MAKEA NUI (Chiefly Title)


STATE: Cook Islands TITLE: Makea Nui Ariki RELIGION: Christian
ISLAND: Rarotonga DISTRICT: Avarua VAKA: Te Au o Tonga



PRESENT TITLE HOLDER (Senior Line): Vacant since 1994 ( Para-o-Tane Palace, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands)
With the death of the last titleholder in 1994, many pretenders have made a claim to the vacant title (none of whom have been recognized by the Cook Islands High Court), amongst whom are the following :-
  • Inanui Love-nia [Makea Nui Inanui Ki Te Rangi Love-Nia], born 1st April 1930 in Rarotonga, member of the Love family of Te Atiawa, daughter of Makea Nui Takau Margaret Ariki and Edward Te Whiti Rongomai Love, and niece of the last title holder. She died 19th October 1996 in Auckland, N.Z. According to the Cook Islands Herald, the High Court refused her claim to the title, because she didn't first consult with Potikitaua, spokesman (va'a tuatua of the chiefdom before initiating the procedure (though he himself allegedly had designs on the title as well)
  • Mere Maraea MacQuarrie [Meremaraea Tinirau Ariki], younger daughter of Makea Nui Teremoana Ariki, she is currently the claimant with the best prospects and received a contested nomination in 1996. She participates in meetings of the House of Ariki, but has nevertheless not taken the oath. It is alleged that she was held to have offered an inducement of land and her claim was therefore ruled invalid.
  • Matua Sadaraka was ruled not eligible, because his family line has never held the title. Died before April 2006. The Cook Islands High Court refused to recognize any of the first three under various legal fictions (#2).
  • Nooroa Matua Sadaraka of the Sadaraka (Tataraka) lineage, she was invested with the title at the Makea Palace on 14th August 1998 after having been selected by the Kopu ariki of her tribe on 15th April 1998. She died in April 2009.
  • Paula Lineen, elder sister to Mere Macquarie
  • Yolande Browne, who claims descent from Putua Ariki, the eldest son of Rangi Makea. According to her version, Makea Te Patua Kino was the adoptive son of Makeakea, and had usurped the throne from the rightful heir. A conflict had occurred in which Te Patua Kino, allegedly killed his adoptive father and his half-brother and became the title holder. A nephew, however, managed to scape the slaughter of his family and in due course married and had issue to this day, including the present claimant.
  • Matapo Oti Oti, originally from Mauke, but living in Tahiti since the 1970's. According to him, his genealogy states his line is descended from an Ari'i of Bora Bora and the neighbouring island of Taha'a, named Teari'inohorahi I. His son, named Teari'inohorahi II, and also known as Tinomana Makea, succeeded to the title of Makea Nui after 1800, for some obscure reason or other, and had a son called Tavita or Davida or Pori, born on Rarotonga in 1820. The latter didn't succeed to the title as it had been "usurped by those in connection with the missionaries". His eldest son was Putuariki, who married Uratua, a daughter of one of the ariki of Mauke, and from this marriage the claimant descends.
  • Ellena Tavioni is not the eldest of the eldest and therefore she is not eligible for appointment under the primogeniture rule. She is also not a member of the senior line (Legal decision by Justice Isaac).
  • Upokotoko'a, claims descent from Makea Abela (Apera), Ariki from 1866 to 1871.
  • Stanley (Tutavake) Adam Hunt Taka'ia Ta'unga, he received an investiture on 16th May 2009 at the marae Oroenga near Koutu Arai te Tonga. According to his mother (as noted in the Cook Island News), Fanau Hunt Porotito Rangatira, she is descended through her mother Taka’ia, from Makea Ekeeke, 19th Makea Nui in the genealogy given by Tamuera Te Rei (see above), and who lived probably around the seventeenth century. However he does not meet the requirements of the primogeniture rule either. He is not a member of the senior line and, further, his family are not currently recognised as part of the Kopu Ariki (Legal decision by Justice Isaac).
  • Makea Nui Karika III [Makea Karika Ariki Margaret Tepo Vakatini Ariki], born ca1930, died ca1988.
  • Tupou Fairoa [Makea Nui Tupou Fairoa Ariki]
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: According to oral tradition, the founder of the family, was originally from Manu'a (now American Samoa), and would have settled on Rarotonga around 1250. He was a contemporary of Tangiia Nui, the founder of the tribe of Takitumu and with whom he formed an alliance, by giving his daughter, Mokoroa ki Aitu, in marriage to Tangiia Nui. The title of the senior line emerged from the time of Makea Tepatuakino, some 200 years ago, when he divided the Makea title into Makea Nui, Makea Kariki and Makea Vakatini so that his eldest son from each of his three wives could be a King. From this point, the sources tend to agree as to the order and number of Ariki, but apparent differences as to precise genealogical connections continue to cause problems even to this day. The title became vacant in 1994 inspite a large number of claimants. A suggestion put forward in the Cook Islands Herald on 15th April 2009, proposing that a rotation of the title take place amongst the four branches of the Kopu Ariki of Makea Nui, namely Rangi Makea, Sadaraka (brother), Mere (sister) and Upokotokoa (sister), clearly this wasn't taken up, possibly as the proposal is contrary to the long established protocol whereby the Makea Nui is chosen from the Rangi Makea clan who are the senior line. Title holders were...
  • Makea Karika RANGI MAKEA I, married (amongst others), Te Kura-poru, and had issue. He lived around 1750.
    • Putua Ariki, said to be the eldest son in the version of the King list as given by Tamuera Te Rei, and claimed as ancestor, by one of the competitors for the vacant Makea Nui title (see above); married and had issue, eight sons.
      • Ma'utau'a [Mahutaua], only surviving son, he married Auariki of the Tinomana Ariki, and had issue.
        • generations
          • William Parau Browne Putua Rangatira, unsuccessful claimant to the Makea Nui title in 1939 in his attempt through the Native Land Court and the Auckland Supreme Court in New Zealand, according to court records, he was accepted as a descendant of Putua Ariki on 18th March 1955; married 1stly, Elizabeth Tuvaine Tamarua from the Makea Nui family, married 2ndly, and had issue.
            • Children (by 1st marriage), members of the Kopu Ariki of Makea.
            • Akaiti Ngaupoko Browne, married George Tauei Napa (see Tinomana).
            • Yoland Browne (by 2nd marriage), claimant to the Makea Nui title in 1994.
    • Makea Te Pa'atua Kino [Makea Te Pa Atua Kino] (qv),

  • Makea TE PA'ATUA KINO, 19th Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga, he is generally considered as the eldest son, though according to Tamuera Te Rei, Putua Ariki is the eldest, he is given variously (depending on the version used), as the 19th, 25th or 21st Makea Karika Ariki (see here for predecessors), married three wives, including 2ndly, Pouna a Nia, she had issue, four children, and had issue. He was assasinated in about 1800. After his death the leadership split into three ruling lines.
    • Makea Nui Pini Ariki (aka Makea Uri), Ariki in Avarua of the Senior line (qv)
    • Makea Karika Keu (by Pouna), Ariki in Avarua of the Junior line (see Makea Karika title)
    • Makea Tautu (by Pouna), with his brother, he was the ancestor of the four lineages of Rangatira of the tapere of Ruatonga.
    • Makea Paenui (by Pouna), with his brother, he was the ancestor of the four lineages of Rangatira of the tapere of Ruatonga.
    • Makea Kao (by Pouna)
    • Makea Karika Tekao, married and had issue.
      • Makea Nui Tinirau Ariki (qv)
    • Makea Vakatini I Ariki (see Makea Vakatini title)

  • Makea Nui PINI Ariki, (20/26/22) 20th Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga ca1800/18xx, married and had issue.
    • Makea Nui Tinirau Ariki (qv)

  • Makea Nui TINIRAU Ariki, (21/27/23) 21st Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga -/ca1823 (abdicated), he abdicated in favour of his son, following the civil war between Teauotonga and Takitimu; married and had issue. He died 1826. 
    • Makea Nui Pori Ariki (qv)

  • Makea Nui PORI Ariki, (22/28/24) 22nd  Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga ca1823/1839, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1825, married 1stly, Upoko Takau, daughter of Makea Karika Takau, married 2ndly, Kopu, and had issue. He died 23rd October 1839.
    • Makea Nui Davida Ariki (qv)
    • Makea Nui Te Vaerua Ariki (qv)
    • Makea Nui Daniela Ariki (qv)
    • Makea Nui Terata Apera [Abela] (by Takau) (qv)
    • Enua Pori Makea, he was adopted into the family of Vakapora.

  • Makea Nui DAVIDA Ariki, (23/29/25) 23rd Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga 1839/1845, married a lady of the Manarangi ariki, and had issue. He died of an alcoholic coma in 1845.
    • Makea Nui Takau Ariki (qv)

  • Makea Nui Te Vaerua Ariki, (24/30/26) 24th  Makea Nui Ariki (Queen) of Te Au o Tonga 1845/1857, she succeeded her brother with the support of the missionaries and was the first woman to obtain the status of Ariki; she married Papelna, died 1901 (and/or married Tiberio, a Pastor of the L.M.S. originally from Raiatea, but settled in Rarotonga in 1823). She died 1857.

  • Makea Nui DANIELA Ariki, (25/31/27) 25th  Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga [3.8.1857] - [14.12.1866] and 1st King of Rarotonga, 1stly, Tu-a-Maroka, daughter of Makea Karika Keu, married 2ndly, and had issue. He died of alcoholic poisoning on 14th December 1866.
    • Ngoroio Pori Makea, he inherited the lands of Vaimutu Uri, he was the preferred choice as successor to Makea Nui Rangi Makea II Ariki, and on 28th July 1921, eight of the Mataiapo's signed a document naming him as successor with effect on 4th August 1921, but he died shortly afterwards; married and had issue.
      • Pori Te Pou Makea, Pastor, married and had issue. He died after 1911.
        • Tinirau Miiura Makua Pori-Makea, married and had issue
          • Tekura 'Mac' Pori, married and had issue.
      • Tui Pori Makea, married Kuini Campbell Maki, and had issue.
        • Amellia Gabrielle Pori Makea, married Allan Tuanu Carissassa Mitchell Marama, and had issue.
          • Keni-Johanni Piahana, married Tina Milroy, daughter of Fredrick Milroy, and his wife, Emarina Makea, and has issue.
    • generation/s
      • David Simpson Timi Pori Makea, married and had issue.
        • Teariki (David) Timi Pori-Makea Simpson, married and had issue.
          • Miria Timi Pori Makea Simpson Tereora

  • Makea Nui APERA Ariki, (26/32/28) 26th  Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga 1866/1871, married Tehame'ame'a, and had issue. He died 24th September 1871. 
    • Makea Nui Rangi Makea II Ariki (qv)

  • Makea Nui Takau Ariki O.B.E., (27/33/29) 27th  Makea Nui Ariki (Queen) of Te Au o Tonga 1871/1911, O.B.E., born 1840 or 1845, Leader of the Council of Chiefs 1888/1900, President of the Executive Council 1891/1901, Paramount Chief of Rarotonga and Avarua, Queen of the Cook Islands 1874/1893, married Ngamaru Rongotini Ariki, the Ngamaru Ariki (Paramount Chief) of Atiu, born about 1831, died 1903. She died sp on 1st May 1911.

  • Makea Nui Rangi Makea
                      Ariki II, 28th Ariki Nui of AvaruaMakea Nui RANGI MAKEA Ariki II, (28/34/30) 28th Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga 1911/1921, married Tapumanoanoa Tekao, granddaughter of Papehia, and great-granddaughter of Tinomana Enuarurutini (see Tinomana Ariki), and had issue, two children. He died 24th July 1921 and was buried the next day.
    • Makea Nui Tinirau II Teremoana Ariki (qv)
    • Tamarua Ariki ♂, married Ngapia ♀, and had issue, five children.
      • Ngarama
      • Teariki ♂, married and had issue. He died in December 1923.
        • Pa Tepaeru Terito Ariki, 36th Pa Ariki (see Pa Ariki)
      • Turi
      • Tinirau
      • Atatoa

  • Makea Nui TINIRAU II TEREMOANA Ariki, (29/35/31) 29th Makea Nui Ariki of Te Au o Tonga [30.8.1921] - [25.1.1939], born 14th March 1874, his succession was controversial as the Mataipo (Tribal Chiefs), preferred Ngorio Pori Makea (son of Makea Daniela) as their choice, but he died shortly afterwards and Tinirau was confirmed as successor on 30th August 1921; married Te Ariki Tutini Ngamaru Ariki ♀, born 5th March 1873 in Rarotonga, died 25th June 1940, buried 30th June, and had issue, two daughters. He died 25th January 1939 and was buried on 30th January 1939.
    • Makea Nui Takau II Margaret Tinirau Rio Ariki ♀ (qv)
    • Makea Nui Tapumanoanoa Teremoana Ariki [Tinirau Cowan] ♀ (qv)


  • Makea Nui Takau II Margaret Tiniraurio Ariki, (30/36/32) 30th  Makea Nui Ariki (Queen) of Te Au o Tonga [1939] - [15.9.1947], born 19th August 1904, married 17th September 1928, Lieutenant-Colonel Eruea (Edward) Te Whiti Rongomai Love, born 17th May 1904, died 2nd July 1942, and had issue, four daughters. She died 15th September 1947.
    • Mokoroa Tarawhukaaka Mimosa Rio Love ♀ (twin), born 1st April 1930 on Rarotonga, died 29th July 1999.
    • Inanui ki Te Rangi Rio Love ♀ (twin), born 1st April 1930 on Rarotonga, died 19th October 1996 in Auckland.
    • Veia Love ♀, born 67th August 1931, married and has issue.
    • Myra Love ♀, born 8th November 1934 in Petone.

    VACANT [16.9.1947] - [1950]

  • Makea Nui Tapumanoanoa Teremona Ariki C.B.E., (31/37/33) 31st  Makea Nui Ariki (Queen) of Te Au o Tonga 1950/1994, born 1910, Member of the Rarotonga Legislature 1949/1959, she was awarded the C.B.E. in 1956, married Kainuku Charles Tau Cowan Ariki (see Kainuku Ariki), and had issue, two daughters. She died 1994.
    • Te-Marama-Eru-Tea Paula (Lineen)
    • Mere Maraea (MacQuarrie)

    VACANT [1994] - [201x]
The help of John D. McMeekin is gratefully acknowledged, 2002 and November 2014.
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1. According to various sources, she was either the daughter of Makea Davida and a woman of the Manarangi or daughter of Makea Nui Te Vaerua. In either case, she was the niece of Makea Nui Abela.
2. Cook Islands Herlad, Issue 455, 15th April 2006