HM Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII and Te Makau Ariki with Heads of Mission of the Diplomatic Corps and their Spouses.
On Friday 20th November, 2020 the Heads of Mission of the Diplomatic Corps and their Spouses were invited to the Kiingitanga Amo Ake Diplomatic Banquet held at Ngaruawahia in Hamilton. Close to eighty members of the Diplomatic Corps and Spouses attended this very special and auspicious occasion. The program started off with a full Poowhiri at Turangaewaewae Marae in the presence of HM Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII and Te Makau Ariki. Other Members of the Royal Family as well as several Leaders & Elders from Waikato-Tainui and other Maori Iwi’s also attended.
The Samoa High Commissioner & Dean of the Diplomatic Corps spoke on behalf of the Diplomatic at the Poowhiri, in response to the speech from the King’s Representative. In his speech (in Samoan & English) the Dean acknowledged with much appreciation the very warm welcome and honour afforded by His Majesty and the Kiingitanga to the Diplomatic Corps, many of whom have not visited Turangawaewae Marae nor witnessed a Poowhiri before. Many Diplomats were touched by their first experience of the Maori culture.
Following the Poowhiri, the Diplomatic Corps were then invited into Mahinaarangi House to meet with HM Kiingi Tuheitia and Te Makau Ariki as well as other members of the Royal Family and several Maori Elders. After the short Reception at Mahinaarangi House, the Guests were then invited to Kimiora Hall for the beautiful Banquet and cultural Perfomances. During the evening, the Dean also proposed a Toast (on behalf of the Dip Corps) to the good health of HM Kiingi Tuheitia and all the good people of Aotearoa.
On Saturday 21st November, the Pacific Heads of Mission were invited to a breakfast Meeting with HM Kiingi Tuheitia. The Meeting discussed many issues of common interest between the Maori People and Pasifika People.
All the Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Spouses were very grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality of the Kiingitanga and their Majesties. And, it is hoped that with the contacts made, there will be mutual benefits that could be achieved in the period ahead not only between the fifty countries represented in Wellington and the Maori economy but also with the wider New Zealand economy.