PRINCE ON KAPITI

Exclusive Photos of Royal Visit

To Kapiti Island

By Alan Tristram
January 19, 2010

“(Photo specially supplied by Minnie Clark) – Prince William with a group of secondary students from Otaki College, Paraparaumu College and Kapiti College during his visit to Kapiti Island.”

Kapiti Independent News is pleased to bring you a unique series of photos of Prince William taken by Minnie Clark, a member of the Tangata Whenua, during the Royal visit to Kapiti Island.

Twelve students selected from three schools on the Kapiti Coast – Otaki College, Paraparaumu College and Kapiti College – joined the prince for his short visit to the island with Prime Minister John Key and MP Nathan Guy.

It was a perfect day for the visit – one of the first real days of summer enjoyed so far on the Kapiti Coast.

Minnie Clark, who so generously supplied these special photos, was a member of the iwi group who gave the karanga calling Prince William on to Kapiti for his historic visit.

Other iwi speakers also welcomed the Prince and outlined the unique place of Kapiti Island in New Zealand’s history and its place as one of NZ’s key bird sanctuaries.

Full Maori protocol was followed, with the special Maori advisers who accompanied the Prince replying to the tangata whenua  welcome on his behalf.

Then Doc rangers spoke of the island’s role in protecting bird life – and introduced the Prince to a very young kiwi and other native birds he is unlikely to meet back in the U.K.

The whole visit was relaxed, happy and memorable.

Whether one is royalist or republican, it has to be said that almost everyone can relate to a young person like William.

In the past the ‘Royals’ have usually come across as formal, if not stiff. But the prince is of course the son of his mother Diana, and he seems to have inherited her gift of charming the public.

Minnie Clark puts it this way:

“He is such a lovely person – happy to talk and interact with people.”

Put it his way, too – the Kapiti Coast isn’t likely to get publicity like this again for some time to come.