PM honours Kiingitanga response to Covid-19 in Koroneihana address

By Jessica Tyson
Prime Minister Jacinda Arderns delivers her address / Video source - Kiingitanga, Facebook

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has honoured the Kiingtanga for the movement's response to supporting the wider Māori community following the impact of Covid-19.

In her speech today, as part of the online Koroneihana celebrations, Ardern acknowledged the guidance and leadership of the Kiingitanga.

“While the virus continues to impact on your daily lives and customs and practice of your people, you have shown an incredible sense of resilience and fortitude to adapt and steadily guide whānau with your reassurance.”

She noted that Kingii Tuheitia was in the 14th year of his reign and that there have been significant challenges in his time.

"I’m mindful that this will be the first time during your tenure that the annual celebrations will not be hosted at Tūrangawaewae.”

Ardern also paid tribute to Te Puea Hērangi.

Spanish flu leadership

“I acknowledge your great-grand-aunt Te Puea who led her people through the 1918 epidemic and cared for the many orphans that were left behind. You continue much of that legacy at this time,” she said.

“Iwi from across the country will not have the chance to join you and the Tainui people who mourn those who we have lost during this time.  I think of Piri Sciascia, Huirangi Waikerepuru, Tā Hec Busby, Judge Heta Hingston and many others.”

Ardern says she shares a deep connection with the region and to Ngāti Hauā.

Ardern said Morrinsville was her tūrangawaewae and acknowledged Anaru Thompson, tumuaki of Ngāti Hauā.

No one would predict a global pandemic would impact the lives in the way that it had, she said.

“We all need to remain vigilant as we focus on the health and wellbeing of the whānau and communities across the motu,” she said.

 “As you call on the collective efforts of your people I want to acknowledge their contribution to the response we are undertaking across our health and welfare system and also as we rebuild regional and economic recovery.”