New Zealand's Maori king has refused to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their baby Prince George during a royal tour next month, saying a proposed 90-minute slot would not allow enough time for the meeting.

John Key, New Zealand's prime minister, described the snub as "disappointing", saying the 90 minutes allocated by the royals to King Tuheitia was longer than any other scheduled engagement.

King Tuheitia was reportedly concerned that the visit at his official headquarters, the Turangawaewae marae, or meeting place, would not be long enough for official protocols to be carried out.

"I think it's a shame he's not going, but that was a decision solely made by King Tuheitia's people," Mr Key said.

"They were offered a 90-minute slot - that was longer than pretty much any other engagement they have. King Tuheitia's people decided that wasn't long enough and on that basis, they rejected him actually attending."

Photograph by Jorge Royan 

The meeting was due to take place at on the country's North Island at Turangawaewae, the official residence of the 58-year-old king, Tuheitia Paki, a former truck driver who became monarch in 2006.

King Tuheitia is descended from the first Maori King Potatau Te Wherowhero, who was appointed in 1858 by several North Island tribes which wanted a single figure as a unifying representative in dealings with the white settlers. The king is a non-hereditary position and has no constitutional role but is widely respected as a Maori leader and frequently receives international diplomats and official visitors.

Mr Key said King Tuheitia's advisors told officials at Kensington Palace that "if you can't make it longer than 90 minutes, then don't come".

"It's a matter for them to decide their own thing, but in the end [Prince William] has a fairly tight timetable," Mr Key said. "I would have thought [90 minutes] was quite generous."

The royal visit to New Zealand from April 7 to 16 will be the first public engagement for 8-month-old Prince George and will be the Duchess's first trip to New Zealand. The family will then visit Australia from April 16 to 25.

Responses to "Maori king refuses to meet Duke of Cambridge during New Zealand royal tour "

  1. Unknown says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Unknown says:

    Don't give those wankers ANY excuse. After what they did to your people? Blow them off.

  3. true royals would not bother themselves with satanists

  4. Unknown says:

    Joseph Pede You wouldnt know a satanist if it hit you in the eyeball! little do you know Maori have strict protocol of keeping time and doing things according to tradition and nothing is hurrying up the process of Manuhiri not even the future King!! 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Joseph Pede...what makes them satanist? That doesn't even make since...before Christianity was even around these people had their own deity's and life styles then "someone" came and told them they were wrong after years and years of a beautiful culture. Plus the Prince wanted to meet the KING so honestly he should have honored the Maori traditions. If he couldn't then oh well! I feel the Maori King had the right to say no so people need to stop acting like it's blasphemes to say no to the prince and his family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why should he make concessions to meet with some one from England who is not even a diplomat?
    The "royal family" are a bunch of over privileged leeches, nobody special or important.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Whoever works as a scheduler for the British Royals tours need to do their homework when it comes to respecting the ceremonies of indigenous people. It's a shame because the ceremony would be an honor to experience.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The "royals" are the satanists. Do your research.

  9. Unknown says:

    I agree with anonymous. Having visited New Zealand, I did have the honor to participate in a Maori welcoming ceremony, as manuhiri. I have great respect for the Maori people & their traditions.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Maori King is the senior, so William should follow the appropriate rituals. Also, the Maori Ruler and People wished to honour William with all the ceremonies such meetings require and deserve.

    I detest the media slant that makes it seem to be all about the Maoris rude and brusque rejection of a totally reasonable arrangement, instead of a lack of understanding, and rejection of, Indigenous culture from the visitors.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense to me.

  12. Unknown says:

    I think that John Keys as our nominated leader to represent New Zealand should learn the Maori protocols before he speaks out against them, especially when other foreign party's are involved. Shame on Mr Keys for not even knowing part of his own country's heritage.

  13. Unknown says:

    maori culture does not pre date christianity, fact..................I do not like religions and am truly against all of them, I do like the truth............maori culture is a few hundred years old, check recent DNA testing also, great facts...........I do respect aborigional cultre everywhere, but please dont do what the white man always does and twist the truth, sticking to facts will bring your argument greater weight, I am a 55yo australian born white person by the way, cheers all, the royal family are no bodies to me, I love this message to them, why should a time honoured ceromony be should not be, the royals are the ones missin gout, maybe the palace should intervene, the queen seems to have always made time for local peoples in the south pacific and africa during her visits without making them RUSH it

  14. I like this King. Good! he did not have time and so he did not. Simple. Great King that one.

  15. God bless the King

  16. Anonymous says:

    There is but one king of the world and he doesn't even have any earthly kingdom.

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