Today I stand before you with a great deal of joy having reached the 160th year of the establishment of the Kiingitanga.
These recent months of celebrations and events have given me a lot of pleasure and I look forward to the remaining events here at Turangawaewae and Pukawa.
I want to thank my dear cousins their Majesties King Tupou Ono and Queen Nanasi for attending Koroneihana once again. You bring me so much happiness with your presence.
My whanaunga Tumu, I am sorry you cannot be with us today, the years are showing on us both and it is important we take care of ourselves and be there for each other. Get well soon.
Since my last Koroneihana much has happened. It is my duty to be straight on matters that affect the state of the Kingitanga. You’d expect no less from me.
Our ancestors created the Kingitanga to foster unity and to help our people resist colonial repression and oppose the further loss of our lands.
I am sad that there are a few within us that wish to publicly undermine my office and therefore the Kingitanga.
I recall my tupuna Te Wherowhero faced similar threats. He simply decided that the hole being dug for him would be filled by those with the shovels!
I will continue to serve the Kingitanga movement to the best of my abilities. And I will continue to speak out fearlessly when necessary.
Over the past 160 years we have come too far not to go further and we have invested so much not to invest more.
To that end I have instructed my advisors to begin a process of future proofing the Kingitanga for the next 160 years.
I want the Kingitanga to continue to be relevant for my own people of Waikato and the Tainui confederation.
To the iwi that stood by Te Wherowhero when this journey began, let us rekindle the power of kotahitanga.
To the people of Aotearoa I ask that you join us on our journey into the future.
I want to secure the stability of the Kingitanga so that my family and my successors no longer have to face external, invasive and demeaning actions that diminish the mana of the Kingitanga.
I want to continue to reach out and strengthen the long standing partnerships with my relatives and friends of the Pacific.
In achieving these strategic objectives I believe that we will be a force to reckon with in the future and will contribute significantly to the development of our Nation.
Both Tumu and I have spent time talking with the Rangatira from across the motu.
The issues that confront us will need us all involved to solve them. We must come together and make a greater effort to find solutions.
Last week I met with a delegation of past students of St Stephens College. As an old boy of Tipene their kaupapa to re-establish a boarding school in 2020 resonated with me. I wish them well on their hikoi.
Iwikau Te Heuheu set the scene at Pukawa for the “Hinana ki uta, hinana ki tai” hui that saw my tupuna Te Wherowhero nominated as the first Maori King.
We will go to Pukawa on the 18 November this year to commemorate the great events of that time.
Later this year we will go to Auckland for an exhibition to celebrate the 160th Anniversary. I have agreed to send two important symbols of the Kingitianga: the original bible and my throne to the exhibition.
I have spent time with the present Government leadership. I was pleased to have Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern here earlier this year.
Makau Ariki Atawhai and our whanau join the people of Aotearoa New Zealand in wishing her well as she manages the challenges facing a new mother and continuing to provide leadership for her government.
The Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has impressed me with his stewardship of the country and the way in which he supports the Prime Minister.
Thank you both. I do hope that with the Green Party your political programme continues to find traction and that NZ prospers from it.
Prime Minister I urge you to continue to demand greater performance from your ministers and their departments; to ensure better outcomes for all citizens and in particular Maaori.
Notwithstanding the many challenges it has faced, the Kingitanga still remains a significant force 160 years on.
The bloodline of Te Wherowhero remains and is not under threat of disappearing.
The legacy of Te Wherowhero remains and is getting stronger.
Finally, I want to thank my people who, year after year, make this event possible. You are what the Kingitanga is about. Thank you.
Be kind to each other, be strong and look after yourselves.