August 21, 2014
King bestows Order of the Taniwha
King Tuheitia has announced the first recipients of a new Kingitanga honours system.
Speaking at the closing of the annual Koroneihana Hui in Ngaruawahia yesterday, the king said it’s important Maori acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of their own.
The first of members of the Order of the Taniwha are Ihakara Puketapu of Te Atiawa, the architect of the original Tu Tangata reforms, and Waikato-Tainui stalwart Koro Wetere of Ngati Maniapoto.
He will present Dr Puketapu with the award when he visits Waiwhetu Marae in Wellington in February.
Dr Puketapu has in the past turned down national honours.
The first person to receive the Illustrious Order of Te Arikinui Queen Te Atairangikaahu (supreme class) is Princess Abigail Kekaulike Kinoiki Kawananakoa of Hawaii.
King Tuheitia said as Princess Kekaulike cannot travel abroad, a group will travel to confer this honour upon her in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu.
He awarded the Order of Te Arikinui Queen Te Atairangikaahu (third class) to Taini Puahaere Rutene, his mother’s personal secretary for many years.
He also acknowledged the service of another kuia close to his mother, Nita Gregory.
The supreme award in the new system, the Order of King Potatau Te Wherowhero, was not awarded at this time.
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