National | Cyclone Gabrielle

'Kīngi Tuheitia wishes to share his aroha': Kīngitanga to visit Ngāti Kahungunu iwi recovering from cyclone

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Kīngi Tuheitia will start a five-day visit to cyclone-impacted communities in Ngāti Kahungunu rohe this Sunday - with staff from Waikato-Tainui and Ngāti Tamaoho setting up camp in Wairoa to also offer support.

Kīngitanga chief of staff, Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds, says Kīngi Tuheitia, who will remain in the rohe until Wednesday, is deeply concerned about the welfare of whānau and hapū there.

“Kīngi Tuheitia is going to see for himself and hear from the people first-hand the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle throughout the rohe. He has a deep concern for those who have been significantly impacted by the cyclone and wishes to share his aroha at this time with all whānau," Archdeacon Simmonds said Friday in a media release.

The Kīngitanga are particularly keen to support marae and kaupapa Māori recovery responses, he says.

“The Whare Ariki are honoured to be invited to sit together with mana whenua and listen to their stories and hear solutions put forward for recovery.

“We will be seeking to support Marae and hear their concerns and suggestions for partnership with the Crown in developing kaupapa Māori recovery responses. Kīngi Tuheitia upholds the Mana Motuhake of every hapū and iwi and is calling on all agencies offering support to ensure they work with mana whenua and engage fully with Māori."

At the same time, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāti Tamaoho staff will be travelling to Wairoa to set up camp for a week to offer practical support to marae and communities.

Other Tainui iwi, such as Raukawa, Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Maniapoto, will also be on hand conducting site checks and visits in anticipation of further return visits to extend support, the release said.

The Kīngitanga will be welcomed at Ōmahu Marae in Hastings on Monday morning then visit Wairoa and Tāngoio Marae on Tuesday.

The delegation will return home to the Waikato on Wednesday.