As it happened: Prince Harry leads waiata in te reo as he and Meghan soak up Māori culture in Rotorua on final day of tour

Relive Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle's final day in NZ as they finish up in Rotorua. 

2.30pm: That wraps it up for our live coverage of the royal tour. 1 NEWS will continue to bring you the latest updates as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex finish their tour in Rotorua.

1.43pm: The remaining pupils sang a farewell waiata as the Duke and Duchess left Ohinemutu.

The royal entourage will now make its way to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

That concludes our live updates for now. But we will be back later this afternoon as the royal couple visit a kiwi hatchery, go for a public walkabout and attend a mountain biking showcase at Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua.

1.37pm: Rotorua Primary School teacher Missy Te Kiri said two kete had been gifted to the Duke and Duchess.

The two kete had been made specifically in the school colours.

"One had set of poi in it, that was in the school colours too and in the other we had a full set of Aunty Bea's books."

The whole school had come to Te Papaiouru today for the visit, more than 200 pupils.

Pupil Kaihau Pou Poasa, 12, said it had been "amazing".

"It was so inspiring just to see them, because of the work the royal family do."

She said this would be her best memory from her last year at the school and one she would "definitely remember forever".

Her classmate Renata Williams, 13, said it was the first time he'd ever seen a famous person.

"It was cool hearing Harry speak Māori, hearing him sing the waiata and seeing them wearing the korowai." 

1.30pm: Before their lunch, the couple also met Karena and Kasey Bird - 2014 MasterChef winners, who prepared the menu.

Following a prayer, they ate with 180 invited guests and were entertained by Ngātii Whakaue Senior Kapa Haka, Promise Royal, Hohaia MacFarlane, Lizzie Marvelly, Turanga Merito and Raukura Kapa Haka.

The royal couple have now moved from lunch into Te Ao Marama.

They were accompanied by Kuia Norma Sturley and waved at the school children who were still outside.

Inside the Te Ao Marama Church Hall they met young Te Arawa people involved in mental wellness in the community, university students achieving in professions where Māori are under-represented (architecture, dentistry, engineering), students involved in Māori language revitalisation and young Māori creating in the e/digi space.

Outside, some of the kapa haka performers took the opportunity to pose for photographs with the police motorbikes for the motorcade.

Member of the Ngāti Whakaue Senior Kapa Haka roopu Lauren James said it was a real privilege for them to perform during the luncheon.

"We represent not only this marae but the people of this land."

She said the royal couple looked like they had enjoyed the performance.

"What we've seen today is a couple who are willing to engage with and learn about different cultures.

"To have a royal couple like that come here, it's very exciting and we couldn't have asked for a more picturesque venue here beside the lake and with such amazing weather." 

1.26pm: It looks like people are already lining up for the couple's walkabout through Rotorua Government Gardens, not scheduled to start for for another two hours. 

1.23pm: Here are some more photos from today's ceremony, via Rex Shutterstock's royal photographer. 

1.19pm: In the kitchen Rene Mitchell, who "runs the marae", gave the couple a demonstration on how they make the steamed pudding.

"I had all the ingredients ready so I showed them that and then the finished product," she said, explaining that as she pulled off the cloth to show them the finished product they thought it was "wonderful".

"They said, especially with it being cooked using the thermal, it was really interesting."

Ms Mitchell learnt how to make the steamed pudding from her mum and aunty, who grew up on the marae.

"In the old days we used to make everything ourselves and it was very simple. Over time, people have added to it."

As the couple left she said haere mai and welcomed them to Rotorua.

"Its been a really wonderful experience today," she said.

Harry gave her a hongi and kissed her friend, Margaret Jenkins, who also helped in the kitchen, on the cheek. 

1.15pm: Sir Toby Curtis, spokesperson for Te Arawa, the tribe that is hosting the royal newlyweds today, heaped praise on the royals in a just-released statement to the media. The Duchess, he said, is especially a role model to Māori.

"She has shown you can succeed, make a difference and be your own person while also celebrating your heritage. This inspires us all.

“The Duchess’ presence in the royal family has made us feel even closer to the monarchy, as she brings a fresh perspective and diversity." 

1.05pm: The mood among international media is that Rotorua has “stolen the show” with its welcome.

Sky News cameraman Adam Cole said Te Arawa’s welcome gave him goosebumps.

“This is spectacular ... It’s a hell of a way to end the tour. That ceremony was so powerful.”

Mr Cole said the royal couple were also welcomed at Government House with a powhiri.

“This trumped it. The whole press pen said the same thing. And yes I did think it stole the show, what a great last day.”

The royal couple have had a chance to see the steam boxes outside the wharekai where some of their lunch is being prepared.

Kuia Rene Mitchell, the sister of the late Sir Howard Morrison, is giving the royal couple a demonstration on how to make a steam pudding.

They are now entering the wharekai. 

12.51pm: The Duke and Duchess are becoming masters of the hongi during this tour.

12.48pm: Missed the moment Prince Harry led a party on to Te Papaiouru Marae during today's pōwhiri? We've posted a story and video on the moving moment.

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    The Duke of Sussex picked up the rākau whakawaha before walking on to Te Papaiouru Marae. Source: 1 NEWS

    12.44pm: The couple paused to speak with school children as they were escorted to the dining room.

    The children had waited patiently in the hot sun and as soon Duke and Duchess appeared the Ngāti Whakaue Senior Kapa Haka began a performance.

    The Duchess has accepted a kiti from a Rotorua Primary School student.

    The Duke and Duchess waved back at the students before going into the kitchen. 

    12.38pm: Local iwi Tuwharetoa presented a tewhatewha or carved weapon to Prince Harry.

    Te Arawa leader Trevor Maxwell joked he hoped Prince Harry won't lend the English rugby team the tewhatewha when they play the All Blacks at Twickenham.

    Meghan shared a hongi with Trevor's mokopuna, or grandchild, as the two shared a few words.

    The Duke and Duchess are now being escorted out of Tamatekapua for a luncheon in the wharekai.

    12.35pm: Here are a few more photos from the Associated Press on the moving powhiri today. 

    12.32pm: Flowers have been presented to the Duchess by 8-year-old Atareta Milne.

    These have been created by Living Colour and include Lily of the Valley flowers which were in Meghan's bridal bouquet. These only bloom for two weeks each year and it happens they actually bloomed last week.

    Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick is now giving the last speech on behalf of the Rotorua community.

    "Rotorua is a very unique and special place in the world - and this place, Te Papaiouru Marae, especially so."

    She said when previous royal tours had come to Rotorua, they had been shown it is the heartland of Māori culture.

    "As you visit now, in 2018, you can be assured that is still the case. As our confidence as bilingual district grows, so does our confidence in our people and our future."

    The final waiata is being led by Timua Brennan, singing Pokarekare Ana. 

    12.25pm: Harry said he was pleased to be spending time at the edge of the lake and with the people of Te Arawa.

    "Thank you so much for the beautiful cloak you have gifted myself and the duchess."

    He said the great skill and aroha which went into making it would see it as a treasured Taonga in their family.

    He then led the waiata himself, singing all of the words to Te Aroha in te reo.

    Representatives of Tuwharetoa have now gifted the Duke and Duchess a carved waka tewhatewha, from 2000 year old Totara. 

    12.23pm: There were claps and cheers when Trevor Maxwell nearly introduced Prince Harry as Prince Andrew.

    Prince Harry has pleased the crowd, starting his speech in te reo.

    The children outside gave each other beaming smiles, excited by the use of te reo.

    12.20pm: In his speech for the hau kāinga, or locals, Te Kanawa Pitiroi acknowledged Prince Harry and his "beautiful partner" Meghan.

    He compared her beauty to that of Mt Pihanga - the famous Maori legend which saw Mt Taranaki and Tongariro.

    He also spoke of the time Queen Elizabeth visited Rotorua in 1954 when he was 15 years old.

    12.18pm: Check out this great shot via Associated Press photographer Kirsty Wigglesworth of Prince Harry accepting the challenge during this morning's powhiri at Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua.

    12.15pm: There are three speakers including Monty Morrison speaking on behalf of Te Arawa, Professor Piri Sciascia and speaking on behalf of the royal party and Te Kanawa Pitiroi speaking on behalf of Ngāti Tuwharetoa paramount chief Sir Tumu Te Heuheu.

    Te Arawa are now giving a hongi to their guests and they will soon leave the meeting house before walking into the neighbouring wharekai for lunch.

    Prince Harry will be the next and the final speaker. 

    12.10pm: Here are some more photos from the powerful welcoming ceremony, via overseas reporter Andrew Hough.

    12.08pm: School children are getting ready in the marae area to guide the royal couple to lunch.

    The speeches are proving to be in good Kiwi humour, with chuckles from those inside the meeting house. As the Milnes relayed the jokes to the Harry and Meghan, they both appear to let out genuine laughs. 

    12.05pm: Here's some footage and more information on the traditional cloaks and greenstone the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are wearing today. 

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      The beautiful cloak pays homage to her royal status, her pregnancy and her Californian roots. Source: 1 NEWS

      12.04pm: Morrison has begun the waiata Kāore Te Aroha ki te Kororia Tapu, an ancient waiata which tells the story of Christianity coming to Rotorua.

      Kahurangi Milne and Ana Morrison are sitting beside the Duchess. Professor Piri Sciascia is now speaking on behalf of the royal party. 

      12.02pm: Te Arawa whanau stood up inside the wharenui Tamatekapua as the royals made their way into the wharenui.

      There was a bit of a delay as guest took off their shoes - as it's Maori custom not to wear footwear inside the wharenui.

      "Haumi e hui e taiki e" rang out as the first speaker Monty Morrison greeted his special royal guest.

      He also gave a special shout out to Meghan's "bub" in his welcome.

      11.59am: On display are photographs of the Queen's visit in 1953, an altar cloth gifted by Prince Andrew and a korowai.

      When the Queen came in 1953 they didn't know her dimensions, so Te Arawa made two identical cloaks - a small and a medium. She ended up being a small and so the medium is the one on display today.

      Those who weren't invited inside the wharenui are now making the most of the sunshine, watching the speeches inside on a large screen.

      Council cultural ambassador and district councillor Trevor Maxwell is sitting next next to Prince Harry and is translating for the prince.

      11.57am: Both the Duke and the Dutchess appeared to wearing ponamu during the ceremony, one keen-eyed viewer has pointed out. 

      11.53am: The Duchess is wearing Stella McCartney today underneath her traditional cloak, Women's Day reports.

      11.49am: A putatara or conch shell signaled the start of the powhiri process at Te Papaiouru for the royal couple.

      Prince Harry and Meghan were led onto Te Papaiouru Marae by a massive, earth rumbling haka on the shores of Lake Rotorua.

      In sparkling weather, the best of the royal tour so far, both are adorned in korowai or woven cloaks.

      11.42am: Here's a quick look at the greeting the couple are receiving, via UK-based royal commentator Omid Scobie, who is at the marae. 

      11.35am: The Duchess received a woven korowai (cloak) to wear before stepping onto the marae ātea. 

      “We see the Duchess as representing strong kaupapa (values) for women - she displays aroha (love), manaakitanga (nurturing & hospitality), mana (influence), dignity and strength, all signs of great leadership." said the korowai creator, Ngāti Whakaue elder and artist Norma Sturley.

      Meghan's pregnancy makes the garment all the more fitting for the occassion, she said. 

      “The korowai is like a protector, to wrap a korowai around someone is to envelop them in strength, warmth and aroha (love)." 

      11.32am: The traditional meeting house of Tamatekapua at Te Papaiouru Marae is at full capacity as leaders and kaumātua or edlers of the local iwi Te Arawa gather to meet the royal couple. 

      Hundreds of invited guest including school children and kapa haka performers lined up on the marae atea to welcome Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

      Tamatekapua is named after the paramount chief and captain of the Te Arawa canoe or waka. It first opened in 1873 before it was demolished in 1938 and rebuilt in 1943.

      11.30am: The couple have arrived at the marae. Watch our live camera feed here

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        The girl gifted Harry and Meghan a tui plush toy. Source: 1 NEWS

        11.25am: Today's lunch will be cooked by Masterchef winners Karena and Kasey Bird. The Maketu sisters will be using local products and cooking traditional foods, sing traditional cooking methods and steam boxes.

        11.17am: If you missed it, check out Prince Harry’s speech last night at the Auckland War Memorial. He received praise and applause for starting the speech with a series of Pacific-language greetings.

        11.15am: Good morning and welcome to 1 NEWS' live blog of the final day of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s four-day royal tour of New Zealand.

        Today also marks the end of the couple's 16-day regional tour that started in Australia with the bombshell announcement that Meghan is pregnant and continued on to Fiji and Tonga before the newlyweds landed on our shores over the weekend. They will spend the day in the Rotorua region, starting at 11.30am with a formal pōwhiri and luncheon at Te Papaiouru Marae in Ohinemutu.

        The couple will then visit the Rainbow Springs kiwi hatchery at 2.45pm, followed by a public walkabout at Rotorua Government Gardens at 3.30pm and a 4.10pm tour of the Redwoods Tree Walk.

        Make sure to refresh this page often. We will update this blog throughout the day and provide live video as reception allows.

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