E Nga Mana
(Greetings to the spiritual power)
E Nga Reo
(Greetings to the language)
Tena koutou katoa
(Greetings to you all]
Kingi Tuheitia, Atawhai me te whanau (Kingi Tuheitia, wife and Family) Tena Koe, tena korua, tena koutou katoa (Greetings to one and all)
Thank you, thank you for such a WONDERFULLY warm welcome. I am GREATLY honoured to be returning again to the embrace of this place, Turangawaewae. The people of Waikato-Tainui, have extended your care, compassion and hospitality to my family on many occasions. Today you have welcomed my wife here for the first time.
Kingi Tuheitia, it is a privilege to spend this time with you and your family. I am told that when you recently celebrated the ninth anniversary of your koroneihana; in September you hosted thousands here. I am truly grateful to you, and all those behind the scenes, for extending your renowned hospitality again, so soon after that important event.
The spirit of manaakitanga has brought our families together many times since the meeting of Te Rata with my great grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary in London in 1914. When I was last here, in 1994, Dame Te Atairangikaahu was a kind and gracious host. She was also an extraordinary leader, who shepherded her people through times of great change with quiet dignity. I was greatly saddened by the news of her passing and can only hope that the message I sent you at that time was of some small comfort.
At the time of that visit, Waikato-Tainui, was poised to take a bold step – being the first iwi to settle historical grievances under the Treaty of Waitangi. Now, as I return here more than twenty years later, I am so heartened to see and hear of all that you have grown from those new beginnings. In putting aside the hurts of the past and forging a future on the firm foundations of your culture, traditions and history, I believe Waikato-Tainui, and many other iwi across this country, have achieved something truly inspirational, not just for New Zealand but for the world. If I may say so, this has been a healing process not just for Maori, but for the nation, and it is one of which all New Zealanders, together, can feely justly proud.
So, to Kingi Tuheitia, and to all the chiefs gathered here, may you continue to guide your people to a proud and prosperous future.
No reira, tena koutou katoa. (And so, greetings to us all gathered.)