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Kiingi Tuheitia Invested as Knight Commander

Kiingi Tuheitia Invested as Knight Commander of Order of St Lazarus

Kiingi Tuheitia, the Maori King and paramount chief of Waikato-Tainui, was invested as a Knight Commander of Grace of the Ancient and Most Noble Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem at Turangawaewae today.

The investiture was led by the Grand Prior of the Order in New Zealand, the Chevalier Colonel Andrew Renton-Green; assisted by the Chancellor Emeritus and Keeper of the Seal in New Zealand, Chevalier Professor Noel Chapman; the Chancellor of the Order in New Zealand, Chevalier Elwyn Eastlake; and the Deputy Chancellor, Chevalier Andrew Beattie.

“We are delighted that Kiingi Tuheitia accepted the high office of Knight Commander in our Order,” said the Chancellor of the Order in New Zealand, Chevalier Elwyn Eastlake.”He has a strong affinity with the humanitarian and charitable purposes of the Order and the King’s extensive relationships and influence throughout New Zealand, the Pacific islands and southeast Asia regions will be invaluable.”

Through his investiture, Kiingi Tuheitia joins other notable New Zealand members of the Order of St Lazarus including its Patron in New Zealand, the Governor-General , His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, and the Chevalier Lt.General Jeremiah Mateparae, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force.

Other members of the Order in attendance at today's Investiture included Grand Prior Emeritus of New Zealand, Deputy Grand Hospitaller and Grand Magistral Member Chevalier Professor Brett Delahunt; Keeper of the Privy Seal (Australia) and Grand Magistral Delegate (Oceania) and Grand Magistral Member, Lady Primrose Potter; Chancellor Emeritus and Keeper of the Seal (New Zealand) Chevalier Noel Chapman; and Grand Prior Emeritus, Chevalier Clem Parker.

Background to the Order of St Lazarus

The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most respected Orders of Chivalry in Christendom, and was established at the Infirmary of Saint Lazarus in the year 1098, during the First Crusade. 900 years after its birth, members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus perpetuate the noble ideals of honour, integrity and charity through the relief of suffering, in the imitation of Christ.

In recent years, the Order has been engaged in a major program to restore Christianity in Eastern Europe. Millions of dollars worth of food, clothing, medical equipment and supplies have been distributed in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. Because of this expertise, the European Community commissioned the Order to transport more than one and a half billion dollars in food to relieve starvation in Russia.

In New Zealand the Order is concerned largely with charitable activities, with an emphasis on those associated with traditional field of leprosy. The New Zealand Order has a duty of care for the Pacifica and South-East Asian areas, and donates medical supplies to various island leprosaria. It is involved in other ongoing humanitarian activities such as helping to provide relief for victims of the tsunami in Samoa and assistance to those affected by the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. In New Zealand, it provides support for medical research and undertakes other activities beneficial to the community such as the donation in 2007 of the St Lazarus Organ in the Hall of Memories of the National War Memorial in Buckle Street Wellington.

ENDS


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