"Kīngitanga will participate in every election into the future" - King Tuheita

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

King Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII reaffirmed his support for the Māori Party in his 11th annual Coronation address saying the Kīngitanga will participate in every general election during his reign to ensure Māori sovereignty.

In his speech, King Tuheitia said, "I have chosen to put the Kīngitanga front and centre politically and secure it in its rightful place where it can be relevant and useful to Māoridom and all New Zealanders."

For the second consecutive year, the Māori monarch has made his political stance known during his Coronation.

"My commitment to this political campaign with the Kīngitanga is not a five minute one," he said.

"I'm not concerned if Rahui or any other party contenders do not win this time as the Kīngitanga will participate in every election into the future." 

"It's wonderful to have the King's support for me and the Māori Party. Furthermore, his passion for Māori to have our own autonomy and not be ruled by the policies of non-Māori," said Māori Party candidate Rahui Papa.

King Tuheitia said addressing issues such as poverty, housing shortages and better job, health and prison outcomes for Māori were best achieved through political parties working together.

"If the Māori Party is still in Parliament after this election, we will certainly talk with their leaders and they will talk with us," said Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis.

The King spoke candidly about his personal health, saying he was receiving treatment overseas following amputations of his feet. He also endorsed transplant operations as he had received a kidney from his son Korotangi late last year.

"To prolong the lives of our whānau and our people, if we can get our heads past the tapu and disbelief we have on this topic, please consider it, and I think the time and quality of life you will give your whānau and others," said King Tuheitia.

"We're glad to see his strength has returned," said Ruakere Hond of Taranaki.

"We were talking about how well he looks. Just like when pressures have been lifted off a person that's what's happened to him."
King Tuheitia will return to Taiwan tomorrow to receive more treatment over the next three weeks.