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Kiingi Tuheitia lights Kaapura Ahi

Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII lit a fire at a ceremony called Kaapura Ahi at Rangiriri last night as the final act of Hui-aa-Motu – the national hui of unity.

After lighting the fire, the King invited Rangatira from te Iwi Maaori, Rangatahi and Tauiwi to light four other fires representing the four winds.

Te Kiingitanga will now carry Kaapura Ahi to Ratana and Waitangi and to other regions including Tairawhiti and Te Waipounamu later this year, with a message of Kotahitanga and mana Motuhake.

Kiingitanga Chief of Staff Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds says Kaapura Ahi represents both the end and the beginning.

“As we heard from Kiingi Tuheitia, this is just day one. The work begins now. We will continue to show that we’re strong and prepared to lead.

“As Te Kiingi reminded us, the best protest is to be Maaori – to be who we are, live our values, speak our reo, care for our mokopuna, our awa, our maunga.”

Yesterday’s Hui-aa-Motu was attended by more than 10,000 people who witnessed an historical moment and reference point in future race relations in Aotearoa.

“People came because they felt the wairua of the Royal Proclamation issued by Kiingi Tuheitia and they contributed to the korero and also brought their ideas for how we can build unity and uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“Of most importance to Kiingi Tuheitia was the voice of rangatahi and their views of the future and how we shape it.”

Mr Simmonds said there was a wide range of views expressed via speeches and submissions and they would be captured in a written report to be shared with Te Iwi Maaori in the coming months.

“We will take those ideas and messages to the nation through hui and other forums as the momentum builds for a reawakening of our mana Motuhake."

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