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25 May - 10:26 pm NZ
Updated at 6:36 pm on 9 October 2012
The Maori King movement says a dawn voyage by traditional war canoes was a message to the Government that tangata whenua will defend their water rights.
The procession on 8 October marked 79 years since Kingi Koroki, the fifth Maori king, was crowned.
Kingi Tuheitia commemorated the anniversary with a waka procession on the Waikato River.
He was on board Tatahiora, one of three large waka which travelled from Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia to Waahi Marae in Huntly.
His spokesperson, Tukoroirangi Morgan, says the journey was also designed to send a message to the Government about water rights.
He says the rare waka occasion showed how important water is to Maori, as they begin to fortify and defend their rights.
After the procession Kingi Tuheitia held his annual pa hui at Waahi Marae which discussed water rights, and was a follow up to September's national hui on water, which he called.
Monday's hui was attended by senior Maori including Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and members of the Maori Council, such as Sir Eddie Durie.
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