22 Aug 2012

Maori King gets a bit political in speech

7:15 am on 22 August 2012

Celebrations marking the sixth anniversary of the Maori King's coronation wrapped up on Tuesday with King Tuheitia Paki inserting a couple of political messages in his annual speech.

Over six days, 15,000 people attended the koroneihana at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.

Hundreds were present for the king's speech, in which he spoke about Maori water rights and the purpose of kingitanga.

King Tuheitia also highlighted the kohanga reo claim being investigated by the Waitangi Tribunal. He said the Government's responsibility is simply to fund Maori preschools, not to impose its values on Maori.

He said Maori must secure their right to manage and strengthen te reo and tikanga, and consider all options, including negotiating with the Government.