April 28, 2017
Royal slur sparks interest in king’s Taiwan visit
A former cabinet minister says a Taiwanese official’s slur against King Tuheitia has created intense interest in King Tuheitia’s planned visit there later this year.
Mr Delamere, who is now an immigration consultant, was in Taiwan last week to assist Taiwanese nationals who want to invest in projects with Waikato Tainui.
He attended a parliamentary committee meeting where the foreign minister was grilled about comments allegedly made by a diplomat that the king was useless and did not have the support of the majority of Maori.
The comments were made at a banquet in December in the presence of the king’s Mandarin-speaking private secretary, Rangi Whakaruru.
Mr Delamere says King Tuheitia will be in Taiwan in July.
"What was probably going to be a rather quiet visit will now have massive coverage based on this because the tv coverage, media coverage up there was massive. There were about 40 reporters, 12 tv stations, huge coverage, so it has certainly raised the profile of Maori," he says.
The Taiwanese parliament’s foreign and national defense committee has demanded the foreign ministry investigate and punish diplomat Kay Lin if found to have made the comments.
The ministry has also agreed to stop referring to Maori as natives in the literature its overseas embassies distribute.
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