What to expect at Waitangi

It's set to be an eventful day at Waitangi on Tuesday. 

National and Labour will join at the hip as both parties are welcomed onto the upper marae, where a pōwhiri will get underway at around 10am. 

Simon Bridges will be the first National Party leader to attend Waitangi since former Prime Minister John Key in 2015. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told Newshub it's appropriate that both parties should be invited to attend the event. 

"Last year was really warm and affirming and I think having all of the parliamentarians together in a coordinated and orderly fashion will be a good thing."

He said having both political parties alongside each other could create harmony. 

"Hopefully it creates a sense of calm but also of unity. It's a day where there have been different kinds of welcomes over the years."

Waitangi hasn't always been a harmonious event, after all. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was brought to tears in 1998 after her speaking rights were revoked at the marae. 

Tensions over the TPPA saw former National MP Steven Joyce pelted with a dildo in 2016. And former National leader Don Brash had mud thrown at him by a protester inside the marae grounds in 2004. 

Mr Brash is returning to Waitangi this year, after he was invited to speak on Tuesday, the day before Waitangi Day, by organiser Reuben Taipari. 

The former National leader said he appreciated the invitation to speak, telling The AM Show on Monday he's been asked to address economic challenges facing Ngāpuhi, and how they should be dealing with poverty. 

While Mr Brash said there are various solutions to help the Northland iwi cope with poverty, he said treaty settlements are not among them. 

Another notable aspect of this year's Waitangi it that it's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's second visit as leader. 

She made a big impression last year with a stirring speech in which she asked those present to hold her to account for her promises. 

Her visit this year has been underpinned by a string of announcements that could affect Northland, including an announcement on Sunday that Maori landowners will get $100 million from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). 

And on Monday it was announced that $80 million of the PGF will go to employment and skill development programmes in five PGF "surge" regions, including Northland.