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Ed Sheeran

Mangu stance for mana wahine applauded
Photo: Ngāpuhi Rūnanga.

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Labour MP Willie Jackson has welcomed Ngāpuhi chair Mere Mangu’s contribution to yesterday’s welcome at Waitangi for parliamentarians.

Ms Mangu came down to the marae atea after MP Peeni Henare delivered what was supposed to be the concluding speech from the home side, and gave her own mihi of welcome.

Mr Jackson says while it caused some controversy, including a subsequent attempt by kaumatua Waihoroi Shortland to dress her down, her point of mana wahine was well made.

"I’m a supporter of wahine speaking on the marae, particularly when you get so many idiot young speakers who get up and practice their whaikōrero at the expense of beautiful Māori language speakers. Some of our kuia, they are beautiful Māori language speakers and they have to take a backward step to someone who's learned their whaikōrero at the kura. It gets on my nerves, its something that we all have to address and that was why Mere standing is another reminder of mana wahine.," he says.

Willie Jackson says his own Ngāti Porou people have a tradition of wahine speaking on marae.

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