19 Mar 2012

Ties between Kingitanga and Tongan royals to remain strong

7:20 pm on 19 March 2012

A Waikato-Tainui elder Koro Wetere says the strong ties between the Kingitanga and the Royal House of Tonga will continue following the death of King George Tupou V.

The 63-year-old monarch died in a Hong Kong hospital Sunday.

Koro Wetere says King George was a very private person.

He says King George attended the first Koroneihana celebrations for King Tuheitia at Turangawaewae in 2007.

Mr Wetere says genealogy ties the Kingitanga with the Royal House of Tonga in links first forged by Princess Te Puea and Queen Salote over 60-years ago.

He says the links will prevail between the Kingitanga and the Tongan royal family.