• New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives to attend The Queen's Dinner wearing a traditional Māori cloak (Getty Images )Source: Getty Images
The image of the Jacinda Ardern walking through Buckingham Palace in a Māori cloak has been met with praise from commentators.
Rangi Hirini

20 Apr 2018 - 4:54 PM  UPDATED 20 Apr 2018 - 5:33 PM

The Prime Minister of New Zealand has again shown her respect to the Indigenous people of New Zealand by honouring their culture and showcasing it on a global level.

Ms Ardern wore a korowai (traditional Māori cloak) while attending a dinner with members of the Commonwealth during this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Queen Elizabeth.

The korowai was loaned to the Prime Minister by the Ngati Ranana London Māori Club.

A kahu huruhuru is style of cloak normally decorated with feathers and is spiritually significant for Māori people.

According to educational information on New Zealand's national museum Te Papa's website, in the Māori culture birds are seen as the children of Tānemahuta (God of the forest) and they act as “messengers” between the people and the Gods.

“Each bird has a mauri (life force) and special qualities, and these become part of a cloak’s essence and personality."

Britain's Prince Charles greets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford.

The museum's guardian of the Māori special collections, Mark Sykes, told the Guardian many Māoris are very proud of this moment.

“Cloaks are worn for warmth, protection and to symbolise your status and mana [power],” said Mr Sykes.

“I think it shows how she is portraying herself as a leader of Māori, of all of New Zealand, of everyone... She wore it well. She wore it so well.”

Social media reactions also sang praise for the Prime Minister.

Earlier this year, Ms Ardern became the first ever New Zealand Prime Minister to speak during the traditional Māori welcoming ceremony on Waitangi Day, on the Waitangi grounds. 

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