Waitangi Day battles loom again
Sun, 03 Feb 2013 8:05a.m.
Annual clashes at Waitangi have driven Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia away from attending commemorations, while Prime Minister John Key will be walking into a tribal spat when he arrives at the lower marae.
Political leaders will begin arriving at Waitangi today, ahead of events at Te Tii Marae on February 6 to commemorate the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by representatives of the crown and Maori chiefs.
Annual drama involving the family of Mana Party leader Hone Harawira - including his mother Titewhai Harawira and nephew Wi Popata - has become a symbol of Waitangi Day events.
Mrs Turia is refusing to attend after being pushed around roughly a few years ago, RadioLIVE reports.
"People kind of build the angst leading up to Waitangi and quite often it's not even the people from the north, there's people from all over the country who come there with all their anger over what's happened in the past," she says.
Mr Key will walk straight into a battle between marae elders after they decided Mrs Harawira will not lead him on to the marae this year.
Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua told Fairfax that trustees will appoint their own kuia to escort guests after concerns in recent years over Mrs Harawira's behaviour.
Mrs Harawira - who famously made former Prime Minister Helen Clark cry in 1998 after challenging her right to speak on the marae - slammed Mr Taurua's comments, maintaining she will be involved this year.
The spat might mean two kuia will lead Mr Key on to the marae.
Despite a ban on protests, Waitangi Day at Te Tii Marae is set to be fiery with the Maori water rights claim over the Government's asset sales continuing in court.
Mr Key has kept tight security after being shoved around by Mr Harawira's nephews Wi and John Popata in 2009, while in 2012, protests over deep sea oil drilling meant he was unable to speak on the marae.
The Popata brothers say they won't be attending this year but some locals think they may change their minds.
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4/02/2013 9:48:26 a.m.
Ratana... Waitangi... just posturing and talk. Nothing changes. Key sells the water and ground from under our feet and favours foreigners over kiwis. Aotearoa is maori/kiwi land for all NZers not for immigrants and multi-nationals who just want to make a quick buck with the help of greedy nats. The battle is not between maori and pakeha, it is between loyal kiwis of all kinds and those who are traitors to this country.
3/02/2013 6:22:49 p.m.
usual waitangi day crap.
3/02/2013 5:52:37 p.m.
Agree with you @ muzasux
Or the Maori word mana, sadly lacking on Waitangi day for quite sometime. (At least from what the media shows)
3/02/2013 3:45:12 p.m.
77% percent of maori have seen no benefit from the treaty as they are excluded due to no iwi affiliation. Govt stats.
3/02/2013 3:12:39 p.m.
I hope someone other than Harawira will be appointed to escort guests. The elders have a duty to the many NZers who participate in Waitangi Day celebrations. It is an insult to all NZers allowing that woman to behave in the way she has in the past. Waitangi Day is for all NZers and there should be no place for the disrespect she brings with her to the occasion.
3/02/2013 1:44:12 p.m.
no doubt you know te reo but you wouldnt have a clue about the english word "honour"
3/02/2013 12:23:41 p.m.
Waitangi day is a farce as is the treaty that has been changed/manipulated to benifit a few in privillaged positions while the majority on both sidea of the racial devide pay for it.
3/02/2013 10:00:28 a.m.
honour the treaty wrote:
Any opportunity to put the govt on trial is good. JK needs to be held to account.
3/02/2013 8:45:01 a.m.
cancel all these troubles up there take the day to the week ends we have a day at the beach to much anger not worth it stay home mr key they mad up there wiremu.
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