03.04.14 1:08 PM ET
Maori King Offended By William Visit to NZ
When it comes to a quiet chat between a serving king and a future king, ninety minutes just isn't long enough to impart the secrets of how to rule.
That, at least, seems to be the position of New Zealand’s Maori king, King Tuheitia, who has rejected a meeting with Prince William when the young British royal visits New Zealand next month.
Prime minister John Key said King Tuheitia had turned down a visit from Prince William because the 90-minute time slot offered was too short, according to a report in The Guardian today.
On Tuesday, King Tuheitia’s office issued a statement confirming the royals would not meet, despite Prince William and his wife visiting the Waikato.
“The king was never asked anything. He was simply told,” the statement said.
The government’s delegation of the organisation of such an important visit to “faceless bureaucrats” was attacked as a grave error of judgment, repeating history that had seen the king’s position continually diminished and undermined.
A personal letter explaining the king’s reason for declining the visit had been couriered to the royal couple several weeks ago, the statement said.
The statement said 60 to 90 minutes was not considered long enough to look after the royal couple and the Maori leaders who would gather to pay them homage.
“The king wanted to give his best to this couple to reflect their status. He was being prevented from doing that.”