Day Six in New Zealand: Harry tries Maori and canoeing

Prince Harry spent the night at Ohakea Air Force base yesterday, and travelled to Whanganui, where he was greeted by Whanganui mayor, Annette Main.

Putiki Marae was next on Harry’s agenda, and he was welcomed with a powhiri from three local tribes. The Prince was particularly keen to meet as many people from different backgrounds, and tribes, as possible on his tour, and this is demonstrative of this wish.

Harry gives his speech

Harry gives his speech

A Wero (ceremonial challenge) was also performed by a toa (warrior) armed with a taiaha (traditional spear shaped weapon), and the Prince wore a traditional mantle, as seen above. This is the same korowai (cloak) given to him in Invercargill.

Interestingly, Harry attempted a short speech in Maori, and reports were that he did very well. He said it was an honour to be at Putiki marae, adding “Mauri ora ki a koutou katoa” (Special Greetings to you all). Harry also mentioned his uncle, Prince Edward, who spent a year in New Zealand in 1982.

Harry enjoyed morning tea in the ancestral house, before he took a waka (maori canoe) journey down the Whanganui River to Union Boat House; he is the first Royal to do this and his waka was called ‘The Queen’. The current was strong meaning the journey took a little longer than usual, and Harry of course joined in with the effort.


The Prince was presented with a carved paddle following his journey, and greeted those waiting to see him near the riverbank.

He said he was ‘absolutely knackered…That’s my exercise done for the day.’

Captain Wales met with soldiers and the nurse corps at Linton Military Camp yesterday, and today spent time with war veterans at the War Memorial Centre. 180 former Whanganui RSA members gathered at the centre to meet a fellow veteran: Harry went on two tours of Afghanistan.

He took a look around the centre, and read parts of the Book of Remembrance.


The public had gathered outside for the chance to see or even meet Harry, and he did not disappoint: despite the rain, the Prince spent time outside, shaking peoples hands, talking to them and, of course, saying hello to the little ones.

Photos: Government House New Zealand

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