John Boynton, Te Manu Korihi Reporter Media have been banned from the grounds of Tūrangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia for the anniversary celebration of Māori King's koroneihana or coronation this weekend.
Media will not be attending Kingi Tūheitia's coronation celebrations this weekend at Tūrangawaewae Marae. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski
Tūrangawaewae Marae spokesperson Moko Templeton said it was the first time such a ban had been imposed.
Earlier this week media reported that a former adviser to Kingi Tūheitia, Tukoroirangi Morgan, had written a scathing letter to the king.
Mr Morgan said the King's current right-hand man, Rangi Whakaruru, drew a $250,000 salary, had taken out big loans, drove expensive cars and was destroying the credibility of the Kīngitanga.
Ms Templeton said Tūrangawaewae Marae was concerned the media would not focus on the kaupapa of the koroneihana anniversary - the 12th such celebration for Kingi Tūheitia.
"Our role is to manaaki [support] the people who come to the footstill of the Kīngitanga being Tūrangawaewae Marae."
Ms Templeton said she expected thousands of people to descend on Tūrangawaewae for koroneihana celebrations, which included kapa haka, sports and other festivities.
Media will still have access to the live-stream of the king's speech - which usually takes place on the last day of celebrations which will be next Tuesday.