19 Aug 2018

Fraud allegations put aside at Māori King's koroneihana celebrations

5:50 pm on 19 August 2018

Crown Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis did not raise allegations of fraud and lavish spending at the Māori King's office when he met with Kingi Tūheitia today.

060814. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Maori King Tuheitia Paki at the Ranana marae in Whanganui.

Maori King Tuheitia Paki Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Thousands of people have been at Tūrangawaewae in Ngāruawāhia for the kapa haka and sporting events that are part of the annual coronation celebrations.

The five day koroneihana follows accusations of misspending in the office of King Tūheitia Paki, which were aired out in a letter written to him by his former advisor.

Mr Davis said he had a brief talk with Kingi Tūheitia this morning at the marae.

He said the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the Māori King's office, Te Ururangi Trust, did not come up.

"We're not here to dwell on those issues, we're here to celebrate the kingitanga, you know it's always fantastic to come here and just to you know enjoy the occasion."

This weekend the Māori King has been celebrating his 12th koroneihana or coronation celebrations.

Mr Davis, alongside his Labour Party colleague Peeni Henare and the National Party leader, Simon Bridges, attended a church service at Tūrangawaewae Marae this morning.

The Māori King is expected to deliver his speech on Tuesday.