Saturday, February 4, 2012

PM Key forced to cut short his speech at Waitangi,,,

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The Prime Minister has cut short his speech at Te Ti Marae in the Bay of Islands because of rowdy protests.
The arrival of John Key's arrival at the marae for the annual Waitangi celebrations comes against a backdrop of disquiet over Government obligations to the Treaty of Waitangi in new legislation and funding cuts at the Maori Development Ministry.
Protesters outside Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on Sunday.
Protesters outside Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on Sunday.

Each year New Zealand marks its national day and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi at the township in Northland on 6 January in 1840.
John Key arrives at the marae.
John Key arrives at the marae.

Dozens of chanting protesters gathered outside the marae before Mr Key, other government ministers and MPs arrived on Sunday morning, some carrying signs saying "Aotearoa is not for sale".
As Mr Key was welcomed on, a handful of protesters attempted to rush his group, but were held back by marae security and Maori wardens. They became increasingly vocal as the ceremony continued. Mr Key then stopped his speech and was escorted away.
The issue of what kind of Treaty provisions - if any - the Government will put in new legislation to partially sell four state-owned enterprises ignited tensions between National and the Maori Party ahead of this weekend's celebrations.
Belt-tightening at the Maori Development Ministry, Te Puni Koriri, with the projected loss of about 50 jobs, has also led to the Mana Party predicting a hostile reception for the Prime Minister.
John Key says he intends to discuss the matters on Sunday and seek to provide some clarification.
A member of the Iwi Chairs Forum says Mr Key will be told to retain a clause upholding Treaty obligations in legislation relating to partial asset sales.
A member of the forum and chair of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Mark Solomon, says Northland electorate Te Tai Tokerau is opposed to the idea to removing section nine from the assets sales legislation.
Mr Solomon says on Sunday it will learn what other iwi think about the Government's proposal.
The Prime Minister is due to meet with iwi leaders at 2.30pm.

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