Home Royal NewsPrince Charles and Camilla Charles & Camilla visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, plus schools & start ups #RoyalVisitNZ

Charles & Camilla visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, plus schools & start ups #RoyalVisitNZ

by Rhadra Araújo

On the third day of their tour to New Zealand, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, being the first Royals to do so in the last 25 years.

The treaty provoked significant changes on the relationship between the Maori and the Crown, giving the island’s indigenous people the same rights as British subjects.

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Upon their arrival, Prince Charles and Camilla were greeted by the Chair of Waitangi National Trust Board and Chief Executive of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Then, the Prince and the Duchess paid their respects at the Hobson Memorial, before heading to a formal welcome ceremony called Pōwhiri.

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During the ceremony, Prince Charles gave a short speech saying: “As long as I have known this country I have been struck by the commitment of her people to what is right, even when it is not easy. New Zealand has faced up to the most painful periods of her past in a way that offers an example to the rest of the world.”

He added: “She has done so with courage, compassion and tolerance, qualities which, it seems to me, define the New Zealand character and were displayed so conspicuously following the recent atrocity in Christchurch.

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“The Treaty settlements do not, and cannot, right all the wrongs of the past. They can only go so far in easing the pain that has been felt by so many people.”

You can listen to a live recording of the speech here.

After the ceremony, The Prince of Wales planted a tree commemorating the visit. He also brought a korowai cloak with him, that was gifted to Queen Victoria by a Maori chief during his visit to the UK in 1863; it will be displayed at a Waitangi museum on loan.

Prince Charles and Camilla also toured the museum, where they viewed christening gifts that were given by Queen Victoria to the couple Hare and Hariata Pomare.

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Following the museum visit, Their Royal Highnesses also attended a reception with guests from the Māori community, viewed a tree planted by The Queen during her 1953 visit to New Zealand and demonstrations of traditional Māori games.

Afterwards, The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Kerikeri Primary School, where she met the school’s therapy dog, Meg, and joined Liam Curtis reading to the dog.

Camilla meets therapy dog, Meg at KeriKeri Primary School (Clarence House)

The Duchess also met children in the school’s garden participating in the Garden to Table programme, which encourages children to grow their own vegetables and then learn to make recipes in the kitchen from the food they have grown.

Then, Camilla was was invited to plant a tree in the school’s “Duchess Garden” to commemorate the visit and join children in the school hall who preparing food from the garden with a parent volunteer.

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Meanwhile, the future King went to Queenstown Resort College Tai Tokerau, to meet with young people who are developing environmentally sustainable start-ups through the Prince’s Trust New Zealand Enterprise programme.

Charles had the opportunity to join a group discussion about the hopes and aspirations of these young people, and met with supporters and donors to the organisation, too.

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Finishing the day, The Prince of Wales visited Paihia’s fire station, which was established in 1965. There, the Prince met the Chief Fire Officer, firefighters and first responders, who are all volunteers.

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) relies on 11,000 volunteers, that Making up 85% of the personnel, they help to keep the communities safe and provide essential services across the country, especially outside the major cities.

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1 comment

Yumiko Kokuryu Thu 21 November, 2019 - 3:04 pm

Thank you very much for sharing wonderful experiences in New Zealand. Please keep travelling safely.

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