UPDATED 8:45 am. 20 May. Hundreds of royal kāinga turned out today at ‘Atalanga Royal Residence in Epsom, Auckland to visit the infant Prince Taufaʻāhau Manumataongo for the first time since he was born on May 10.
The prince is a grandson of King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho.
He is the first child of Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku’aho and Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukālala who were married in July 2012.
The appearance of the kāinga (relatives) before the baby prince is a traditional fatongia (duty) of all tribes of the immediate paternal and maternal sides of the parents of the infant prince and to present the veifua, young coconut warmed for drinking, to the mother after giving birth to a child .
Kaniva understands meetings were called last week to inform the Kainga what to donate to the royal families when they visited ʻAtalanga today.
Four kāinga attended ‘Atalanga this evening. They were Prince Tupouto’a’s kāinga from ‘Utulau, Vava’u, Princess Sinaitakala’s kainga from Ma’ofanga and Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho’s kainga from Houma.
Last year some Tongans met King Tupou VI during his first official visit to New Zealand. His Majesty told them he did not want them to bring any more food and money when they visited him.
He said he only wanted them to bring Bibles and hymns, implying that he wanted to change the protocol of presenting huge amount of foods and koloa because it caused many families to suffer financially.
Gifts presented today included hogs, root crops, different kinds of meat, mats and ngatu. These were given to the kingʻs matāpule before the kāinga continued into the house to conduct prayer services.
The visitors were surprised when they were given meals prepared by the queen and her chefs. It is not common practise for the queen to do this because of her social status.
His Majesty Tupou VI arrived from Tonga this evening and is expected to be in Auckland for about two weeks.