"Waimirirangi" - name for PM's baby from Northland iwi

By Raniera Harrison

A spokesman at the Iwi Chairs Forum has gifted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a name for her baby.

This comes after the Ratana Church gifted the name Te Waru to her baby to commemorate Ardern's first visit as Prime Minister to Ratana.

A cheeky remark from one iwi leader with the gifting of a name for the Prime Minister's new baby. Kelvin Davis suggested "Sonny" to which the house roared in laughter.

But then, a Māori name was offered to welcome the Prime Minister to Waitangi.

"I can confirm that the offer of Waimirirangi was made. The significance of that to Ngāpuhi in particular, "Queen of Ngāpuhi", have I described that correctly? So it was really an honour of having that suggestion," says Ardern.

That's right; the name of the "Queen of Ngāpuhi" was given to the Prime Minister today.

Just one facet of the formal welcoming ceremony for Jacinda Ardern to Waitangi today much to the amazement of those in attendance.

The government today signalled a clear intention that their business was clear and concise here. With the stalled Ngāpuhi Treaty of Waitangi claim at the forefront of discussions, added to the plethora of topics that will arise in coming days.
"I'm here in present and there's a message I sent to every iwi chair was I'm here for five days to be available for whatever conversations that is important to any iwi," says Ardern.

Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little met with relevant parties late last year in an attempt to promote negotiations with the tribe's Treaty of Waitangi claim, and the notion that the government hopes to have reached a settlement in the vicinity of 18 months.

Little says, "I'm totally confident that we can set up a set of negotiations that will achieve one settlement for Ngāpuhi, that will be respectful of hapū."

Another day tomorrow brings another pōwhiri for the Prime Minister and the chance to see whether the collaborative approach is the real deal here in the North.