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Waitangi Day Preparations 26 January 2018 (Edition1/2018)

Waitangi Day Preparations 26 January 2018 (Edition1/2018)

The next political race meet will be Waitangi Day. Again the Prime Minister has indicated strong pre-event form, by electing to stay in the area for five days – far longer than others before her, and noteworthy given former Prime Minister Mr English elected to attend ceremonies elsewhere last year.   The official pōwhiri has also been moved to the Upper Marae, to avoid the debacles that have occurred at Te Tīi Marae in recent years.  (Ngāpuhi leader Sonny Tau suggested that was not right, but his view was quickly dispatched by Titiwhai Harawira, who indicated that the Iwi Chairs Forum had walked right past Te Tii for their meetings, so there was no problem for State dignitaries to do the same.)   Also speaking arrangements for Prime Minister Arden have been clarified, as a pregnant woman, organisers have determined it is safe and appropriate for her to speak on the porch of the meeting house.  So all seems much more in order than in the last few years – and if alleged ‘financial irregularities’ within the Waitangi National Trust had not been reported to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) a couple of weeks ago by new Acting Chair, Dennis McBreaty – then we would’ve advised a positive forecast ahead.  However the potential SFO probe is a significant matter, and we will advise further once information on that is released.

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