Māori King challenges his people to take care of 'our tamariki', not blame Government if they're taken into care

The Māori King has challenged his people to protect their children and not blame the Government if they intervene to provide a safe haven.

King Tuheitia made the comments at the annual koroneihana (coronation) commemorations today, which celebrates the day he ascended the throne in 2006.

Speaking at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia, King Tuheitia acknowledged the visit from representatives of Oranga Tamariki yesterday, before laying down his challenge.

"I have a fundamental belief in the vital place of the whānau in raising and nurturing their tamariki.

"I also believe in the absolute right of the child to be protected and where necessary taken out of harms way.

"My challenge is to the whānau, hapū, iwi to take care of our tamariki and where the need arises to place them in a safe home.

"We must avoid blaming the Government, instead we need to work on a solution, we have a chance to design the solution on our own," he said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was welcomed by Kingitanga members at Tūrangawaewae Marae.

One of Māoridom's youngest iwi leaders, Che Wilson, was the first speaker up during formalities and asked the Prime Minister to have courage on Māori issues - as she had courage in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

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Che Wilson called on the PM to show the sort of courage on Māori issues that she showed after the Christchurch terrorist attack. Source: Kiingitanga - Facebook

"During the Christchurch massacre, you showed the courage that made us all proud," Mr Wilson said, as Ms Ardern listened from the podium.

"What I encourage you to do, what I encourage you consider now, is to show the courage again when it comes to Māori," he said.

"You asked us to keep you to account at Waitangi this year. But every big issue with regard to Māori, it appears that you hide away.

"And what we ask you to do is do exactly this, because this is the right way to do it. This is the right way to do it. And if you do it like this all the time then you will continue to be an amazing prime minister," Mr Wilson said.

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The Prime Minister was on hand to hear criticism of her leadership at Turangawaewae Marae. Source: 1 NEWS

His plea came as the Government faces a number of divisive Māori issues including Ihumātao and the performance of Oranga Tamariki.

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King Tuheitia made the comments at the annual Koroneihana (coronation) commemorations. Source: 1 NEWS