UPDATE - A young protester was arrested today when he tried to stop the car of National Party leader Don Brash as he left Te Tii Waitangi Marae.
The car had driven about 20 metres when the youth threw himself in front of it. He was immediately bundled to the side of the road by two or three police officers.
Several Maori wardens urged the crowd not to gather saying they would be arrested.
The youth was bundled into the back of a police wagon and taken away.
Activist Hinewhare Harawira told NZPA "it was a one man protest - it was very effective but unfortunately he has to suffer the consequences."
Dr Brash had earlier said he would not visit the marae as part of the Waitangi Day commemorations because of a mainstream media ban.
Last year when he visited he was pelted with mud at the front entrance as he left the marae.
This year, Northland MP and colleague John Carter visited the marae before Dr Brash and told NZPA Dr Brash would visit because no media ban existed.
Dr Brash arrived at the main entrance to the marae at about 9.50am and was asked to wait briefly before he headed further down to another entrance with other invited guests.
During a verbal confrontation with one protester, Dr Brash was asked what sort of nation he wanted.
"I want a nation where every child, Maori, Pacific Islander, Asian or European knows his history but also has equal rights under the law."
During a speech at the powhiri Dr Brash said the National Party was committed to the Treaty settlement process and wanted it to conclude to everybody's satisfaction.
He said National looked forward to working towards a united New Zealand with all races.
Dr Brash's speech was interrupted several times.
Dr Brash drew laughter when he thanked Tuhoe activist Tama Iti for translating the speeches for him during the powhiri.
After the speech he was thanked by a song led by Mrs Harawira.
Prior to the speech Dr Brash said he welcomed the opportunity to talk directly rather than through the headlines.
"But I will also make it clear that I think New Zealand has no future as a country unless we are one people under the law."
Speaking to the media outside the marae he said Prime Minister Helen Clark's decision not to visit the marae was hers but it was appropriate for him to accept the invitation.
Protester Kiritapu Allan provided the minor dissension when she asked Dr Brash what sort of nation he wanted but would not let him finish his answer.
Dr Brash said the treaty settlement process would address issues of stolen land and National had no intention of abandoning it.
"I want to accelerate it and bring it to an end," Dr Brash said.
"If we keep looking backwards over our shoulders we will never progress as a country."
Dr Brash, his parliamentary colleague John Carter and other guests were welcomed on to the marae followed by the Destiny Church.
Earlier in the day Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons had said she was not keen on entering Te Tii Waitangi Marae with the Destiny Church.
During the welcome Dr Brash sat under a marquee erected on the marae grounds flanked by activist Tame Iti and Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.
Mr Iti was allowed to travel to Waitangi only after Whakatane District Court varied his bail conditions on firearms charges.
He is alleged to have brandished a shotgun at a Waitangi Tribunal delegation and to have fired it at a New Zealand flag on the ground at Tauarau Marae on January 16.
The prospect of a fine Waitangi Day dimmed today with some of the worst weather to hit the area in the last 10 years.
Police say the bad weather today may restrict the protest actions although the general feeling amongst people at Waitangi is that the weekend will be a lot quieter and lack some of the violence which has dominated Treaty commemorations in previous years.
As the youth hikoi arrived at the marae to protest at the Government's seabed and foreshore legislation, the rain pelted down and the overcast skies showed no signs of clearing.
It has been the worst weather buildup to Waitangi Day since 1994 when Prince Charles visited and the rain fell.
Police expected about 15,000 visitors and said while protest was traditional and expected, it was hoped protesters would respect kaumatua and other people's rights to ensure a peaceful Waitangi Day.
Labour MPs Dover Samuels, John Tamihere and Parekura Horomia jumped the gun with a visit to Te Tii Marae last night.
Mr Samuels later said it was his marae and he could visit any time he liked.
He also said he anticipated Prime Minister Helen Clark would visit although her office said earlier this week she would not go to the lower marae because of an incident last year where she was pushed, jostled and jeered as she walked through the entrance up the path to the meeting house.
Helen Clark is due to attend a formal function hosted by the Governor-General tonight and hold her own breakfast tomorrow morning for chiefs and VIPs.
She was scheduled to have a walkabout around the stalls, waka house and lower sports ground but would not visit the marae.
She has also said that until the mana of Te Tii Waitangi Marae was restored she would stay away.