National | Hauraki-Waikato

Peeni Henare reflects on 12 years since death of Māori Queen

Today marks 12 years since the death of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangi Kaahu.  Tāmaki Makaurau Labour MP Peeni Henare, who succeeded his father on the King's council reflects on her legacy.

In the past week, the harmony within the King Movement has been tested following a letter by Tukoroirangi Morgan questioning the King's suitability to lead.

But Peeni Henare says he's carrying the weight of his father, Erima Henare's responsibilities to the King Movement.

“Without a doubt, the Kings council along with the people of Waikato-Tainui will analyse the issues at the coronation celebrations,” says Henare, “For a while now people have been criticising the King Movement.”

The problem escalated following the Serious Fraud Office raid on the King's office.

Nanaia Mahuta says this is a major issue for the tribe.

“There is no doubt a lot of concern and dissent within the tribe about what's being said about a number of issues,” says Mahuta.

It's a topic tinged with sadness as today marks the twelfth year of Te Arikinui Te Atairangi Kaahu's passing.

“My heart continues to mourn the loss of the Māori queen,” says Henare.

“Her spirit lives on in the memories of many throughout the country, so even though she has passed, the legacy of her accomplishments continues on."

A memorial prayer will be held at Tūrangawaewae marae this evening to commemorate her passing.

The King will be attending as well as supporters of the King Movement, ahead of the annual coronation celebrations this weekend.