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
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor