Māori King visits Ihumātao with 800-strong support group

There has been a show of force from the Kīngitanga movement with an 800-strong support group travelling with King Tuheitia to Ihumātao this morning.

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Around 800 of his entourage travelled with him today. Source: 1 NEWS

The group raised the King's standard during pōwhiri proceedings. That pennant will stay at the occupation until this issue is sorted out.

Groups piled into buses and minivans this morning from Waikato, many waiting for the call to formal proceedings at 7am.

There has been criticism that the movement hadn't been to the occupation as the area is historically significant to Tainui - the waka associated with the harbour.

The Māori King has requested that both sides meet in the next week to find a way to move forward after weeks of mana whenua peacefully protesting to stop the housing development.

Waikato Tainui say they are in Auckland to hopefully bring unity and protection.

"Our mana whenua are saying that Auckland has benefitted from the whenua that was gifted by their tupuna and enough is enough." Waikato Tainui spokesperson Rukumoana Schaafhausen told 1 NEWS.

"We'll take this korero back to the whanau and have a discussion but without a doubt we are willing to sit down with the Kingitanaga and Waikato Tainui to find a resolution for our cause here at Ihumatao," mana wahine leader Pania Newton said.

"This has always been a fight of hope so we can only hope the Kinigitanga and Waikato Tainui are on the right side of history."

The area is also the place where the first Māori King, Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, finally accepted the kingship in 1858 after refusing it multiple times.