariki.
She lived (1919-94)

1949- Dame Makea Karika Takau Margaret Ariki, 27th Makea Karika Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Pauline Margaret
Rakera Taripo, is one of the 3 chief of the Teauotonga tribe in succession to her father, Makea Karika George Pa, who had succeeded his mother Makea Karika Takau Tuaraupoko Mokoroa ki Aitu in 1942. Among her children is Pauline McFarlaine. bestowed as a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE)  in 2913.She is (b. 1919-)

1959-68-? Manavara Upoko Tiao Campbell
She inherited the title of Manavara in 1959. The mother of two daughters.


 Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki CB --d.  1994 se fotos af hende på youtube

1975-88 Makea Karika Ariki Margaret Tepo Vakatini Ariki, 32nd Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Also known as HRH Ariki Makea Karika Ariki III, she succeeded her mother, HRH Ariki Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki (1949-75), and was succeded by cousin, Makea Nui Inaui Love Ariki (1988-1996), and lived (circa 1930-88).

1988-1996 Makea Nui Inanui Love Ariki, 33rd Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
The daughter of Makea Nui Takau Margaret Ariki (circa 1934-49), she succeeded her cousin Ariki Makea Karika Ariki III. and was also known as The Makea Arikini Nui of Roatonga. The Atiawa and died on the plane on the way from Cook Islands to Aukland for emergency treatment. Makea Nui Tinirau's oldest daughter with Lt. col. Eruea Tiwi Love was Princess Mokoroa Rio Love, who died in 1999. After her death several claimants were in invested with the title. (d. 1996).

1990- The Pa Tapaeru Teariki Upokotini Marie Ariki, 48th Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe in Rarotonga
Also known as Pa Ariki or Pa Marie, Maria Peyroux Napa succeeded her mother Pa Tapaeru Terito Ariki (Known as Pa Ariki). She was a decendant of the Pa Ariki-line and a French adventurer, Dominique Peyroux, who moved to Rarotonga in the begining of the 20th society and is is one of the 2 chiefs of the tribe (vaka) of Takitumu (Takitimu Vaka Rarotonga). President of the House of Ariki 1992-2002, her younger sister, Karirangi Lily Henderson,  claimed the title in 1998, but the High Court have confirmed her right to the title. She is married to a son of Tinomana Napa Tauei Ariki, who was Chief of Puaikura (1978-99), and mother of Noeline Teaurima, Princess Salamasina, Prince Samuela, Napa. Joined the Jehova Witnesses upon her marriage. (b. 1947-).

Before 1991- Rongomatane Ada Teaupurepure Tetupu Ariki, Rongomatane Ariki of the Ngati Paruarangi Tribe in Atiu
Also known as Rongomatane Ada Ariki or Ada Nicholls she has been President of the House of Ariki from 2006-08.

1991- Dame Tinomana Ruta Tuoro Ariki, Tinomana Ariki of the Pauaikura Tribe
Ruta Tuoro Hoskins née Browne is member of one of the lines of the family that have alternately succeeded to the title since the death of Tinomana Mareana Ariki in 1908. She was Vice-President of the House of Ariki until 2002.

Until 1996 Poroaki Rangatira 
She abdicated the sub-chiefly title in favour of her 16 years old granddaughter.

1996- Poroaki Rangatira Una Nicholas
She succeeded to the title when her grandmother transferred it to her. She also became member of Koutu Nui, the assembly of traditional leaders in Rarotonga (b. 1980-)

Before 1998- The Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid
President of the Koutu Nui, the assembly of traditional leaders in Rarotonga from 1998.

Before 1999 Taputapu Ariki Ngaau née Ngatama
Her husband died in december 1999.

Until 1999 The Teremona Teri
Known as Mama Maggi. (d. 1999).

2000- The Potikitua Taunga Enua Pi Potikitaua
She was invested with the chiefly title after the death of Teariki Akamoeau Nooroa Manarangi, but later the same year Anua Rimatini Manarangi was also invested with the title.

Around 2000- Manarangi Tutai Ariki o Vaipaepae-o-Pau, Manarangi Ariki in the districts of Vaipae and Tautu at Aitutaki
Also known as Queen Manarangi, 'Queenie' or just Tutai is , one of Aitutaki's three ariki (high chiefs) where she and her husband, Den Clarke, runs a guesthouse.
She succeeded her cousin, who immigrated to New Zealand with her father as kopu ariki and representative of the Chieftaincy. (b. 1946-)

2002- Taoanga Anga Mattaiapo Putaiariki Terii Nellie Pukeiti née Williams, High Chiefess in Anga Mataiapo

Until 2004 Kainuku Mata Tekura Tau ka Pa Nia Ariki, Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe
She died in New Zealand and two years later her daughter, Kainuku Kapiriterangi Ariki, was invested with the Pa Nia Ariki-title.

2004 "Rival" Pa Ariki Lily Henderson
A younger sister of the current paramount chief, Pa Tepaeru Marie Ariki,  and was invested with the title of Pa Ariki in April just hours after a court lifted an injunction stopping her from going ahead with the investiture. In July the Chief Justice determined that her sister was the rightful paramount chieftainess.

Untill 2005 Terei Mataiapo and Maui Mataiapo Paiau Terei, High Chiefess in Takitumu
Succeeded her aunt, and after her death, the titles were devided among her sons Iaveta Short and Tuingariki Short.
2006- Kainuku Kapiriterangi Ariki, Pa Ariki of the Takitumu Tribe in Rarotonga
Her title is possibly Pa Nia Ariki, She is one of the two chief of the Tribe (Vaka) of Takitumu in Rarotonga. When her mother, Kainuku Mata Tekura Tau ka Pa Nia Ariki died in 2004, the title was disputed by a distant relative, but the Courts have settled the title with her.

Taraare Mataiapo Cassey Eggelton
Inherited the title after the death of her brother. She is Honorary French Consul and became MP Matavera and Deputy Speaker.

Before 2007- Moe Ada Ngamaru Ariki, Ngamaru Ariki of the Ngati Te Akatauira Tribe in Atiu


(27/33/29) Makea Vakatini Te Pou Ariki est le fils de Ara Ua te Pou.
(28/34/30) Makea Vakatini Ina Ariki est la fille Te Pou.
(29/35/31) Makea Vakatini Joseph Ariki, titulaire actuel du titre.






 WAS mother to twins Mokoroa and Inanui Love) but died only two years after the title was bestowed on her.

Thus in Maori tradition, the title remained on the Pa Metua and her younger sister, Teremoana took over the title originally in a caretaker role but in fact held the title for around 50 years until she passed away in 1995. Teremoana is the mother of Paula Lineen and Meme Macquarie.

The last recognized Ariki was Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki who died 1995

, three other contenders were chosen and held investitures:

Inanui Love (daughter of Takau II)

Meme Macquarie (daughter of Teremoana)

and Joe Matua (from the Sadaraka line)


1996- Ariki Makea Margaret Ariki, 34th Makea Nui Ariki of the Teauotonga Tribe in Rarotonga
Daughter of Inanui Love-Nia, 

(31/37/33) Makea Nui Tapumanoanoa Teremoana Ariki (1950-1994) est la seconde fille de Makea Nui Tinirau. et succède à sa sœur aînée en 1950. Elle a deux filles, Te-Marama-Eru-Tea Paula (Lineen) et Mere Maraea (MacQuarrie)[16]. Elle décède en 1994.

1994 - Makea Nui Tapumanoanoa Teremoana Ariki,

Pretender Inanui Love Nia. Daughter of akea Nui Takau Margaret Ariki and Edward Te Whiti Rongomai Love. Pretender to the title after her aunt Teremoana. She died in octobre 1996.

Mere Maraea MacQuarrie, Youngest daughter Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki, she seems to be the pretender with the upper hand. And she takes part in the meetings of Chamber of Ariki. Held a contested investiture in 1996.

Last update 28.05.08