Kelvin Davis honoured by korowai

9:53 pm on 3 February 2018

It was meant to be a secret celebration but thanks to Facebook, Kelvin Davis soon found out Ngāti Manu and Te Taitokerau Labour Electorate committee had a surprise for him.

Kelvin Davis

Kelvin Davis is presented with a korowai Photo: RNZ/ Shannon Haunui-Thompson

After months of planning and preparation the people of Kāretu Marae were ready to celebrate their descendants and their achievements.

They were also ready for the hundreds who arrived from the local and wider community who wanted to hear what the Prime Minister had to say and sneak in a selfie.

Phoebe Davis of Ngāti Manu said the day was humbling and hoped the achievements of the five Ngāti Manu MPs inspire the rangatahi.

"We've got five MPs today and we've got two judges who are Ngāti Manu, doctors, lawyers you name it but I want them to hear their story and know they come from greatness and anything is possible."

Māori MPs who have whakapapa links to Ngāti Manu are Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare, Nanaia Mahuta, Rino Tirikatene, Willow Jean Prime and Shane Jones.

It's the second day of the Prime Minister's five-day stay in Northland and today she said she hoped to visit other marae around the country too.

"These kind of visits give me an insight into what locally will make a real difference and I should add this is the work our local Māori MPs do everyday."

Prime Minister and company are welcomed to Karetu Marae

Jacinda Ardern and company are welcomed onto Kāretu Marae Photo: RNZ/ Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Something deputy Labour Party leader and Minister for Crown/Māori Releations Kelvin Davis echoed. During the celebrations today he was presented with a korowai from his hapū.

A group of men draped the cloak around his shoulders as a sign of his rangatira status.

"It was put on my shoulders but really all of us are wearing it, it's a privilege to be honoured by our own and we do feel the weight of expectation, as ministers and members of parliament, to deliver results for our people, not just Ngāti Manu, all of Ngāpuhi and all other iwi."

Taonga were given to Ms Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford as well as Peeni Henare, Willow Jean Prime and Willie Jackson - whose wife comes from Ngāti Manu.

Ms Ardern doesn't have any official engagements tomorrow, the official pōwhiri for her to Waitangi will be held on Monday at Te Whare Rūnanga on the upper treaty grounds.

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