Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Key calls off Waitangi visit over TPPA

This is a moving feast and there will be more to come in a developing situation.  It seems like the iwi (tribe) at Waitangi, affter voting 3:1 against inviting Key ignored the vote and extended an invitation, while in Auckland the government has been able to find a group of 3-4 to do a ceremony where normally 50 or more would be expected. Overall, a slap in the face for the government.

Martyn Bradbury's assessement below is spot-on.

Desperate Key calls off Waitangi 

Visit and provocatively raises 

TPPA protest stakes

By Martyn Bradbury

2 February, 2016

A mix of desperation at the level of protest building at Waitangi Day with the need to manufacture violence during the TPPA signing has led Key to dramatically call off going to Waitangi Day celebrations unless he gets an invite.

Prime Minister John Key’s attendance at official Waitangi Day commemorations is in doubt as he awaits on Ngapuhi to decide whether he’s welcome at Te Tii marae.

It’s understood Key will stay away from Waitangi and instead attend celebrations in Auckland if Ngapuhi can’t agree on extending a formal invitation for him to speak at the marae.

While this should not affect his official attendance at the Waitangi Treaty grounds it’s understood he won’t go at all unless both marae are open to him.

Ngapuhi co-chairman Rudy Taylor released a statement on Tuesday saying it was Key’s duty to attend Te Tii marae and Ngapuhi would “honour its role in hosting the Government”.

It’s high time the Government hears the voice of Ngapuhi and the only way to listen is to front up to Maori at Te Tii Marae and blocking Mr Key is not the solution”.

This is needlessly provocative and Key’s manufacturing is obvious.

The manner in which Key is driving towards conflict is alarming.

This new media agency, Neshub is proving to be an instant disappointment

Ngapuhi block John Key from Waitangi marae

2 February, 2016

Prime Minister John Key says his plans for Waitangi weekend are "TBC" amidst a backdrop of uncertainty of whether he'll be allowed on marae grounds or not.

There's division in the Far North about whether Mr Key will be invited onto Te Tii Marae on Waitangi Day.

A hui of Ngāpuhi and Ngati Porou leaders finished this afternoon and voted to block Mr Key from attending.

However, the marae's trustees say the Prime Minister is welcome on Te Tii Marae on February 5.

During that meeting, Ngāpuhi kaumatua Kingi Taurua told iwi leaders to "wake up".

Mr Taurua told the hui that Mr Key is breaking the law by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and that coming to the marae just days after signing the agreement is "rubbing the salt in".

"I don't understand why we want to welcome a Prime Minister when he has already signed away our sovereignty," he said.

Following the meeting, Mr Taurua told Newshub the tribe's trustees "don't have the power" to decide who to allow onto the marae.

"Your tribe's trustees make sure that the food is on the table. You are not there to make these kind of decisions; it is up to the tribe to make these decisions," he says.

"The trustees don't have that power… they're saying that the trustees have more power than the whole tribe? That is not right, the tribe has the power.
"There's no invite. The tribe will not have the Prime Minister come on."

At his post-Cabinet news conference, Mr Key said his office received an official invitation from Titiwhai Harawira extending an official invite to come onto the marae.

"I attend a number of events at Waitangi each year, including the iwi leader's forum and the dawn service, and it is my strong preference to attend all of them.

"I understand tikanga states Te Tii Marae is the gateway to Waitangi and the Treaty grounds, therefore if I'm not welcome and not permitted to speak at the lower marae I have no intention of gate-crashing events at Waitangi.

"If that is the case, I will celebrate New Zealand's national day in another part of the country."

Mr Key says another meeting will be held tonight to come to an agreement on the decision.

Also at the meeting at Te Tii Marae were Labour MP Kelvin Davis and former MP Dover Samuels.

Mr Davis says those at the hui voted "two-to-one" to not let Mr Key onto the grounds.

"Hau kainga, the home people there, it's their marae. I believe they've decided they will still welcome the Prime Minister on and they're doing that under tikanga, and I think they're going to have the final say in the end," Mr Davis says.

The Labour Party will be at the Waitangi Day events, and Mr Davis says what other parties do is up to them.

"Even though a hui was called to all of Ngāpuhi and at the end of the day, if the trustees want him and they extend the invitation, well then the invitation is there and it is up to [Mr Key] whether he accepts it."

Mr Davis believes the Government has misjudged how Māori feel about the TPP.

"I think the Government has underestimated the depth of feeling from Māori towards the TPPA."

Mr Taurua has threatened to stop government ministers from attending the commemorations because the TPP deal is being signed in Auckland on February 4.

He was worried about the implications of the free trade deal for Māori and said details had been kept secret.

However, Mr Taurua's views aren't shared by everyone within Ngāpuhi.

An update - 

Te Tii Marae invites PM to Waitangi

Prime Minister John Key has been invited to attend Waitangi commemorations at Te Tii Marae.

John Key is escorted onto Te Tii Marae at Waitangi by Ngapuhi kuia Titewhai Harawira (R) and Ngati Whatua leader Naida Glavish. Ngapuhi kuia Titewhai Harawira takes Prime Minister John Key on to Te Tii Marae last year.
Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Iwi leaders and kaumatua spent most of the day debating whether Mr Key should be welcomed on to the marae if he signs the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal on Thursday.

Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua said most people decided to not invite Mr Key but the Te Tii Marae Trust later decided to ignore the vote.

Kuia Titewhai Harawira said there was heated debate on both sides of the argument but the powhiri would go ahead.

"The trustees and the haukāinga said 'no, we are not turning our backs on the manuhiri no matter who they are'.

"They will come on as always and answer the questions that are put to them by the people."

Ms Harawira intended to walk Mr Key on to Te Tii Marae, and he would face questions from the people there as usual.

She had also invited him to the forum tent, to discuss political issues.

Read more on this story

Mr Taurua had suggested Mr Key should be blocked from attending the commemorations if the controversial TPP deal was signed before Waitangi Day.

Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu Ngapuhi co-chairman Rudy Taylor, who attended the meeting, said Mr Key should be welcomed on the marae, as the only way the government could hear the voice of Ngapuhi was if it fronted up.

Mr Taylor said other marae might step in and welcome Mr Key to their commemorations if he was blocked from Te Tii Marae.
The controversy over the signing of the multi-national trade deal in Auckland on Thursday has extended to the official powhiri, with six iwi in the Tamaki Collective refusing to perform.

Ngāti Whātua o Ōrakei, the mana whenua in Auckland central, has refused to participate because it believes the multinational trade deal will undermine the country's sovereignty. Ngāti Paoa, Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Whanaunga and Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara have also said they would not perform.

The trade deal dominated the Ratana gathering last month, with Maori leaders at the annual celebrations marking the birthday of the Ratana Church founder calling on the government to delay the signing.

Confusion over John Key's Waitangi invitation: RNZ Checkpoint

TPP disputes settlement unconstitutional, says law specialist: RNZ Checkpoint

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