Posted by: austronesia | August 27, 2006

Maori Hail New King

Maori hail coronation of new King

Correspondents Report – Sunday, 27 August , 2006 

Reporter: Peter Lewis

HAMISH ROBERTSON: Tens of thousands of Maori
gathered in New Zealand last week to pay their last respects to a
much-loved Queen and hail the coronation of her eldest son as their new
King.

Our correspondent Peter Lewis travelled to the so-called
King Country – the Tainui tribal area near Hamilton in the North Island
– to prepare this report on continuity and change within one family,
one tribe and Maoridom.

PETER LEWIS: As one leader falls, another rises.

After
a week of official mourning, tribal chiefs from across the country
gathered at the home of the late Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu,
to negotiate a succession plan. And according to custom, they then put
it to the people.

(sound of man speaking in Maori, and crowd replying in unison)

“Do you want this man as your King?” he asks.

“Yes,” they reply.

And with a simple tap on the head with a Bible, the Queen’s son, Tuheitia Paki, becomes Tainui’s seventh monarch.

The
51-year-old is married with three children. He’s a school administrator
and cultural adviser, and it’s generally acknowledged that he’s been
groomed for this role by his mother.

Although it involves no
formal constitutional, legal or diplomatic role in national affairs,
Dame Te Ata extended its reach throughout the country by promoting
consensus and compromise rather than a radical politicisation of Maori
issues.

Her 40-year reign has coincided with a resurgence of
Maori language, culture, art and education, which has been a particular
focus for the incoming monarch.

TE PEROA MALCOLM: Our new King,
he’s an intelligent guy, and he’s studied in the part of our Pakeha
world, and he’s not slow to pick things up.

PETER LEWIS: Te
Peroa Malcolm from the Bay of Plenty tribe Te Arawa says his mother was
an ideal template for the model of a modern Maori monarch.

TE
PEROA MALCOLM: I’m sure, together with what the Queen has left, we’re
going to have a very good plan of action to pursue in the months and
years ahead of us.

PETER LEWIS: Ruka Broughton from the South Taranaki tribe Nga Rauru says it’s been his destiny.

RUKA
BROUGHTON: When we look in terms of degrees and other things, the best
degree is the pedigree. And he comes from the long line of kings and
queen, his mother. I believe that he has had the training, the
upbringing, the environment that he was brought up in, are all
conducive to having him perform in that role in a manner befitting a
king.

PETER LEWIS: Generally the view on the street among Maori is hopeful and positive.

VOX
POP 1: Well, hopefully he just follows along the same lines as what’s
been happening in the past I think, yeah. So she’s made big strides
forward with the Kingitanga I think, and I’m not sure if it has to move
in a different direction, but hopefully it follows what she’s left
behind.

VOX POP 2: He’s just like his mum, just humble like his
mum and dad and the rest of the family, and I’m part of Tainui as well.
And I think everything’s going to turn out very well.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: A member of the Maori King’s Tainui tribe. That report compiled by our New Zealand Correspondent Peter Lewis.

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