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 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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'