February 08, 2018
No room for rudeness in Waitangi welcome
Veteran activist and Ngapuhi kuia Titewhai Harawira says moving the official welcome for Treaty of Waitangi commemorations to the Treaty Grounds was necessary and a major factor in the success of this year's event.
As she has with recent prime ministers, Mrs Harawira accompanied Jacinda Ardern on the grounds along with Ngati Whatua kuia Dame Rangimarie Glavish and sat beside her on the porch of the Whare Runanga.
She says because of the way trustees at the lower Te Tii Marae mishandled last year's powhiri she worked with the Waitangi National Trust and other Ngapuhi leaders to shift it.
"I've put up with some things and I've created some things down there too as a protest leader but never ever to be so rude to our visitors that they felt so uncomfortable and Ngapuhi's mana was out the window," Mrs Harawira says.
She says Prime Minister Arden is wonderful to work with but the proof will be in what actions follow the words.
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