A special day for Te Arawa

By Mere McLean

Today is a special day for Te Arawa as two of their brightest stars shine their light upon the Queens Honours. One will receive his knighthood and the other will be admitted to status of Queens Service Medal honours.

Trevor Maxwell, deputy mayor of Rotorua says, that “he's [Dr. Toby Curtis’] getting the sword on his shoulder from our Governor General, Jerry Mataparae It's a beautiful honour [and] something we are all proud of here in Te Arawa.”

However, for weeks leading up to the momentus occasion today, Te Arawa were trying to persuade The Office of the Governor General to have the celebrations in Rotorua, but to no avail.

Mauriora Kingi, of Te Arawa says that “the mind-set of the Governor General, in relation to the knighthood of the Queen of England, is that there is no other place where this honour should be awarded than at the Government House.”

Instead, Te Arawa will be celebrating their success again this Saturday on home soil.

Mauriora adds that “for that day we will be celebrating Sir Toby and those of Te Arawa who were given Queens honours and that includes Kingi and Maureen.”

The celebrations will kick off at Rakeiao which coincides with the maraes centenary celebrations and continue on to Tapueaharuru Marae for their newly honoured iwi members.