'I don't miss you': Waitangi organiser's devastating retort to Paddy Gower

Waitangi organiser Reuben Taipari has fired a devastating retort at Paddy Gower.

Newshub's national correspondent has been a regular attendant at the Treaty grounds and has a long history with Taipari.

The two were reunited on The Project on Monday night when Gower introduced himself to the veteran protestor.

"Reuben, it's Paddy here. Now, you and I have been around the treaty grounds a couple of times," he said.

"I'm just wondering - I know that you guys love a bit of niggle, the media like watching a bit of niggle too. This is all a bit of a game, isn't it? Let's just call a kāheru a kāheru, or a spade a spade here."

But it was an argument that left Taipari unimpressed.

"Look here, we weren't the ones who separated, Paddy, everybody moved up to the top grounds," he replied.

"Everyone moved up there, and they went up there and I'll tell you what, we haven't asked yous to come back. That's why we're standing on the outside of the marae and we're not letting you in."

An irrepressible Gower quickly bounced back.

"I'll just say one last thing Reuben. I miss you buddy," he said, smiling.

"Buddy, I don't miss you," Taipari replied.

Gower says the traditional Waitangi debates and controversies are "a bit like professional wrestling".

"There's a whole lot of jabber-jabber but there's no real hits going on," he says.

"Every man - or every whack-job and his dog - is welcomed into those tents there."