Jacinda Ardern meets with Maori King Tuheitia at Turangawaewae Marae

King Tuheitia has welcomed the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Turangawaewae Marae in Waikato.

It's the first visit by the PM and is significant because of the King's backing of the Māori Party - against his cousin and Labour incumbent Nanaia Mahuta during last year's election.

Ms Ardern was brought onto the country's largest marae by the King's daughter Ngawai hono i te po Paki, a sign the kingitanga wants this relationship to be warm.

The visit follows an earlier appointment today by the PM to a marae in Morrinsville, her hometown and Ngati Haua country.

The King and PM are expected to meet in private for lunch soon where representatives of the King will outline his plan for a new pan-party entity for Māori MPs to discuss Māori issues.

The warm powhiri for Jacinda Ardern is a sign King Tuheitia's support has flipped back to Labour. Source: 1 NEWS