Royal snub annoys Kingi Taurua

By Mike Barrington

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Cassandra Sinden wants to see the Royals in Northland. Photo/John Stone
Cassandra Sinden wants to see the Royals in Northland. Photo/John Stone

The reason Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua is annoyed Prince William isn't visiting Northland next month is etched on his face.

Mr Taurua has the moko of his tupuna Tareha, a Ngati Rehia chief who wouldn't sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 because he had signed He Whakaputanga - the Declaration of Independence - five years earlier.

Tareha considered Ngati Rehia had a deal with the English King William IV through He Whakaputanga and he couldn't see how the Treaty improved his hapu prospects.

Mr Taurua has come to a similar conclusion. He's a leading light in the revived Te Whakaminenga o hapu o Nu Tireni, the elders who held the status of hereditary chiefs of the northern tribes when He Whakaputanga was signed in 1835.

Mr Taurua wants Prince William to visit Waitangi so Ngapuhi can talk to him about the Treaty, particularly about how the Government has taken over the Crown role in the pact which Maori made with the monarchy.

Waitangi National Trust chief executive Greg McManus was also expecting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to visit Waitangi, where he thought they would cruise the Bay of Islands in the waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua as Queen Elizabeth did in the 1970s and Prince Charles and Lady Diana did in 1983.

Other Northlanders were also looking forward to a visit by the popular Wills and Kate with Prince George, who will be nine months old when he joins them on the visit as Prince William did with his parents 31 years ago.

The itinerary for the royal visit was compiled by Kensington Palace officials and the Royal Visit Office in the Department of Internal Affairs.

The media manager for the office, Allen Walley, yesterday said Northland was like many other places disappointed the Duke and Duchess and their young son would not be visiting, but the region could have better luck next time as the royal couple had signalled they wanted to visit New Zealand regularly.

Factors influencing the selection of places for royal visits included their proximity to other activities. The royal couple were committed to spending time with their son daily and didn't want travel and events which separated them from him for long periods, he said.

Prime Minister John Key has denied Government responsibility for the itinerary. But Mr Taurua, who blames him for the snub of Waitangi's exclusion, has threatened to knock down a Treaty memorial on the Waitangi Marae, go back to the 1835 Declaration of Independence and bar Mr Key from the marae in future.

The Treaty was an agreement between the British monarchy and natives of New Zealand - not the Government now acting as the Crown, Mr Taurua said.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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