It is one of the most anticipated arrivals of the year - but
Maori royalty have rejected an offer of a visit by Prince
William because not enough time was given.
The Duke of Cambridge will tour New Zealand next month with
his wife, Kate, and their baby, Prince George.
The visit to New Zealand, then Australia, will be the first
public engagement for the 8-month-old.
But it was confirmed yesterday that a trip to Turangawaewae
had been cancelled by King Tuheitia.
Prime Minister John Key said the decision was made solely by
the Maori King's advisers, but the King's office made no
"My understanding is the palace offered King Tuheitia's
people an opportunity for the Prince to visit. They were
offered a 90-minute slot. That was longer than pretty much
any other engagement they have and King Tuheitia's people
decided that wasn't long enough and on that basis, they
rejected him actually attending."
It is understood the slot would not be long enough for proper
protocol to be carried out during the visit.
Mr Key said: "It's a matter for them to decide their own
thing, but in the end [Prince William] has a fairly tight
timetable ... I would have thought [90 minutes] was quite
"I think it's a shame he's not going, but that was a decision
solely made by King Tuheitia's people."
- Vaimoana Tapaleao and Claire Trevett of the New