16 August 2016
The Maaori King, Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia received Hamilton’s highest civic honour at a ceremony in Hamilton yesterday.
He received his Freedom of the City award from Mayor Julie Hardaker after Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman read a comprehensive citation outlining his significant contribution to Hamilton.
Watching with pride were members of his family, recipients of the King’s Honours and representatives from the King’s office.
Four other holders were present at the ceremony - Dame Malvina Major, David Sidwell, Pippa Mahood and John Gallagher, along with Honorary Hamilton Ambassador, The Most Reverend Sir David Moxon KNZM.
The King’s late mother, Maaori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Aatairangikaahu, was also a Freedom of the City holder in 1973.
Kiingi Tuheitia is celebrating 10 years as Maaori King at the week-long koroneihana celebrations starting at Turangawaewae this week.
In his leadership role, Kiingi Tuheitia has made a significant and sustained contribution to Hamilton, extending from development projects, including The Base – the largest retail complex in New Zealand - to setting up tertiary scholarships.
Kiingi Tuheitia is responsible for establishing the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, a post-graduate college that works in partnership with the University of Waikato and delivering the university’s MBA programme.
His contribution to education also includes the development of five-yearly nursing scholarships in memory of his mother, the late Te Arikinui Dame Te Aatairangikaahu, at Wintec worth $25,000.
Leadership and community service are ever present in Kiingi Tuheitia’s contributions.
He serves as a patron, chair or appoints individuals to key leadership roles in 56 organisations, many of which are based in Hamilton.
These organisations include the University of Waikato, Waikato Institute of Technology, Royal NZ Police Waikato District and Te Kohao Health o Kirikiriroa.
Mayor Julie Hardaker says awarding Kiingi Tuheitia the honour of Freedom Holder of the City is a way to acknowledge his contribution to the community at a time when he is soon to celebrate an important milestone in his role as King.
“Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia has given 10 years of service to the people of Hamilton and continues to ensure the best for our community. He has led or been involved in numerous projects and initiatives that have helped Hamilton become the best city it can be,” says Mayor Hardaker.
At a national level, Tuheitia has contributed significantly to cultural and religious unification.
The reformation of the national tribal Council, Te Kaumarua, is attributed to Tuheitia and he convenes Kaahui Wairua, a hui of Maaori and other religious leaders.
Previous recipients of the award of Freedom of the City include the late Dame Hilda Ross, the late Sir Ross Jansen and the late Brian Perry.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
07 838 6679