Māori King returns to Ihumātao to retrieve Te Manawa flag

By Te Ao - Māori News

King Tuuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII has returned to Ihumātao to have his flag lowered in the expectation of a resolution of the disputed whenua.

His office says on August 3, 2019, King Tuuheitia visited Ihumātao and raised his manawa flag as a symbol of peace and unity.

They say he also offered to facilitate discussions between mana whenua who agreed that they wanted their land returned.

Kiingitanga says six months of intense negotiations have been spent to find a creative solution outside of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for the return of Ihumātao to its rightful owners.

Kiingitanga spokesperson Rahui Papa says the King’s work is largely concluded with the expectation of a positive resolution ahead of Waitangi Day.

“There’s still some work to do, but Kiingitanga is satisfied that now is the time to retrieve the flag from Ihumaatao.

“In essence, Kiingi Tuuheitia’s work is done. He has successfully interceded on behalf of his people to find a pathway to a resolution that is outside of the Treaty process.”

In their statement, Kiingitanga has acknowledged the patience and hard work of others, particularly Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“It’s been a challenging process and we will be better for it as a people and a nation.”

More details to come.