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