Times have changed, the King spoke from the heart – Rahui Papa

Kingitanga Advisor Rahui Papa says the days of the Kingitanga being apolitical are over. It follows criticism of remarks King Tuheitia's made after his speech at the Coronation celebrations in Ngaruawahia where he criticised Labour and NZ First.

King Movement spokesperson Rahui Papa says the late Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu never got involved with politics but it seems the days of the Kingitanga being apolitical have come to an end.

“Times have changed. Everything is seen and heard through the media and Facebook. So if the King keeps his thoughts to himself, how do we know what he's really thinking?” says Papa.

It follows after King Tuheitia criticised Labour and NZ First during his speech at the Coronation celebrations in Ngāruawāhia in the weekend.

It really hurt me when the leader of the Labour Party says I’ll never work with the Māori Party and oh I’m not voting for them anymore. NZ First I don’t know about those fullas, he might be a Māori but he doesn't act like one.”

Papa says, “For a long time, the Kingitanga has been neutral. But this year, the King spoke from the heart. He expressed his thoughts.”

But NZ First leader Winston Peters says he is badly advised by someone who knows nothing about politics.

“I seriously regretted him coming off the bench and getting involved in the ruck or the case of ordinary politics it’s not what his predecessors would have done and nor should be have done it,” says Peters.

Papa says, “Despite Tuku's (Morgan) position or Nanaia (Mahuta) or anyone, the Kingitanga does not align with any party. It will work with the government of the day.”

Te Kāea contacted Tukoroirangi Morgan for comment but he is yet to respond.