The Māori King Tūheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero is making his first official visit to the Cook Islands today since his ascension to the throne in 2006.
King Tuheitia paid a personal visit to the Cook Islands in August 2018, where he was invited by the local Government to return in an official capacity.
Prime Minister Henry Puna said King Tūheitia's his visit strengthens ancestral links to the Tainui Vaka and its people.
Mr Puna's office says the visit intends to reinforce the covenant signed between the Prime Minister and King Tūheitia at Tūrangawaewae Marae in 2015 during the Cook Islands 50th Anniversary of self-governing celebrations.
The office said the Cook Islands has a particular connection to Tainui, whom King Tūheitia aligns to, with Aitutaki holding particular interest and ancestral links to the iwi.
The King's delegation includes members of his immediate family, and a 34-strong group of Tainui supporters, including a Kapa Haka group.
King Tūheitia and his group are in the Cook Islands for a week.