Koroneihana - Feature

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

As the people turn out in their multitudes to Tūrangawaewae Marae, Kawe Nikora, along with who she calls her "Little Angels" are the ones who prepare the meals that feed thousands.

Turangawaewae's wharekai Kimiora has come a long way since back in the day, using only burners and steamers to cook their food.

According to Mr Nikora, “In the old Kimikimi the hall was really compact, the dishes, they were the crockery dishes, we used to sleep under the stage dirt and hay.”

But there is one thing that hasn't changed in Kimiora, someone still has to do the dishes.

Mr Nikora states, “The old Kimikimi we used to dry, wash and dry the dishes and that brought the people in, now we have the dishwashers, and we just need a handful.”

This year Ki-ō-rahi has proven to be a real hit with the locals, so they've included it in this year's events just to showcase the talents of the national secondary schools champs, Rākaumangamanga.

It's the eighth anniversary of the Coronation of King Tūheitia, Rāhui Papa is one of his advisors.

There's been a lot of changes to the Kīngitanga in the past few years, but he believes the core purpose is still the same.

“The Kīngitanga is still going strong because its main purpose, it was made is still the main focus.

Te Wherowhero and the movements focus was unity, Te Ātairangikaahu's main focus was unity, and King Tūheitia's main focus is still unity.”

But there have been challenges on the way, in recent months the Kīngitanga and the claim to the throne has been questioned because of the actions of one of the King's sons.

Rāhui Papa says, "The boy did wrong, but we shouldn't toss him into the river to drown.  Rather, we need to consider how can we help him so it doesn't happen again."

Roughly 10,000 people are expected to make their way onto Tūrangawaewae Marae over this coming week to celebrate King Tūheitia's Coronation.