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No. 7 (Summer 1954)
– 9 –

“KIA ORA
KOUTOU”

Here follows the complete text of the speech given by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II to Her Maori people at Rotorua.

Mr Minister, Representatives and Chiefs of the Maori Tribes of New Zealand:

I am most grateful to you for the Address which you have presented to me on behalf of the Maori people. My husband and I have been much inspired by the welcome we have been given here today, and we have been delighted and interested to see your age-old ceremonial and dances.

I have long looked forward to this, my first full meeting with the Maori people in their own homeland, for I have heard much of your proud traditions and of that deep and abiding loyalty which you have so often demonstrated in peace and in war.

The kind words you have spoken of my father have touched me. Twenty-five years ago you made him welcome on this ground, and I know that he always wished to return here to meet you again. You were much in his thoughts, as you will always be in mine.

I was deeply impressed when last Monday, I visited the historic spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by your Leaders more than one hundred years ago. From that treaty great good has sprung and, today, you share with my European people of this country a precious and growing heritage.

I have been most happy to learn of the great advancement which the Maori people have made in agriculture, science and the arts. I hope, too, that you will always hold fast to your own language and culture, your arts and crafts, and that you will always cherish the traditions which have been handed down from your forefathers.

I thank you again for your welcome.

Kia Ora Koutou.