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  • Te Amorangi Heremaia-Flavell

Kiingitanga

Updated: Mar 13

I have been asked to provide some background and context to the Kiingitanga. This is not an easy task, because there is such a long and rich history behind the Maaori King movement – more than 166 years of history to be exact. To begin with, I want to explain what the Kiingitanga means to me.

 

I was born and raised for most of my life in Ngaaruawaahia – the heart of the Kiingitanga. Ngaaruawaahia is the central base of the Kiingitanga and Tuurangawaewae Marae is the official residence of the current Maaori King, Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII. Tuurangawaewae Marae serves as a practical centre for the Kiingitanga, celebrating the annual Koroneihana and regatta and holding other important events, ceremonies and gatherings. 


A picture of Te Amorangi at Tuurangawaewae Marae.
Te Amorangi at Tuurangawaewae

As a result, the Kiingitanga has been a significant part of my life and is an inherent part of who I am. This is true for many members and whaanau of our iwi.

 

The history of the Waikato iwi and its relationship with the Crown is inseparable from the history of the Kiingitanga. Waikato has been the kaitiaki of the Kiingitanga since it was first established. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously.

 

For me, the Kiingitanga is the most significant movement for Maaori. I believe that it is of importance to everyone because our first monarch (Kiingi Pootatau Te Wherowhero) had connections to all seven waka known to Maaori. In my eyes, the Kiingitanga is a way to fulfil the words of our tuupuna and to also acknowledge all the mahi they have done. To this day, the Kiingitanga is still calling for unity and kotahitanga.

 

Since last year’s election, statements have been made by several members of the Coalition Government, including Ministers within Cabinet, regarding prospective Crown policies and decisions which are in direct conflict with the Crown’s commitments and related obligations to Maaori across the country.

For Waikato, if implemented, these actions would undermine decades of work and progress to address the adverse effects of the Raupatu and improve both the health and wellbeing of the people of Waikato-Tainui, and the health and wellbeing of our lands, waters and other resources.


In light of that, on Wednesday, 10 January, Waikato-Tainui filed proceedings in the High Court in Wellington, seeking declarations to affirm the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui and the corresponding obligations of the Crown. Nearly two centuries later, we are still drawing strength and encouragement from the Kiingitanga as we continue to assert our mana motuhake.

 

Nā Te Amorangi Heremaia-Flavell

 

*Te Amorangi uses double vowels. Here at NAIA we normally use a tohutō or macron to indicate a longer vowel sound. Doubling the vowel instead of using a tohutō is widely used in some iwi, most strongly in Waikato.

**Next time Te Amorangi explains the history of the movement.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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