Māori King welcomes the nation

By Heeni Brown

Tribes from around the country converged on Tūrangawaewae Marae for the Coronation, marking the 10th year of King Tuheitia's reign. The Māori King emerged from Māhinarangi meeting house to listen to the many topics raised by Māori leaders.

The King emerged to welcome the people and Te Ariki Sir Tumu Te Heuheu led the many who continue to mourn those who have passed on.

Of those remembered today, legendary haka exponent Ngapo Wehi is recognised for being one of the longest serving attendees at any Coronation. He attended the coronations of King Koroki, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu and King Tuheitia.

The nation's iwi leaders were at the forefront continuing to strengthen the legacy they have with the King Movement.

“That is one of the focuses of the Kingitanga, self-determination, bringing people together. That was one of the aims of our ancestors. They have gone and now it is up to us to see it through,” says Rikirangi Gage from Te Whānau a Apanui.

“For Ngāti Porou and all the East Coast tribes, we've come here to support the Coronation and to continue to embrace our connection to Māhinarangi. It was Waikato who forged the idea of building it and the East Coast helped them see it through,” says Herewini Parata from Ngāti Porou.

The Minister for Māori Development was told not to campaign on behalf of the government.

“Te Ururoa, come as Ngāti Rangiwewehi today. Leave your political agenda at the gate, save that for tomorrow. Today you are Te Arawa and it's up to you to uphold their rights,” says the Māori King’s spokesperson Rahui Papa.

“It's hard at times because you come here to adhere to Māori custom but there are some who only see you as a politician or in the other roles you might have. But we're here to commemorate Rob Cooper and others. That's what you do first,“ says Labour MP Peeni Henare.

In addition to this reporter Heeni Brown speaks to Paraone Gloyne about the return of Rangiriri land.