21 Sep 2017

Maori Party president not concerned about Tongan endorsement

7:36 am on 21 September 2017

The New Zealand Maori party president says it's not his concern whether the Tongan king endorsed one of his candidates or not.

Tukoroirangi "Tuku" Morgan

Tukoroirangi "Tuku" Morgan Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

This week the chair of the Tongan Advisory Council in New Zealand raised concerns at reports the Tongan king was approached to endorse the Maori Party.

Melino Maka said seeking royal endorsements was dangerous.

Mr Maka also cast doubt over whether the endorsement actually occurred.

Chair of NZ's Tonga Advisory Council, Melino Maka

Chair of NZ's Tonga Advisory Council, Melino Maka Photo: tonganz.net

But Maori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan said the approach in March by the Maori King Tuheitia was an attempt to bring Maori and Pasifika together.

Mr Morgan says the two kings spoke at the funeral of the Tongan Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata'aho in March.

"In that conversation was a earnest desire by Kingi Tuheitia to King Tupou VI and Samoa Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi that there should be a shared approach to the parliamentary process in New Zealand."

Mr Morgan said Mr Maka's comments are inconsequential.

"The Royal endorsement from the Tongan side that is their business. My business is to honour a solemn promise and a plea by King Tuheitia to both heads of state to Tonga and Samoa."

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