National | Ohinemutu

Royal couple to be treated to Māori spectacle

The highly anticipated royal visit by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is going to be huge honor for Te Arawa, according to spokesperson Monty Morrison.

“We’ll conduct a welcome ceremony.  The last time we had a royal visit was when Prince Andrew came to celebrate and remember Haane Manahi.”

During their busy schedule in New Zealand and Rotorua, the pohiri at Ohinemutu Pā on the 31st of October will include a special acknowledgement of Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi DCM.

“That’s one of the reason’s why they will attend, to remember Haane Manahi who was acknowledged by the Queen.”

The Queen recognised Manahi for his outstanding bravery during World War II.  An alter cloth, a sword and a letter to Te Arawa was presented to the iwi by Royal Highness The Duke of York in 2007.

“Those three gifts symbolize God, King and Country.”

Trevor Maxwell, who is also coordinating the event in Rotorua, says Ngāti Whakaue will have a strong presence in the two hour programme.

Maxwell says, “The couple will also have a brief walk down at the Government Gardens where public can take photos.  Having the ceremony on our premier marae, Te Papaiouru, is fantastic.

“They are wanting to enjoy spending time with our young people on their travels and also listen to Māori oratory as well.”