Hamil­ton hon­ours the Maori King

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

King Tuheitia was given the Free­dom of the City by the Hamil­ton City Coun­cil on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Maori King, kau­matua Tame Pokaia was pleased to ac­knowl­edge the coun­cil for be­stow­ing the hon­our on the king,

‘‘It’s a great way for him to start his 10th corona­tion, which be­gins this week­end.’’

King Tuheitia was awarded the hon­our be­cause of his con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity dur­ing his 10 years in his role. His late mother, Maori Queen Te Arik­inui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, also held the hon­our.

‘‘The re­la­tion­ship is very strong,’’ Pokaia said. ‘‘We’ve built a very good un­der­stand­ing to­gether and also the un­der­stand­ing by the coun­cil­lors who do not know about the in­sti­tu­tion of kin­gi­tanga.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be here for a long time. It’s been in the Waikato for over 150 years and a lot of peo­ple don’t un­der­stand that, so we are teach­ing and pass­ing that on to the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We’ve got to work to­gether, es­pe­cially as Tainui is one of the big play­ers here in Kirikiriroa, so it is im­por­tant that we have that re­la­tion­ship and work to­gether for the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­nity,’’ he said.

The high­est civic hon­our is cur­rently held by nine other re­cip­i­ents.

DOMINICO ZA­P­ATA

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil mayor Julie Har­daker presents Maori King Te Arik­inui Ki­ingi Tuheitia ‘Free­dom of the City’.

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