Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rejected by New Zealand's Maori King because 90 minute slot was 'not long enough'
The King's officials said he was 'not some carnival act to be rolled out and made to fit into a schedule'
The king of New Zealand's Maori people has cancelled a meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge next month because he said the time alloted to him was not long enough.
The 90 minute meeting with King Tuheitia was to be a part of the couple’s tour of New Zealand and Australia next month with their son Prince George.
A statement issued by the King's office, which reportedly quoted a senior official, said the monarch was “not some carnival act to be rolled out at the beck and call of anyone, and nor should we be prepared to compromise our tikanga [customs] to fit into a pre-determined schedule”.
A former truck driver who ascended to the throne in 2006, the King would have hosted the pair at his official residence and reception building on the country’s North Island at Turangawaewae.
The statement added that the meeting was not considered long enough to host the Duke and Duchess and other Maori leaders who were due to greet the royal visitors.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge poses with Prince George after he was born.
“The king wanted to give his best to this couple to reflect their status. He was being prevented from doing that,” the statement added.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said of the situation in a statement: "I think it's a shame the couple aren't going, but it's a decision made solely by King Tuheitia's people."
He added: "They were offered a 90-minute slot, that was longer than pretty much any other engagement that they have, and King Tuheitia's people decided that wasn't long enough and on that basis they rejected him attending."
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The programme for the visit, including the Maori elements, has been signed off by the New Zealand government.
"Many elements were considered and we have worked with the New Zealand government to include several appropriate events on the visit to recognise the significance of Maori culture.
"These include a substantial Powhiri, or ceremonial welcome, in Wellington, together with Maori engagements in Dunedin, Christchurch and elsewhere."
Additional reporting by PA
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
- 5 QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...
Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...