Each year the people of Waikato ready themselves to host the annual Koroneihana celebrations.
This year was the 12th year that Kiingi Tūheitia has held the responsibility inherited from his mother and tupuna as a vestige of Maori aspiration.
That role was established as a symbol of hope that would see intertribal warfare cease, that lands would be held and protected and that the Māori people would unite themselves as a force of self-determination and Mana Motuhake. That is the enduring legacy of the Kiingitanga movement and it binds tribes from across the country who through whakapapa continue to uphold those values and principles. For my nephews and nieces and the whanau in general ‘manaakitanga’ is the operative word.
Hundreds of people are hosted and fed over four days and this is a huge logistical undertaking that requires co-ordination, collaboration and organisation bringing a mass of voluntary workers together. No reira e ngā iwi o te motu tēna koutou, e ngā ringa waewae tēnā koutou, me ngā kaihāpai o te kaupapa tēnā koutou. Pai Mārire.