Mahuru (September) Update
The month started with some concern as King Tuheitia was taken to hospital after feeling unwell. Media reports of a heart attack were incorrect. Rather, the King appears to have picked up a virus that required a week-long stay in hospital. He is now feeling much better and is continuing with the long-term treatment plan under the care of his specialists.
King Tuheitia was humbled by the many letters, cards and flowers that he received, wishing him a speedy recovery. On his behalf this Office thanks all those who took the time to write a message to him. He does read them all.
While he was forced to step back from his official duties for a short period, there was a plan put in place by Te Kaunihera a te Kiingi and Tekaumaarua to ensure that the Kiingitanga was appropriately represented at the many official engagements in the King’s schedule.
With the excitement of Koroneihana now well behind us, we can now reflect on a hugely successful and well-attended event. Numbers appeared to be well up on previous years, with many younger faces among the crowds, which is always very pleasing to see. The presence of 23 diplomats representing countries large and small was a particularly satisfying sight and one that emphasises the success of King Tuheitia and the Kiingitanga in reaching out to the world on our own terms.
Events this month include the Maaori Women’s Welfare League conference in Tauranga later in the month. Makau Ariki Atawhai is the patron of the League.
Waikato University will host its annual Kiingitanga Day this year on 18 September. This year’s programme looks excellent and features a keynote address by 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Lance O’Sullivan (who was the keynote speaker earlier this year at the Matariki Dinner held at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development) and a host of other speakers. There are also kapa haka displays, art demonstrations and food stalls. The Kiingitanga will be represented at the event by Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Te Aa.
On 19 September the University of Waikato will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to four alumni, including Parekawhia McLean, CEO of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc. The Awards will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.
Finally, the Office was saddened to learn of the passing of local man Deane Vernall, who owned Vernall Motors in Taupiri and serviced the King’s cars for a number of years. Deane epitomised everything you would want from your local garage owner – always ready to lend a hand, nothing was too much trouble and if your repairs cost more than expected, no problem, just pay it off as you can. A keen rugby man, his funeral will be held at the Taupiri Rugby Club this Saturday 13 September. We extend our condolences to Deane’s family.
Mayor Alan Sanson and Tukoroirangi Morgan unveil the new Kiingitanga Reserve sign opposite Tuurangawaewae House