Don Brash heckled throughout Waitangi speech

Dr Don Brash has spoken at Waitangi - and was loudly heckled throughout.

On Tuesday the Hobson's Pledge leader arrived to speak at Te Tii marae after being invited by organiser Rueben Taipari.

He was welcomed peacefully for his first appearance since 2004, when protesters threw mud at the controversial figure.

But once he began speaking it was a different story.

Media weren't permitted inside the tent, but a Facebook live uploaded by TeHamua Nikora - who repeatedly referred to Dr Brash as 'Dong Rash' - shows his speech didn't go down well.

A line about Jesus being born in Palmerston North got a laugh, but his comments about everyone being lucky to live in New Zealand in the 21st century didn't go over so well.

When he spoke about growing up poor, a woman in the audience called out that Māori are "still living like that".

The biggest groan came when he said treaty settlements were "giving far too much to Māori" and railed against race-based affirmative action.

"It's called justice," one woman yelled in response.

Dr Brash did get some applause when he finished speaking, with Mr Taipari asking the audience to appreciate that "at least he tried". This message was somewhat undercut by several people holding up a banner reading 'No room for racism' in front of Dr Brash as he concluded his remarks. 

Speaking to reporters earlier, Dr Brash said he had been "very impressed" that he was invited, but wasn't sure what the reaction would be to his speech.

"I respect the fact that I have been invited, and I don't doubt I will be treated with the courtesy with which Māori are famous for," he said.

"I am here to give a speech, and to listen. I understand there will be a panel discussion after my speech, and there will be several people on it that disagree with my views. I will be very keen to hear their views."