Iwi from around the country are gearing up to take part in this year's 160th anniversary celebrations of the King Movement this weekend.
Te Whakatōhea leader, Te Kāhautu Maxwell and other Iwi leaders will be sharing their tribes' connection to the Kiingitanga and discussing its relevance today.
At the invitation of King Tuheitia's eldest son, Whatumoana Te Aa, tribal speakers will retell their genealogical and historical ties to the King Movement.
“The Tainui canoe first landed in the Mataatua region at Tihirau, the daughter of [the captain] Hoturoa, Tōrerenui a rua disembarked there,” says Maxwell, “And her descendants cover the eastern tribes of Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāi Tai, Te Whakatōhea and Te Aitanga a Māhaki”.
Tribal support on the battlefield of Māori sovereignty will also be discussed.
“Te Whakatōhea formed an alliance with the King Movement in the land battle of Rangiriri. Warriors from the East Coast heeded the call of King Tawhiao in the land battle at Ōrākau,” says Maxwell.
160 years ago today, Waikato chief Pōtatau Te Wherowhero was crowned in Ngāruawāhia as the first Māori King.
A special commemoration prayer was held at Tūrangawaewae House this morning.
Te Wherowhero was succeeded by King Tawhiao, then King Mahuta, King Te Rata, King Korokī, Te Arikinui Te Atairangi Kaahu, to the current monarch King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII.
Every year, the Whakatōhea tribe continue to support King Movement occasions such as coronation celebrations and poukai.
“So that they feel the essence and meaning that unites Māoridom together because in the past non-Māori sought to divide us,” says Maxwell.
Several tribal keynote speakers will speak at the anniversary celebrations on Saturday.