New Zealand High Commission Pretoria, South Africa
Visit to New Zealand by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation
Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation (www.bafokeng.com), visited NZ from 26-30 September as part of the NZ2011 hospitality programme. The visit was timed to attend the RWC South Africa v Samoa pool match.
The itinerary was developed around three key elements: education, culture and commerce. It highlighted the experiences, values and principles New Zealand and South Africa, Maori and Bafokeng share. It offered New Zealand the chance to differentiate ourselves from the many other countries with which the RBN might seek to engage for support in its development aspirations.
A meeting with Minister of Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples and visit to Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae made a profound impact on how Kgosi and his advisors are thinking about the role of language and culture in educational initiatives. Kgosi invited Dr Sharples to visit Phokeng, the RBN capital, some 2 hours from Pretoria.
In Auckland, Kgosi also visited Waipareira Trust (www.waipareira.com) where CEO, John Tamihere, explained how Waipareira is implementing Whanau Ora, its holistic approach to community sustainability and development.
Kgosi’s attention was captured during a visit to the Cloud (www.waterfrontauckland.co.nz/Attractions/Waterfront-Attractions/The-Cloud.aspx), when he had the opportunity to engage with the designers of the innovative space on the Auckland waterfront. He has a background in architecture and a deep interest in urban planning. A visit to the Millennium Institute for Sport (www.mish.org.nz) offered some ideas for the Bafokeng as they consider how to best utilise the Bafokeng Sports Palace The Millennium Institute is both a high performance training facility, and also open for community use.
Kgosi was welcomed at Turangawaewae (www.teara.govt.nz/en/waikato-tribes/5) by Kiingi Tuheitia and met with iwi representatives from Tainui and guests. Kgosi acknowledged that Tainui and Bafokeng share many values and hopes, and he indicated his desire that his friendship with Kiingi Tuheitia will grow into a "strong and mutually beneficial friendship between two peoples of pride and vision".
While in the Waikato, Kgosi also met with the CEO of Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology www.wintec.ac.nz) and explored opportunities for educational collaboration at the technical and vocational level.
Additional photos from the visit are available at www.nzembassy.com/photos-from-visit-to-nz-by-kgosi-leruo-molotlegi-king-of-the-royal-bafokeng-nation.