Friday, May 22, 2015   

New Zealand Maori king says no to Prince William
(03-04 09:50)

New Zealand's Maori king has refused to meet Britain’s Prince William during a royal tour next month, Prime Minister John Key said.
Key said Kensington Palace had hoped Prince William would visit King Tuheitia at the Turangawaewae marae, or meeting place, during his April 7-16 trip to New Zealand with wife Catherine and baby son Prince George.
But he said King Tuheitia's office rejected the offer, arguing the 90 minutes allotted for the visit to the Maori leader's base in the North Island was not long enough for proper protocols to be observed.
Key said 90 minutes was a “quite generous'' amount of time, given the royals' busy schedule, and it was a shame the visit would not go ahead.
King Tuheitia is descended from the first Maori King Potatau Te Wherowhero, who was appointed in 1858 by various North Island tribes which wanted a single figure to represent them in the way that Queen Victoria was felt to represent New Zealand's white settlers.
The position does not have any constitutional status or legal powers in New Zealand but carries great symbolic importance for some Maori.—AFP
   
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