Key's Waitangi fate to be decided today

Prime Minister John Key (Newshub)
Prime Minister John Key (Newshub)

Northland iwi leaders will decide today whether they'll block Prime Minister John Key from Waitangi's Te Tii Marae grounds on Friday.

Ngapuhi kaumatua Kingi Taurua has threatened to revoke the Government's invitation, claiming the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would put New Zealand's sovereignty at risk.

And if Mr Taurua gets his way, Mr Key simply won't go.

Key's Waitangi fate to be decided today

It's not the first problem the Prime Minster has had at Waitangi.

He first visited back in 2007 as the leader of the opposition -- promising to attend every year while at the helm of National.

He went as Prime Minister for the first time in 2009 and it was arguably his most eventful, with two locals trying to attack him.

Key's Waitangi fate to be decided today

The pair's passionate actions landed them in court, and they were given community service.

They were also Hone Harawira's nephews.

His problems with the Harawiras didn't end there. In 2013, Mr Key found himself in the middle of a tussle between two Ngapuhi kuia, who both wanted to escort him onto the marae.

One of them was Titewhai Harawira -- Hone's mum.

A year later, the Harawiras took a back seat to a bucket of fish, which a deep sea oil protester dumped at Mr Key's feet as he left the marae.

Key's Waitangi fate to be decided today

2015 was a reasonably peaceful gathering -- this year's is unlikely to be the same.

If Mr Key makes it to Waitangi there's a promise that he'll be met with strong opposition over the TPP.

He'll get a double dose as the same hikoi which will confront him at the signing of the TPP in Auckland the day before.

But at least he'll share the brunt of the protest in Auckland, with representatives from all 12 Pacific nations in the free-trade deal getting a slice of the action too.

Welcome to New Zealand.


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