Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Horomia's memory to be honoured

Parekura Horomia never missed Waitangi Day at the historic Treaty grounds.
Parekura Horomia never missed Waitangi Day at the historic Treaty grounds.

Photos and mementoes of the late Parekura Horomia will be presented at Waitangi today in memory of the politician who never missed Waitangi Day at the historic Treaty grounds.

The kawe-mate will be delivered by Mr Horomia's whanau to allow iwi who were not able to attend the former Maori Affairs Minister's tangi in May last year to acknowledge his memory.

Labour Party Maori Affairs spokesman Shane Jones said Mr Horomia's hapu from Ngati Porou would make the rare presentation.

"It's important because Parekura never missed a Waitangi Day since I've known him and I've known him since the late 70s.

"It's not unknown but it's a fantastic acknowledgment of the importance of the day and the site in the life of a big chief like Parekura."

Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Labour leader David Cunliffe, together with other dignitaries, would be welcomed on to Te Tiriti O Waitangi Marae from 10am today. Mr Jones said Labour would be acknowledging that it was 40 years since Prime Minister Norman Kirk of a Labour government made a significant set of announcements at Waitangi.

"He presaged the policy to establish the Waitangi Tribunal. He outlined it. And his government went on to establish it."

This year also marks 200 years since Samuel Marsden first preached the gospel in the Bay of Islands.

Waitangi Day was a "colourful event", Mr Jones said, attracting its fair share of activists, including Mr Jones himself when he was younger.

"It has always been a magnet for protest activity and as frustrating as that might be it's just part of the democratic process that now encircles Waitangi Day."

He said he expected protest activity this week including the arrival of a hikoi focused on deep sea drilling issues because "activism and Waitangi is a like a bee to honey".

"People generally have a lot more affection now for the day. It's a day of fantastic colour."

Timetable

Today welcome to Te Tiriti O Waitangi (lower) Marae

* 9am Chief Justice, Chief District Court Judge, Chief Maori Land Court Judge, New Zealand First and the Green Party
* 9.30am Mayors of Far North District Council and Whangarei
* 10am Prime Minister John Key and coalition MPs
* 11.30am Labour Party leader David Cunliffe and MPs

At Waitangi Treaty Grounds
* 3pm and 6.30pm Waitangi has talent
* 4.45pm Royal New Zealand Navy Band
* 8pm Whenua Patuwai and DarcyRay Flavell concert

Waitangi Day
* 5am Dawn service
* 7am Breakfast
* 9am Karanga manuhiri.

- NZ Herald

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