Trouble in Maoridom

  March 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm by

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The Maori King, Tuheitia Paki, has been told to reveal his spending and that of his staff. The Tainui, the tribal Maori parliament, has demanded His Highness open his books to dispel rumours of mishandling funds.

The Maori King lives on an annual budget of $1.2 million NZD, which is more than four times the amount his mother’s, the late beloved Maori Queen, budget of $250,000 NZD. Though the King has said the money is his and has every right to spend it as he finds fit, the annual budget is in fact provided by the tribes. The King, since taking the throne, has taken many trips abroad representing the Maori people of New Zealand. These trips include the coronation of the King of Tonga and a trip to NYC to watch former Prime Minister Helen Clarke take her new position in the UN. While the Tainui is not questioning these trips, they are concerned at the amount spent on HH’s entourage.

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The King reportedly threatened to abdicate last week after the Tainui asked him to make his spending transparent. However, the King’s office later denied this and said that abdicating is not an option. Tuheitia Paki was elected to the throne after the death of his mother, the late Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu, in August 2006. The position of Maori King is not a constitutional one but is held in high regard by many Maoris and Pakeha of Aotearoa. Queen Elizabeth II met with the late Maori Queen on her previous visits to her Polynesian realm.

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