Wednesday March 29, 2017   Last updated 20:18PM
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Mixed messages muddy Te Tii mana
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Labour MP Peeni Henare says Ngapuhi has allowed the mana of Te Tii Marae to be dragged through the mud with the way they handled an invitation to the Prime Minister.

John Key refused to come to Waitangi because he said he was being gagged from speaking freely.

Marae trustees had insisted he leave politics and any mention of the Trans Pacific Partnership out of his speech, and instead address the issue afterwards in an open forum in the speakers’ tent beside the marae.

Mr Henare told Radio Waatea host Dale Husband the tikanga is that the person holding the floor should be listened to respectfully, and it’s a missed opportunity the tribes can’t hear what the Prime Minister has to say.

"You know there’s a lesson here for Ngapuhi and for the people of Te Tii Marae that regardless of whether or not they decide to invite him or not, I think the important thing is to protect the mana and integrity of the marae and I don't think that's what happened in this case. I would rather see the mana and the ingregrity of the marae and the people up north here looked after, protected and enhanced not thrown through the mud like we've seen over the past few days," says Peeni Henare.

Radio Waatea’s reporter in Waitangi says the Prime Minister may have consulted a weather forecast before opting to skip the official Waitangi Day commemorations in the north.

There has been rain off an on through the morning, including a heavy downpour as a hikoi of about 100 anti-Trans Pacific Partnership protesters led by Hone Harawira and Reuben Taipari waited to be welcomed on to the marae.
 

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