King wades into politically sensitive topic with letter signalling shift for Royal Family


King Charles III has penned a letter to share his condolences with New Zealand, after the country battled with deadly floods and record rainfall last week.

King Charles III has become the first British monarch to refer to New Zealand as Aotearoa. The 74-year-old did so in his letter of condolences with the country after it was hit by extreme weather. Addressing the country as Aotearoa sees the King wade into a politically sensitive topic.

Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.

In his letter, Charles wrote: “It is with the deepest concern that I have been following news of the flooding and severe weather affecting several regions in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Charles added: “My wife and I send our heartfelt sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with the many others whose lives have been so terribly impacted by events.

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Charles has penned a letter to New Zealand (Image: GETTY)

charles letter new zealand

Charles sent a letter to New Zealand (Image: Twitter/royalfamily)

“I have long admired the strength and resourcefulness of New Zealanders, and I send my thoughts and prayers to all those who are supporting response and recovery efforts to help people repair or restore homes, businesses and lives.”

Charles concluded the letter with another respectful notice to the Indigenous people by completing the letter with a Māori phrase.

He wrote: “Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.”

It has been reported that at least four people lost their lives in the devastating floods, whilst thousands of homes have been left damaged.

king charles new zealand

Charles visited New Zealand in November 2019 (Image: GETTY)

Heavy rain swept through the country, triggering widespread landslides leading to the damage and fatalities.

Like Australia, New Zealand is one of the 15 nations under the Commonwealth.

The King’s letter comes after a petition was launched to change the coutry’s official name to Aotearoa.

Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, has previously stated that she uses both New Zealand and Aotearoa, with hopes that others will follow in her footsteps.

king charles new zealand

Charles visited New Zealand in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

58 percent voted to keep the name as New Zealand, whilst 41 percent voted in favour of a mix of New Zealand and Aotearoa.

Only 9 percent voted for the name to changed to Aotearoa entirely.

King Charles last visited New Zealand prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, in 2019. The Queen Consort, formerly the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the country along with her husband.


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