Day seven in New Zealand: Harry meets spinal patients and gets cheeky with paint

Prince Harry started his day at Mangere’s Southern Cross Campus in Auckland. Students performed a haka in the rain to welcome him, and then the Prince was treated to a waiata in the assembly hall.

Bedecked with a floral wreath, Harry watched some cultural performances including Samoan, Tongan & Cook Islanders. He then handed out certificates and took a tour, chatting with students and staff.


After meeting with students there, he visited the spinal rehabilitation unit at Middlemore Hospital. Here he met with members of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation and a number of spinal patients. The foundation supports injured rugby players and their families financially and emotionally.

Back in the UK, Harry is patron of a similar scheme, the RFU Injured Players Foundation; he also great interest in injured servicemen and women, as seen by his Invictus Games last September.

Current New Zealand team members Jerome Kaino and Keven Mealamu, along with foundation president Tane Norton were present.


Harry spent time going from workstation to workstation, and observed patients undergoing treatment such as physiotherapy to help them walk again if possible, and motor skills activities. He spoke with them, their carers and staff about the stages one goes through from accident to eventually going home following treatment.


The unit’s service manager said yesterday that meeting Prince Harry would be a boost to the patients who were at a low point in their lives, reports

Youth programme Turn Your Life Around was next for Harry, in Otara. The trust works with local communities to inspire at-risk youth to turn their lives around, and was established in 1996.


The 30-year-old had played a number of games including pool, and table football, and helped with some painting – putting a purple handprint of Royal photographer, Arthur Edwards’ head!

Later in the afternoon, Prince Harry met with Labour leader Andrew Little at Government House, and then with with Prime Minister John Key. He had time after his visit in Otara to himself.

The evening saw Prince Harry attend an Emergency Services Reception at Government House. He gave a speech and also met some furry friends, who assist the services. He praised the charming talented New Zealanders and questioned why it took him 30 years to visit. once again attempted Maori. Listen to his speech below:

Photos: Government House New Zealand

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