A source says it is well known that Korotangi Paki does not
want to take on any duties. Photo: NZ Herald/Brett Phibbs
The second son of the Maori king is known for his bad-boy
antics and has been in trouble before - surviving a car crash a
few years ago that should have left him dead.
Korotangi Paki this week dodged a conviction after appearing
in the Auckland District Court on charges of drink driving,
two counts of burglary and one of theft.
Last night he faced more backlash over derogatory comments
against Asians and using the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" on
Facebook. The page was closed yesterday.
The 19-year-old was granted a conditional discharge without
conviction by Judge Philippa Cunningham, who accepted Mr
Paki's lawyer's case that his client needed a clean record to
be considered as an heir to the Kingitanga throne.
But a source close to the family said Mr Paki had always been
a mischievous child and had never been expected to take over
from his father.
The source said King Tuheitia's eldest son, Whatumoana Paki,
had been groomed from a very young age to one day rule.
"Whatu was brought up to be the successor to his father and
was also raised by a lot of old people in Tainui. Whereas
Korotangi was the spare - and he was never expected to do
anything. I think Whatu would be an ideal successor because
he is a hell of a nice kid."
In 2011, Korotangi Paki was involved in a boyracer crash in
Witnesses said the vehicle had wrapped itself around a pole
and they had expected the occupants to have been killed.
Police laid charges at the time, but it is unknown whether Mr
Paki - who was 16 at the time - was ever convicted.
A spokesman for the king, Rahui Papa, said then: "He's doing
well. He's alive and that's our main focus. When I see him,
he's going to get a clip on his ears."
Yesterday, the source who spoke to the Weekend Herald said it
was well-known that the king's younger son did not want to
take on the duty.
The decision to let Mr Paki go without conviction has
provoked outrage among the public, who vented their anger on
social networks at the judge's decision.
A number of Facebook pages calling for justice have appeared
and changes made to King Tuheitia's Wikipedia page saying the
judge had been "tricked".
The case has also been criticised by some Maori outside of
Former Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels said the decision
made a mockery of the judicial system.
Mr Samuels said if a Maori youth in Tai Tokerau had committed
the offences, they would have gone to jail.
"Forget about all these racial overtones. It's got nothing to
do with race, but it's got something to do with status -
that's all - and ego."
In sentencing, Judge Cunningham said she was "driven to the
conclusion" that Mr Paki would lose out on being a successor
It is understood affidavits given to the judge included one
from King Tuheitia, who made it clear that in no way would
his second son be considered to succeed him if he did not
have a clean record.
"There's only two sons and in my view it's important that the
king at the appropriate time has the widest possible choice
of a successor and it's important for Mr Paki, as one of
those two sons, to have the potential to be a successor in
While his drink-driving was moderately serious, Judge
Cunningham said, the direct and indirect consequences of a
conviction were "out of all proportion" to the offence.
Mr Samuels, a former Labour MP, criticised that logic as that
of someone under "cultural hypnosis".
"You tell that to the younger generation that are in Her
Majesty's Marae. The guy got off because one day he may
"Well, that may be relevant to a few people in Tainui, but
it's certainly not relevant at all to our young people in
David Rankin, also from Ngapuhi, said Mr Paki would not need
to go through a police vetting process to become king.
"That position is about birth ... and people do grow, they
mature, they do change ... he should have faced stiffer
penalties and been made an example of."
Tuku Morgan, a spokesman for the King, could not be reached
for comment yesterday.
However, he previously said that Mr Paki was treated fairly
because he was dealt with under the same legal system all New
Mr Paki's position meant he must bear the shame - which in
the Maori world is inescapable and serious.
Before the judge's decision, defence counsel for Mr Paki,
Paul Wicks QC, said the consequences of a conviction would
outweigh the seriousness of the crime, because it would
render the teen - who will become a father in September -
ineligible for the role of king.
The police prosecutor, however, opposed a discharge without
conviction, saying it would send the wrong message to
Mr Paki's friends - Te Ahorangi Totorewa, 20, Hamuera Wipoha
Pugh, 19, and Raa Ngaru Smith, 18 - were all discharged
without conviction in Gisborne District Court on Monday.
The four were charged with taking surfboards from a Top Ten
Holiday Park and clothes from a man's car after a drinking
session in March.
One of the victims of the crime spree, Matt Moore, manager of
the Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, said it didn't seem
the young men were held to account.
"I think everyone should be held to the same standards. I was
a bit surprised [with the judge's decision].
"They talked about having contacted everyone and apologised,
but they didn't contact me. It was negative publicity for my
business and I never heard from them."
Mana Party member and lawyer Annette Sykes said Mr Paki
wasn't given preferential treatment and the discharge was
• Age 19. Younger son of the Maori King, Tuheitia.
• Discharged in the Auckland District Court this week on
charges of drink driving, burglary and theft.
• His lawyer, Paul Wicks, QC, said Paki could succeed his
father to the Maori throne only with a clean record.