Hoongongoi (July) Update
Hoongongoi has been a very busy month with the King and the Office hosting a number of hui and other meetings.
King Tuheitia and his key advisors met with a delegation from Fiji led by the Hon. Laisenia Qarase – a former Prime Minister. It was a privately arranged, informal meeting that saw wide ranging discussions covering such diverse topics as the workings of the Waitangi Tribunal, fisheries management, indigenous rights and the growing tensions between the Fijian Government and the Fijian Council of Chiefs.
Mr Qarase is running as a candidate in the upcoming Fiji elections which will take place around the same time as New Zealand’s general election. The meeting concluded with karakia and an exchange of gifts – a set of Kiingitanga books from Kiingi Tuheitia and powdered kava from the Fijian delegation.
The King also met with a delegation from the Universal Peace Federation (“UPF”). The Universal Peace Federation was established by the Reverend Dr Sun Myung Moon in 2005 and has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
The delegation came with an invitation for Kiingi Tuheitia to be the keynote speaker at their World Summit to be held in Seoul, South Korea from 9-13 August. There is some history between the Kiingitanga and the UPF – Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu addressed a previous Summit during her reign, which was referred to and fondly remembered by members of the delegation.
Regrettably, Kiingi Tuheitia had to decline the invitation, but did agree to send Te Whirinaki a te Kiingi to represent the Kiingitanga. Whatumoana will give an address to the conference. He will be accompanied by Brad Totorewa from Te Waaananga o te Aotearoa. The conference attracts current and former world leaders and religious leaders from all denominations, as well as academics, and peace activists from around the world.
After negotiations and discussions that first began back in 2008, the Scotty Richards Collection was formally handed over to a roopu from the New Zealand Film Archive in a ceremony at Tuurangawaewae House. The Richards family were represented by Kahuki and Terry Richards (Junior) with Tame Pokaia reciting an appropriate karakia to protect these valuable taonga during their journey to Wellington and during the process of restoration and digitisation.
Haereata Poutapu from Waikato-Tainui’s Tribal Development Unit played an important role in negotiating the terms of the handover and was also present, as was Kapoi Mathieson from the New Zealand Film Archive. King Tuheitia remembered watching a lot of the old film footage at Tuurangawaewae Marae, so we look forward to the return of digitised copies of the material.
King Tuheitia presided over a hui of his Tekaumaarua at Tuurangawaewae House. The institution of Tekaumaarua dates back to the time of King Taawhiao (1860-1894). Members of te Kaunihera a te Kiingi (the King’s Council) were also present at the hui, which heard separate presentations from Kara Puketapu and John Tamihere.
The Office is now well into preparations for Koroneihana, which this year will see 26 ambassadors and high commissioners from New Zealand’s diplomatic corps attend as the King’s guests.