Concerns about the health of the Māori King were eased by close confidants at Tūrangawaewae today. In an exclusive interview with Te Kāea the King’s Private Secretary said King Tuheitia has the best specialists in New Zealand and overseas.
Te Rangi Whakaruru confirmed there was a possibility of a kidney transplant for the ariki who is still planning to deliver his annual speech to his people.
All Waikato tribes along with the King's Royal Household greeted the nation’s tribes and their loved ones who have passed, and although the King himself could not be seen, he was there.
Principle Private Secretary to King Tuheitia, Te Rangihiroa Whakaruru says, “It's a bit cold and we're not quite certain how long he might sit on the pae which is why he's not visible today, but he is watching and listening to the proceedings from inside Turongo House.”
In regards to King Tuheitia's health, Te Rangihiroa Whakaruru says, for four years now the King's been facing many health challenges, including diabetes.
Whakaruru says, “From the household's point of view the King is receiving very very good treatment, he has specialists in Auckland and overseas we're looking into the possibility of a transplant for his kidney, he is struggling with the cold, he's lost a tremendous amount of weight, in one sense that's a good thing but in another it looks worrying for our people, but we're not too concerned at this stage.”
Tūrangawaewae and Waikato-Tainui were host again to thousands who have embarked on this journey and tradition since the inception of the Kīngitanga Movement.
Mamae Takerei says, “Waikato is the only tribe carrying out this practice, which began way back, when most died because of the land. The Kīngitanga was established over land issues, to unite the tribes. So that's the purpose of this occasion, to commemorate those who have passed on.”
Rahui Papa says, “Tomorrow's the big day, perhaps then he will emerge with the sunny weather. He may come out soon.”
Takerei says, “The spirits of those who've passed on will give him strength, when the question is asked will he come out. He will come out when he's well.”
Whakaruru says, “We've planned for King Tuheitia to attend the entire day’s proceedings, it's the highlight of our people, for our people, for the Kīngitanga, for all the iwi that support the Kīngitanga when he ives and delivers his annual speech.”