Tongan King's lack of Maori welcome causes concern | Pacific Beat

Tongan King's lack of Maori welcome causes concern

Tongan King's lack of Maori welcome causes concern

Updated 1 March 2013, 18:20 AEDT

Concern has been expressed by some members of New Zealand's Tongan community that the King of Tonga did not receive a formal Maori welcome when he visited the campus of the Auckland University of Technology earlier this week.

A welcome ceremony, called a powhiri, is traditional when visitors arrive, but that did not happen when King Tupou VI arrived.

Associate Professor Pare Keiha, Pro Vice Chancellor of Maori Advancement at AUT, says the omission apparently happened at the request of New Zealand's foreign affairs department, and not at the King's request.

But he says protocol is a sensitive subject, and he tells Bruce Hill the incident has led to some Tongan New Zealanders contacting him.

Presenter: Bruce Hill

Speaker: Associate Professor Pare Keiha, Pro Vice Chancellor of Maori Advancement at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand

Contributors

Bruce Hill

Bruce Hill

Presenter

Bruce is one of the Pacific’s most experienced journalists with nearly 20 years covering the region and has won several international awards.

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