Northland elder Kingi Taurua is "overjoyed" Prime Minister John Key is not attending Waitangi but "disgusted" he suggested Mr Taurua would encourage violence.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced he will not attend Waitangi after failing to get a response from Te Tii Marae trustees to his concerns about a letter he received from them saying he would not be able to speak about politics in the wharenui.

"The Prime Minister's Office has had no response to its letter sent to trustees at Te Tii Marae earlier today. Accordingly, the Prime Minister has decided he will not be attending celebrations in Waitangi this year," a spokesman said.

Mr Taurua said he would not be losing sleep over Mr Key's announcement.

Advertisement

"I was overjoyed, I was happy. I think a lot were opposed to him coming to Waitangi and those people are very happy,"

Mr Key's announcement comes after a series of confusion surrounding his visit to the marae.

The topic was first brought to light when Mr Taurua said he would consider banning Mr Key from Te Tii Marae in protest to the TPP signing after he had several calls from people asking him to raise the issue with the public.

Following this, a hui was held on Tuesday attended by several Ngapuhi where a vote of 38 to 14 was taken in favour of banning Mr Key from the marae.

A few hours after the hui another meeting was held by marae trustees where they decided that despite the vote, Mr Key would be welcome on to the marae.

However, no political talk would be allowed in the wharenui - a letter outlining these conditions was sent to the prime minister the same night.

"Powhiri whakatau in the whare tupuna without any political korero," the letter stated.

"Your political address to the people will take place in the political tent adjacent to the marae on te tou o nga rangatira whenua where one hour will be set aside for you."

Yesterday Mr Key made a final decision to bypass Waitangi and said comments about potential violence if he did speak about TPP had raised security issues. Had he gone in such a situation it would have been "rather silly".

"You've already seen some rather contradictory statements made by Kingi [Taurua] and others and if I did go on to the marae and did speak about TPP that would incite protests and potential violence and he would encourage that."

When the Advocate asked Mr Taurua what he thought of the comments he said that he was upset.

"Where did he get that from?

"He is the trouble, he is picking on me. I am not [the whole of] Ngapuhi, I am only a small cog in the wheel.

"I am disgusted he is saying that about me. I am really hurt," he said.

Mr Taurua said it was not only him who did not want Mr Key at Waitangi but also the majority of people who voted at Tuesday's hui.

He said the idea of banning political korero was a way of preventing violence from protesters, which is why he was happy Mr Key decided not to turn up.

Mr Taurua said yesterday afternoon marae trustees were trying to contact Mr Key and encourage him to come to Waitangi but he believed at about 5.45pm they had given up.

He said there would still be no political korero allowed on the marae.

In 2007 when Mr Key was leader of the opposition, he pledged to return to the marae on February 5 every year after then Prime Minister Helen Clark bypassed the marae.