Sir Tipene To Escort Prime Minister At APEC
The Prime Minister confirmed today that Ngai Tahu kaumatua Sir Tipene O'Regan has agreed to be her kaikorero (speaker) and escort for the formal powhiri for APEC Leaders on Sunday.
Sir Tipene has a distinguished background in trade and economic development. He is a recognised expert in Maori culture and of kaumatua status in his iwi.
"I am honoured that Sir Tipene representing Ngai Tahu will be at my side during the ceremonies. Ngai Tahu welcomed our guests to the first APEC Ministers' meeting this year and it is fitting that the iwi will be at the last meeting.
"As the Member of Parliament for Rakaia, I am pleased to have home support from the South Island in undertaking this important task," Mrs Shipley said.
Sir Tipene will escort the leaders through the powhiri process and will respond to the welcome speeches from Auckland's Ngati Whatua tribe on behalf of the Prime Minister and the group of APEC leaders.