Honouring those who have contributed to Tainui and Māori as a whole in their lifetime opened King Tūheitia’s address at Koroneihana celebrations today. He announced a Kīngitanga Honours system which included three orders; Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, Taniwha and Te Arikinui Te Ātairangikaahu.
Koro Wetere and Kara Puketapu are among those being celebrated for their tireless efforts and contributions to Māoridom.
Poor health prevented King Tūheitia from delivering his speech at last year’s Koroneihana celebrations and his son Whatumoana Paki took his place.
Today, King Tūheitia returned to the pae and spoke of the upcoming election, his health ailments and the actions of his son Korotangi Paki and the following media storm.
He spoke of his shame over the actions of his son and the negative impact it had on the Kīngitanga but he also scorned the media and accused them of twisting his words.
He thanked the supporters of the Kīngitanga for supporting his family through a difficult time and outlined plans ahead to build a brighter future for the Iwi.
He also bid a final farewell to MPs departing Parliament which included Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples, Tau Henare and Shane Jones and thanked them for their contribution to te Ao Māori.