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New Zealand's Maori Name New King


New Zealand's indigenous Maori population has named a new king following the death of its queen six days ago.

The late queen's eldest son, Tuheitia Paki, was named the new Maori king in the village of Ngaruawahia, south of Auckland Monday.

Formerly a cultural adviser, Tuheitia Paki was chosen by tribal leaders throughout New Zealand. He will officially take over as king after the burial of his mother Tuesday.

Thousands of mourners gathered at the Turangawaewae (meeting place) in Ngaruawahia for her funeral Monday. Included were heads of state or their representatives from Pacific islands in the region.

The late queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, reigned for 40 years. The Maori have named monarchs since 1858 when their tribes united in an attempt to retain ownership of their land.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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