Waitangi Day: Prime Minister should visit different marae each year - ACT

  • 28/01/2017
Bill English
Prime Minister Bill English (Getty)

ACT New Zealand says Prime Minister Bill English should go to a different location each year to mark Waitangi Day.

Mr English has chosen events in Auckland over the traditional powhiri and celebrations at Te Tii Marae in Waitangi on February 6 this year because of an ongoing dispute over speaking rights.

ACT leader David Seymour says the Prime Minister's decision to attend a Ngati Whatua event in Auckland on Waitangi Day should mark the beginning of a Waitangi tour.

The Treaty of Waitangi was taken on tour and signed by chiefs across the country, says Mr Seymour.

There's no reason to reward disrespect at Waitangi with a monopoly on the prime minister's attention. Iwi across the country deserve the same level of access.

"Bill English's attendance of the Auckland event should mark the beginning of a tour across the country. The prime minister could celebrate Waitangi Day at a different marae each year, based on the different signing sites from 1840.

"Te Tii would eventually have the chance to host the prime minister in a decade or so," he says.

Mr English will still meet with more than 60 iwi leaders at the Iwi Chair's Forum in Waitangi on February 3.

NZN