Māori King speaks about claims against his office 1 NEWS NOW

The Māori king has finally spoken about the devastating claims against him, saying that he is sad that people want to undermine his office.

Hundreds came together when the rain fell on Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawahia, on the last day of the twelfth Koroneihana celebration.

It was King Tūheitia's first public address since his former adviser Tukoroirangi Morgan openly criticized his leadership and expenses in his office a week ago.

In the e-mail, Mr. Morgan said that the king was a bad communicator, that his support declined and that he was being manipulated by his chief advisor Rangi Whakaruru.

A media ban was in effect at Tūrangawaewae Marae during the Koroneihana as a result of the e-mail campaign.

The Serious Fraud Office is currently investigating the King & # 39; s Ururangi Trust for mis-spending.

King Tūheitia addressed the crowd outside the Māhinārangi meeting house.

"It is my duty to be entitled to things that affect the state of the Kiingitanga," said King Tūheitia.

"I'm sorry that there are a few people in us who want to undermine our office and the Kiingitanga publicly."

In Mr Morgan's explosive e-mail, Mr. Whakaruru was said to have paid a $ 250,000 salary, had taken out a $ 83,000 loan and had expensive cars paid by the King's Ururangi Trust. .

More than $ 100,000 has been spent on perfume, beauty treatments and clothing, according to Mr Morgan.

King Tūheitia, however, did not specifically deal with the claims.

"I want to safeguard the stability of the Kiingitanga so that my family and my successors are no longer confronted with external, evasive, humiliating actions that reduce the mana of the Kiingitanga."

He continued to recognize Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his own people.

Earlier he told the crowd that he was filled with joy when he reached Kiingitanga for 160 years.

"Our ancestors created the Kiingitanga to promote unity and help our people resist colonial oppression and oppose the further loss of our country."

Today is the official twelfth anniversary of the coronation of Kiingi Tūheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII.

Several Iwi leaders have shown their respect to King Tūheitia and the Kiingitanga this morning.

There was an outpouring of love as a number of religious leaders from the Methodists, Anglican and Ringatu religions gave prayers and paid tribute to the King.

Tukoroirangi Morgan is abroad and did not attend the Koroneihana celebrations.

By Leigh-Marama McLachlan rnz.co.nz

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