Dame Patsy given Waitangi welcome

  • 04/02/2018
Dame Patsy's welcome took place at the Treaty Grounds' Te Whare Rūnanga upper marae on Sunday.
Dame Patsy's welcome took place at the Treaty Grounds' Te Whare Rūnanga upper marae on Sunday. Photo credit: Getty

One-hundred warriors have led the pōwhiri for Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy at Waitangi.

Dame Patsy's welcome took place at the Treaty Grounds' Te Whare Rūnanga upper marae on Sunday, the first time in decades it had not been held at Te Tii Marae.

Last year, the Waitangi National Trust decided it would stop using Te Tii for for official welcoming ceremonies after years of controversy at the marae.

It followed the marae's controversial decision last February to prevent the press corp entering its grounds to cover Dame Patsy's official pōwhiri.

NZ First leader Winston Peters subsequently boycotted a political forum at the marae, while then-prime minister Bill English also skipped the forum.

This year, Dame Patsy is spending three days in Waitangi before travelling to Auckland on Tuesday to host a Government House garden reception marking the 177th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend an official Waitangi pōwhiri at Te Whare Rūnanga on Monday morning alongside other dignitaries.

She is in the middle of a five-day trip to Waitangi, although she has no scheduled public events on Sunday.

On Saturday, she visited Kāretu Marae, east of Kawakawa, the home marae of her deputy Kelvin Davis and several other Labour MPs, where she spoke about a willingness to listen and a partnership but made no announcements.

However, National Party Economic Development spokesman Simon Bridges says the Government needs to turn its five days of korero with the Northland people into action.

"Two years ago the National government, local councils, iwi and businesses jointly developed and launched the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Development Action Plan, which came up with 58 tangible actions across key industries such as tourism, forestry and horticulture to grow the Northland economy," he said.

NZN