28 Feb 2013

Tonga Council decries poor protocol during King's AUT visit

1:18 pm on 28 February 2013

The Tongan Advisory Council in New Zealand says he's appalled that proper protocols weren't observed when the King of Tonga visited the Auckland University of Technology on Wednesday.

The Council's Auckland-based chairman, Melino Maka, says the head of state arrived with no traditional Maori welcome to give proper respect for the king's visit.

He says it was embarrassing that the king's visit was so poorly organised and acknowledged, and he wants a review of what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"I'm really, really, disappointed because that's not the way you handle a state visit. To come into or to enter into a state institution that actually acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi and just ignore some of the basic fundamentals of Maori culture or protocols, (which) is to have a powhiri or a Maori welcome."

Melino Maka says social networks have had numerous postings, complaining about the lack of cultural planning for the king's visit to AUT.