October 05, 2016
Waitangi whare not proper for powhiri
Waitangi protest leader turned politician Hone Harawira says moving the official welcome up to the Treaty Grounds is against the spirit of Waitangi Day.
New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone, who chairs the organising committee for commemorations in the north, has proposed the move because of the controversy around this year’s powhiri, when elders at Te Tii Marae told Prime Minister John Key to stay away.
The Mana leader says the Whare Runanga on the Treaty Grounds was built to mark the centenary of the treaty in 1940, and it doesn’t have the facilities associated with a marae.
"It doesn’t have a genuine living tangata whenau presence, as it does down on the bottom marae. The importance of Te Tii Marae is that is the home marae. It's like going down to Waikato to have the coronation (hui) at the Novotel. Tainui may own the Novotel but they sure ain't going to have the coronation there," Mr Harawira says.
He says Mr Paraone wants a pleasant, polite and meaningless Waitangi Day.
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