Taupiri Mountain. Sacred resting ground for the Waikato iwi (tribe.) I was just a young princess when crowned the first Māori queen over forty years ago. Because I have strong visionary gifts, my people called me, Te Atairangikaahu, or the “Hawk of the Morning Sky.” The problem my people face is the European invasion and their rapid control over Māori lands. Without a centralized government, the survival of the Māori culture simply is impossible.
Kingitanga, or the Māori King movement, makes it possible for some of the tribal leaders to unite under one King, or in my case, Queen. My goals? Simple: Promote peace; give educational opportunities and spiritual guidance for the Māori people. While my predecessors killed Europeans if they entered the Kingitanga, I put a stop to this practice early in my career.
Today my kidneys are failing. Soon my dear husband will bury me somewhere on Taupiri Mountain in an unmarked grave, a Māori tradition to show my equality with my people. I do not fear death. In fact, forty long years as the “Hawk of the Morning Sky” has made me quite tired. I am grateful for the opportunity to dedicate most of my life helping and serving my people. Farewell and all the best to my beloved country, New Zealand.
oldest son commands
washed up royalty
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