King Tuheitia's eldest son Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki delivered a heartfelt message of thanks to Kiingitanga supporters at a poukai held at Waikato's Waikare marae. The surprise speech was welcomed by the faithful gathered at the Te Kauwhata marae, following the kidney operation of the Māori King and his middle son, Korotangi, at Auckland hospital.
A humble message of appreciation from the son of the Māori King to his people.
”The first thing I would like to share is a thank you. A thank you to everyone who has gathered over the past few months and taken time away from their whaanau in order to aid and support mine. There are no words that can describe how thankful I am to you all but I extend this thank you in utmost humility,” said Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana.
Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana's message was warmly received by all the more than 300 faithful there.
Waikare marae elder, Whitiora Cooper said, “It's really important to hear from his mouth, who knows the situation regarding his father and younger brother.”
“Very good, very good. It was actually good to see him taking up and step into that role," said marae youth, Te Ngau Ngau Tukiri.
For the last year, supporters of the Māori King have gathered to offer traditional prayer, in the preparation for the operation which took place last Wednesday. A special prayer was held that Wednesday evening at South Auckland's Te Puea marae.
“I woke up that morning with an overwhelming sense of calmness and reassurance. After the procedures were completed I instantly knew that feeling I felt that morning came from our combined strength that we drew upon in karakia. That’s why I felt, it was the right thing to do to leave my father and my brother and join those who had gathered at Te Puea for karakia that evening,” said Mr Paki.
“Through establishing consistent prayer evenings, we've seen the strengthening of the unity amongst the people, based on God, said Brad Totorewa, from Kiingitanga prayer organisers, Ranga Maaheuheu. “Prayer is a fulfilment of (King) Tawhiao's teaching, which says, I rejoice we those who uphold the teachings of God.”
A custom that Te Ariki Tamaroa wants to see continue.
He said, “The road to recovery is a long one, and I ask that we continue to gather and draw upon our physical strength but more importantly our combined spiritual strength to ensure we remain determined and reassured.”
The last poukai of the year will be held at Reretewhio marae, Waiuku this Saturday.