Maori King Snubs Prince William, Kate

90 minutes not enough time for proper meeting, his people say

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2014 10:42 AM CST

(Newser) – Ouch: Prince William and wife Kate have been refused a meeting with New Zealand's Maori king, because they didn't offer up enough time. Wills and Kate, along with son Prince George, will be in New Zealand next month, and asked to meet with King Tuheitia for 90 minutes. But his office rejected that idea, saying 90 minutes isn't enough time to observe proper protocols, New Zealand's prime minister says, according to AFP. "It’s rather disappointing," says Prime Minister John Key, calling the offer of 90 minutes "quite generous, considering, "if you look at (the royals’) program, there are very few places where they’re there for an hour, let alone 90 minutes."

Alas, "in the end King Tuheitia’s people said, 'If you can’t make it longer than 90 minutes then don’t come'—so they’re not coming," Key says. But King Tuheitia issued his own scathing statement, the Guardian reports, and it blames the "faceless bureaucrats" who planned the visit, noting, "The king was never asked anything. He was simply told." Interesting side note: King Tuheitia, whose position is purely symbolic, was a truck driver before his coronation in 2006.

Maori King Tuheitia, center, is surrounded by family after making his speech during celebrations for the first anniversary of his coronation at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007.
Maori King Tuheitia, center, is surrounded by family after making his speech during celebrations for the first anniversary of his coronation at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand, Tuesday,...   (AP Photo/NZPA, Stephen Barker)
This is a Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012  file photo of  Britain's Prince William stand next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London.
This is a Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 file photo of Britain's Prince William stand next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
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