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