A former head of the Tainui-Waikato Parliament has dismissed suggestions that a meeting between King Tuheitia and the dissident Fiji colonel, Tevita Mara, could politicise the Kingitanga.
The criticism has been raised by people formerly close to the Kingitanga.
But a past chairperson of Te Kauhanganui, Tom Roa, says King Tuheitia met with Ratu Mara out of respect, because the colonel has royal connections.
"There's another politic at play, and that politic has to do with the royal house of Maoridom maintaining its contacts, and fostering those contacts with the royal houses throughout the Pacific," he says.
Ratu Mara also met with Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia on Friday.