An end to Waitangi Day at Waitangi?
Waitangi may no longer host the national day's official celebrations, after Prime Minister Bill English said he was open to taking the commemorations on tour.
Te Tii Marae is sticking by its decision to charge media $10,000 for access to film Waitangi commemorations, and now the committee's decision to prevent the Prime Minister from speaking at the marae on February 6 could see them lose the Government's presence altogether.
Speaking after the Iwi Leaders' Forum at Waitangi today, Mr English said the idea of touring was "worth investigating".
ACT leader David Seymour floated the idea last month, saying the "behaviour of a small group of perpetually grumpy activists has turned Waitangi Day into an annual political circus," and that the Government should visit a different marae each year.
Mr English will be in Auckland this Waitangi Day and says he expects the public and iwi would embrace the idea of the Government moving around on Waitangi Day.
"I don't think there'd be any shortage of interest from iwi, they'd be falling over themselves to provide that opportunity for their local communities."
He says the Treaty was signed in a number of places and touring would give New Zealanders who don't live in the far north a chance to understand the relevance to their local area.