February 04, 2019
Taurua legacy overshadowed as Waitangi marae takes Brash step
It will be a day of action and debate at Waitangi today, but one of the most high profile protesters of recent years will be missing.
MPs from all parties will be welcomed this morning to the Treaty Grounds, fenced off from any large scale protest.
Down at the lower Te Tii Marae a former protester has stirred up controversy by inviting Hobson’s Pledge founder Don Brash to speak at a political forum.
In a previous visit to the Marae as National Party leader 15 years ago, shortly after his infamous Ōrewa speech, Mr Brash had mud thrown at him.
MP Willie Jackson, who turned down an invitation to join the forum with Dr Brash, says the the invite was not in the spirit of the late Kingi Taurua, who held sway at the lower marae for almost two decades until his death last year.
"We should have had some time to remember Kingi Taurua rather than listen to Don Brash. Kingi was a great advocate for our people. He was a kaikōrero for me. He was a kaumātua for me. He always supported me at major hui whenever I needed him, I'd rather think about him rather than that Don Brash on Waitangi Day," he says.
A range of people intend to bring their take to Waitangi, including Hokianga whānau who have arranged a hīkoi to bring attention to water quality issues, and anti-1080 protesters who are marching against the use to the poison for the protection of native birds and trees.
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