Prince Charles has thanked Tainui and everyone else involved in front and behind the scenes for the welcome extended to him and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall at Tūrangawaewae today.
The Prince told the gathering “The spirit of manaakitanga has bought our families together many times since the meeting of Te Rata with my great grandparents King George V and Queen Mary in London in 1914.”
As well as thanking Kingi Tuheitia and his wife, Prince Charles spoke warmly and fondly remembered Dame Te Atairangi Kaahu, expressing the sadness he felt when he received word of her passing.
“When I was last here in 1994 Dame Te Atairangi Kaahu was a kind and gracious host she was also an extraordinary leader who shepperded her people through times of great change, with quiet dignity. I was greatly saddened by the news of her passing and can only hope that the message I sent you at that time was of some small comfort.”
The Prince and Duchess were greeted with an impressive pōhiri and a number of speeches beginning with Pou Temara of Tūhoe who made light of the All Blacks Rugby World Cup win with suggestions of what the Prince could say to Australians on his impending visit across the ditch regarding New Zealand’s win.
Tukoroirangi Morgan was among some of the other speakers who addressed the couple.
A number of waiata were performed for the pair who spent time with King Tuheitia before making their way to the Waikato River for the Waka salute.