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Kia ora! Prince Charles and Camilla are welcomed to Auckland with a fearsome haka as they kick off their New Zealand tour amid furore around brother Prince Andrew's 'car crash' interview

Prince Charles, 71, appeared in good spirits today as he was welcomed to New Zealand for eight day tour Camilla, 71, joined him for a whirlwind day of engagements before they rounded off the day watching the hakaIt is couple's third visit to the country, after travelling in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee and again in 2015The trip comes as fall-out continues over brother Prince Andrew's 'car crash' BBC's Newsnight interview


The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed to New Zealand with an official Maori haka after rounding off a busy first day of engagements in Auckland. 

Charles, 71, and Camilla, 72, undertook a whirlwind tour of Auckland during the first day of their eight day trip to  the country, with engagements including meeting children at a local community centre and laying a wreath at Mount Roskill War Memorial.

The royals rounded off their busy first day with an official Maori welcome in the form of a haka while attending the Queen's Colour Ceremony at the RNZAF Whenuapai Airbase in Auckland.

It is the couple's third visit to the country, after visiting in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee and again in 2015, and comes as the fall-out continues over Prince Andrew's 'car crash' BBC Newsnight interview. 

The royals started their day by visiting the Mount Roskill War Memorial where they paid their respects and took part in a wreath laying ceremony in the Mount Roskill neighbourhood of Auckland.

The first full day of the tour to New Zealand began on a solemn note, as the couple paid tribute to those who had served the country at the Mount Roskill War Memorial.

Crowds peeked through the trees at the suburban Auckland site, while Charles laid a wreath with the message 'in solemn remembrance' on the cairn.

The site also contains a memorial to men from the Pacific island Niue who fought alongside the 3rd Maori Contingent in the First World War, with 150 men having departed for Auckland on the SS Te Anau on October 13, 1915. 

Members of the city's Niue community sung a medley of traditional songs from the country before the arrival, and gave the royal visitors gifts.

Dorothy Sietu gave the couple a bedsheet which she had made herself.

'It's king size,' she said of the sheet after meeting the royal party.

They were also given a hat and table mat by Sina Utalo Panama, whose grandfather Fakalagakai Falani served as a private. 'In our community we say things with our heart,' she said.

Following the wreath laying at Mount Roskill War Memorial, the couple went on to Wesley Community Centre, where they met with staff members of Auckland Council Michael Matheson and Infay Wong See.

The couple were welcomed to the centre with a Maori Mihi whakatau or greeting.  

Another gift Camilla received on Monday was a golden wreath of Cadbury's Crunchie bars at the Wesley Community Centre from five-year-old Joelle Leilua.

Charles laughed as he rearranged her garland, which had been made by the Kidzone programme; they had selected gold to signify the royal couple. 

A group of male dancers entertained the couple, before they met other users of the centre, and Charles met Richard Barter who runs Bike Kitchen which repairs donated bikes and gives them to local families.

Charles was particularly taken with his little Shih Tzu Chino who had been given a bath 'specially for the royal visit'.

For there, Prince Charles visited Critical Design, a Social Enterprise focused on achieving environmental sustainability through waste reduction and creating local employment opportunities. 

It uses innovative technology to turn plastic waste into material that can be used to manufacture other products. 

The Prince of Wales joined the team at Critical Design as he attempted turning plastic waste into designer furniture.

Rui Peng, co-founder of Auckland recycling firm Critical Design, asked Charles: 'You're good at that, do you want a job?' 

Mr Peng said: 'The Prince got quite animated about what we do here. He said he has been advocating this for years, making use of waste plastic is critical for the future.' 

He went on to join the Duchess of Cornwall for a wine tasting session at the Hunting Lodge Winery, where they undertook a vineyard tour.

The winery is the site of the first Sauvignon Blanc Grapes grown in New Zealand and located at the heart of Auckland's wine country. 

The royals were able to sample reisling, pinot grigio and albarino grapes before mixing them to form a blend under the careful eye of winemaker Pete Turner.

The blending process saw Charles and Camilla choosing a grape which they preferred to serve as a base, before other varities were added to enhance the flavour.

Pete said that Charles opted for a blend of 75% reisling with pinot grigio to finish, revealing: 'It was a chance to introduce them to the concept of blending, creating just a nice zesty, straight-forward white wine that represents New Zealand.

'Reisling is a very lemony, zesty, acid-driven style but there is some nice sweetness to it. There's a lot of intensity to it.'

He added: 'A little pinot grigio helped round it out. It's a really nice balanced wine.'

The winery was the place where the first New Zealand sauvingnon blanc was created after cuttings were imported from California in the 1970s, and the grape is one of the main varieties currently grown on the site.

The day was rounded off at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Whenuapai, where Charles presented the Queen's Colour at the site 66 years after the Queen performed the same ceremony in December 1953.  

The couple were greeted with a performance of the haka at the air base, with the Prince of Wales beaming as he watched the performance. 

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