Today was King Tuheitia’s 9th Coronation address to the nation and in the presence of Prime Minister John Key he highlighted his intentions to lay claim to areas of Auckland. Regardless of concerns surrounding his health he put on a brave face and welcomed everyone to Tūrangawaewae.
In the King’s speech, he made a commitment to water rights and with a focus on those connected to the Waikato River.
"I made a statement at a National Hui here at Kimiora, I said that I have always owned water," says King Tuheitia.
Treaty settlements were also a hot topic, and there was no holding back even with the Prime Minister in sight. King Tuheitia highlighted the need for Waikato and Ngāi Tahu leaders to offer negotiating advice to other iwi currently undergoing settlement with the Crown.
The King’s message to iwi was, "I say to those iwi's here today, you have your fortune brought you an obligation and responsibility."
Jeremy Tātere clarified some of the King’s speech, “What he said to us, is that Waikato-Tainui are here to assist other iwi as we go fourth to settle our claims, so I must acknowledge the King.”
More importantly was the future and status of the Kīngitanga, he hopes to resolve the issue of sovereignty.
"It is unresolved, so we must continue these discussions, and continue negotiations between the Kīngitanga, Waikato and the Crown," says Rahui Papa.
A special delegation of Her Royal Highness of Tonga, Princess Pilolevu Tuita concluded the King's Address with a special presentation.
"That mat is significant in our presentation, it's a best wishes, and it’s giving him all the best and giving him our support."
A promising sign that the Kīngitanga will continue to maintain unity at home and abroad.