In case you missed it, it’s the eve of the national hui called by the Māori King — here’s a run down of what you need to know.

What is happening and why?

Māori from around the country are gathering for a hui-ā-motu, or national hui, “to unify the nation”. Called by Kiingi Tuuheitia — in a royal proclamation issued at the end of last year — the hui is in response to growing concerns over the Government’s policies relating to Māori, such as rolling back the use of te reo in the public sector and introducing a Bill to redefine the principles of the Treaty.

The last time the king called a gathering of this significance was in 2012 over Māori rights to water.

Who is going to the hui?

It’s an open invite to all — Māori and non-Māori — and thousands are expected to attend. Many iwi are sending delegations and groups, whānau are encouraged to bring their tamariki, and rangatahi are being urged to attend.

All major parties are sending representatives except for ACT and NZ First.

Where is the hui being held?

The hui will be held at Tuurangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia, a town 20km north-west of Hamilton, with a population of more than 6500.

When is the national hui and what is planned?

The day-long event is on Saturday, January 20. Here’s what’s in store:

9am – Pōwhiri

11:30am-2:30pm – Breakout sessions/focus forums

  • Wellbeing of People Economy
  • Te Reo & Tikanga
  • Rangatahi
  • Treaty & Environment
  • National Unity

3pm – Breakout insights

4pm – Speech by Kiingi Tuuheitia

4:30pm – End.

What do I need to know if I’m attending?

Get there early to secure a park. If possible, carpool. Iwi have been asked to attend on buses or vans where possible. Shuttles are available for kaumātua and those who need them.

Food and water will be provided but people are asked to take snacks. Water stations will be available to refill your bottle.

Be sun smart. A few showers are forecast for the region but it’s expected to clear by the afternoon and the temperature is expected to reach 28 degrees, so stay hydrated. Take a hat and sunblock.

A first aid hub will be on site for any medical assistance.

As part of a long-standing tikanga, no flags or signs are allowed on the marae.

What if I’m not attending?

You can catch a livestream of the pōwhiri and the king’s speech on the 1News website and we’ll bring you updates throughout the day.


Hui – meeting

Hui-ā-motu – national meeting

Iwi – tribe(s)

Kaumātua – elder(ly)

Pōwhiri – welcoming ceremony

Rangatahi – young, young adult(s)

Tamariki – children

Tikanga – protocol(s)

Whānau – famil(y/ies)