A Ngapuhi kaumatua says Prime Minister Bill English should not be “a spoilt child and run away” from Waitangi Day commemorations after he announced he would not be going to Te Tii Marae because of speaking rights.
Prime Minister Bill English announced yesterday he would not be attending the main Waitangi Day commemorations in the Bay of Islands, making it the second year a Prime Minister has not attended the event after former Prime Minister John Key did not attend last year.
Mr English’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, wrote to Ngati Kawa Taituha, Waitangi Marae chairman, clarifying the speaking rights at this year’s pre-Waitangi Day powhiri.
Mr Taituha responded saying at the conclusion of the powhiri a stage will be provided for the Prime Minister to “engage with Ngapuhi, address the nation and talk politics freely and uninhibited, if he so wishes”.
But Mr English did not accept that.
“I’ve made a decision that the arrangements they want to put in place were not acceptable, not respectful, so I’ll be celebrating Waitangi elsewhere,” he said.
“The marae committee’s decided that the Prime Minister of New Zealand can’t speak on their marae and that, as far as I’m concerned, is not respectful of the role.”
Those stuck up Maori fullas up north can get knotted. And the majority of New Zealanders, including most Maori agree. They’re well and truly over the annual grandstanding that happens around Waitangi and Waitangi Day.
Of course the press are calling Kumara Bill out for being mean. But they are not going to get their annual side-show. Much harder to get on the news when you don’t have a government minister to fling a dildo at.
The real way to earn some voters back would be for Kumara Bill to forbid any of his ministers to attend. Because as we saw last year, the rent-a-crowd will simply pick on the next sucker down the totem pole.
– NZ Herald