Wellington - Britain's Prince Harry led a song at a Maori meeting ground in New Zealand's indigenous Te Reo language on Wednesday, the final day of his tour of the Pacific with his wife Meghan.
The pair were welcomed onto the Te Papaiouru Marae on where his grandmother Queen Elizabeth visited in 1953 in the north-eastern town of Rotorua, famed for its geothermal activity and described by its mayor as the 'heartland of Maori culture'.
Meghan wore a navy Stella McCartney dress and Harry a grey suit. Both were adorned by feathered cloaks gifted to them by the marae and Meghan also wore a carved greenstone necklace given to her by the country's governor general.
Harry and Meghan have been welcomed on to the marae at Ohinemutu, Rotorua. The duchess is wearing Stella McCartney under her traditional korowai cloak woven by Ngāti Whakaue elder Norma Sturley #royalvisitnz pic.twitter.com/3rH5C1RIhr— Woman's Day NZ (@WomansDayNZ) October 30, 2018
Prince Harry opened his address in the Te Reo language and ended his speech with a Maori proverb. His strong pronunciation drew applause from the crowd. He then led a traditional song entitled 'Te Aroha', which means 'love' in Te Reo.
Harry's enthusiasm towards the Maori language was welcomed by Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick.
"As our confidence as bilingual district grows, so does our confidence in our people and our future," he said in a speech.
The use of Te Reo Maori language is experiencing a revival in New Zealand, after years of decline due to historical policies that cracked down on the use of the language, particularly in schools.
Free Maori language courses often report being booked out and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said her infant daughter Neve Te Aroha will learn the language alongside English.
The royal couple were set to depart New Zealand for London on Thursday after a two-week tour that has included visits to Australia, Tonga and Fiji.Reuters