Three kaiwero to represent Rotorua for royal visit

By Taroi Black

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive to Ohinemutu Pā tomorrow at 11am.  Raimona Inia, Whakaue Savage and Taiwera Kautai are the three Māori warriors selected to represent Te Arawa for their welcoming ceremony.

Event co-organiser Trevor Maxwell says the trio were selected by their iwi for their outstanding commitments towards tribal affairs.

“It was good talking to the boys and we are honored to have them.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will arrive in a limousine and make their first visit to Saint Faith’s Church which is located on the Te Arawa paramount marae, Te Papaiōuru.

“Once the challenge is laid and formalities are done the royal couple and their entourage will move into our meeting house of Tama-Te-Kapua,” says Maxwell.

Raimona, who was informed of the honour only last month, says the trio have been training hard just up the road at Tumahourangi Marae in Te Koutū.  

“My son overheard the news and encouraged me to do it.  It’s a huge privilege,” he says.

One of the emerging Māori warriors of Te Arawa is Whakaue Savage.  For the past four years he has been the most active kaiwero performing at Te Papaiōuru, welcoming iwi from all corners of Aotearoa to various local events.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge and to also represent our people.  This is a big day for our iwi and we’ll give it our best,” he says.