The Māori king said that was the message from many rangatira across the motu last weekend who had travelled to the Tamaki Makaurau and Tainui regions to celebrate the 165th anniversary of the birth of the Kiingitanga movement.
He called for a Te Paki o Matariki - a Royal Proclamation - for the national hui to be held in Ngaruawahia in January.
Māori leaders – including Te Ariki Taa Tumu Te Heuheu and Ratana Tumuaki, Manuao Te Kohamutunga Tamou – agreed that the Crown must be a responsible Treaty partner and unify, not divide the nation. They are supporting the King’s call for the national hui.
The king’s chief of staff Ngira Simmonds says there was a much divisive rhetoric during the election campaign which was being felt by many New Zealanders – both Māori and non-Māori.
“There’s strong opposition to the Government’s statements on the Treaty of Waitangi which could undermine decades of hard-fought justice and equality for our nation.
“Now is the time for Kotahitanga and focusing on what we have in common.”
The affirmation of mana motuhake has been the driving force of the Kīngitanga for 165 years, Simmonds says.
“The purpose of this national hui is for te iwi Māori to gather in our place, with our tikanga, to kōrero and wānanga our future. All are welcome to this meeting – it will be a safe place where the many voices of te iwi Māori can come together: tamariki, rangatahi, pakeke and kaumātua.”
Simmonds says Kīngi Tuheitia will host the national hui at Turangawaewae Marae on January 20, 2024 and will then carry the mauri of the hui into the annual Ratana and Waitangi Day celebrations.