Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Hone Harawira's challenge for Key

Hone Harawira. Photo / Janna Dixon
Hone Harawira. Photo / Janna Dixon

Political firebrand Hone Harawira is planning to confront the Prime Minister this morning on Te Tii Marae, the site of the some of the ugliest confrontations in Waitangi's recent history.

Key will be welcomed at 9.45am on to the marae, where Helen Clark was mobbed and Don Brash plastered with mud.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira - a former chairman of the marae - arrived in Waitangi yesterday with his wheelchair-bound mother, Titewhai. He said he would be giving a state of the nation speech today, slamming the Government for trying to write the Treaty of Waitangi out of its partial asset sale programme.

Harawira said his speech would send Key a clear message that "the Treaty is not for sale".

"It is clearly being disrespected, and that's not a personal opinion - that's the opinion of a whole lot of different commentators," he said. "When you've got the Maori Party, you've got Mana and you've got the New Zealand Maori Council coming out against state-owned asset sales, then clearly you have an issue between the Crown and Maori that must be dealt with and dealt with properly."

New Zealand Maori Council chairman Sir Graham Latimer announced yesterday that the council would challenge a planned sale of hydro power stations in the Waitangi Tribunal.

Harawira said he had "no idea" how Key would be received at Te Tii Marae - but he had no doubt about the Prime Minister's safety. Key has promised to discuss the role of the Treaty in state asset sales when he arrives at Waitangi today.

- APNZ

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