EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Kiingi Tuheitia's private secretary speaks exclusively to Te Kāea

King Tuheitia will undergo a transplant operation to receive a kidney from his son Korotangi.

The king’s private secretary, Te Rangihīroa Whakaruru gave a frank and candid interview to Te Kāea admitting the stakes are high for the king, his son and the entire medical team.

“The risks are huge to this group of specialists and the surgeons.  The surgeons have not been backwards in coming forward with that.  They've been very clear to us and I respect that deeply.  So the king has gone into this with his eyes open and his ears open and his level of understanding has been quite high of this,” said Mr Whakaruru.

“Korotangi will go first and they will harvest the organ and then transplant directly into King Tuheitia.  Both will be moved to HDU and monitored full time.  In that period, which I understand and I'm prepared for, is the at-risk period, it’s during the stay in HDU or High Dependency Unit.”

Mr Whakaruru said karakia and prayers would be held tonight at the hospital where the King would sign-off two important contingency documents before the scheduled transplant operation on Wednesday.