TE AO HOU
THE NEW WORLD
During the Queen's visit to this country a special Maori reception will be held at Rotorua, where the Maori people can express their loyalty and affection to their Sovereign in accordance with their own customs and traditions. This loyalty and affection dates from the Treaty of Waitangi, which was a solemn agreement between Queen Victoria and the Maori chiefs. According to this agreement the Maori leaders laid their chiefly powers (mana rangatira) before Captain Hobson as gifts (tahua) to Queen Victoria. She, on her part, gave to the Maori people her Royal protection, and equality in British law and custom with the pakeha. In the minds of the chiefs of those days the mana they renounced was personally held by the Great Queen, the Ariki Tapairu of Britain, and she would personally see that her servants gave protection and did justice.
Since then, the Maori people have shown the strongest attachment to the British Royal House, of ancient and venerable ancestry, whose rule is by the Grace of God, as and symbolised by the most sacred and magnificent ritual and ceremonial. On previous occasions when members of the Royal Family visited New Zealand, the Maori people have given wholehearted expression to the depth of their love for the Sovereign.
From another viewpoint, too, the Sovereign's first personal visit to this country has a special meaning to the Maori people. In the old days the doing of honour and showing of hospitality to great visiting chiefs were the great occasions of Maori life. An important part of the traditional culture was centred on such occasions.
In 1901, when the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York visited New Zealand, Sir James Carroll and Apirana Ngata showed to what extent the welcome to Royalty could bring out the best and deepest in the Maori people. The display of dancing and the gifts presented at Rotorua on that occasion were the pinnacle of Maori achievement at a time when the rousing of the Maori spirit was the all-important aim of Maori leaders.
The Queen's forthcoming visit will again be an occasion for an unequalled display and revival of the traditional culture. At the same time, there is an increased tendency to take a full part in the receptions in municipalities outside Rotorua or Waitangi. All over the country there is, on a greater scale than ever before, collaboration between the Maori and pakeha to organise a reception together.
Thus the Queen, on her visit, will see British ‘loyalty’ and Maori ‘aroha’ at the one time, as two different expressions of the same sentiment.