Ngāti Rangi kuia and Trust chair Kemp Dryden explain the significance of the central plateau's mountains and the Whanganui River to His Royal Highness Prince Harry after a pōwhiri at Putiki Marae last week. Photo: Cass Reid
While crowds flocked to Whanganui to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry, Ngāti Rangi as part of the Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective had an unscheduled opportunity to sit down and enjoy morning tea with him.
Hune and Reo Rapana, Cass Reid, Kui Raana Mareikura and Kemp Dryden were at last week's event to welcome his Royal Highness onto Putiki Marae.
After the pōwhiri, Prince Harry sat down with the kuia from the Maunga and the River enquiring if they could help broaden his understanding of the significance of the day's events.
Ngāti Rangi Trust chair Mr Dryden was then invited to join the conversation.
"Kui Raana, affectionately known as Nanny Biddy, and Kui Julie Ranginui shared their special connection to the Maunga and Awa.
"The conversation was about sharing our tradition knowledge.
"Why we do what we do and how we relate to Papatuanuku [mother Earth], to Ranginui [father Above], and everything in between.
"How we've become active kaitiaki [stewards] which includes being the voice of our sacred places."
While acknowledging the significance of today's purpose, Te Awa Tupua, [Whanganui river], Mr Dryden suggested the Prince first needed to understand that all rivers have a source.
"This was continually endorsed by our kuia, it was about providing more context from a cultural lens and perspective.
"My korero was about acknowledging that source."
Ngāti Rangi Trust Chair Kemp Dryden explains the significance of the central plateau's mountains and the Whanganui River to His Royal Highness Prince Harry after a pōwhiri at Putiki Marae last week. Photo: Cass Reid