February 07, 2017
Elders sidelined in powhiri shambles
The leading kaumatua at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae says the marae committee created a shambles this weekend, but he doesn’t want to see powhiri taken elsewhere.
Kingi Taurua says elders have asked him to call a hui to discuss the next step, including the proposal for Waitangi Day organising committee chair Pita Paraone for the official powhiri to move across the river to the Treaty Grounds.
The Government boycotted the powhiri because of restrictions committee chair Ngati Kawa Taituha wanted to impose on Prime Minister Bill English’s speech, and the committee also tried to charge the media huge fees for access.
Mr Taurua says Ngati Rahiri and Ngati Kawa had put a lot of faith in their young people by making them marae trustees.
"They have forgotten about nga kaumatua, the elders, who are really responsible for the marae. So they have actually taken evetything into their own hands and made rules which they thought would be ideal for the marae but given they were not ideal, it became a shambles," he says.
Kingi Taurua says the land at Te Tii Marae is where the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi were first discussed, so it has more significance than the Treaty Grounds.
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