Willie Jackson on Waitangi media ban: It's 'absolutely bloody nonsensical'

By Audrey Young, Gia Garrick

Willie Jackson has described the banning of media with cameras from Te Tii Marae as "absolutely bloody nonsensical". Photo / Mark Mitchell
Willie Jackson has described the banning of media with cameras from Te Tii Marae as "absolutely bloody nonsensical". Photo / Mark Mitchell

Willie Jackson has described the banning of media with cameras from Te Tii Marae as "absolutely bloody nonsensical".

He hoped that kaumatua Kingi Taurua could "fix it up".

Delays, a protestor and bans on reporters with cameras inside Te Tii Marae surrounded the first formality of the Waitangi weekend.

Delays, a protestor and media bans have surrounded the first formality of the Waitangi weekend. Photo / Gia Garrick
Delays, a protestor and media bans have surrounded the first formality of the Waitangi weekend. Photo / Gia Garrick

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy was delayed from going onto the marae but has since been shown into the whare for a private welcome with her husband, Sir David Gascoigne.

Uniformed officers lined her way to the Wharekai, where she'll have lunch with members of Te Tii Marae.

Now being welcomed on to the grounds in a seperate powhiri is the Chief Justice Sian Elias, and a number of local judges.

Broadcaster Willie Jackson, who is expected to announce his candidacy for Labour tomorrow, is also at Waitangi.


Of the media ban, he said: "We've got to learn to do things a lot better because this is such an important day. I've been coming here for years and you cant treat media like that.

"I dont know what is happening at the marae here. It's just sad to see.

"Let's hope things can be tidied up a bit."

Local leaders such as Kelvin Davis, Shane Jones and Pita Paraone had all voiced their concern.


"Gee I'd like to see these guys listen because they will fast lose this," Jackson said.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said banning media only made it a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Television media were offered exclusive access for 10 thousand dollars but both Newshub and One News turned it down.

Fox said a lot of those on the marae grounds disagreed with the coverage deal and the traditional way of asking media to pay a koha, or donation, for access is a great middle ground.


She said it's what you can afford, and what you think is appropriate - and that's where it should stay.

Earlier, tarpaulins were nailed between trees to block media from taking photo and video from the road outside.

Extra police have also been brought in, and followed requests from Te Tii management to move media away from the marae boundaries.

About 100 police and Navy staff are lined up outside the marae.


A woman yelling incomprehensibly about "respect" and armed with placards and flags made it onto the marae grounds. She was escorted from the premises.

The woman was also at the marae during Prime Minister Bill English's to Waitangi yesterday.

Dame Reddy left the marae to a navy salute.

Uniformed officers lined her way to the Wharekai, where she'll have lunch with members of Te Tii Marae.

Now being welcomed on to the grounds in a seperate powhiri is Chief Justice Sian Elias and other judges including Maori Land Court judge Craig Coxhead and High Court judge Joe Williams.

Prime Minister Bill English is not attending Te Tii. Opposition leader Andrew Little will go on with Labour tomorrow.

They are both attending an urban marae event at Hoani Waititi on Monday.


Dame Patsy will be heading to HMNZS Wellington - which is alongside Opua Wharf - for a reception this evening.

She'll also be at Waitangi tomorrow.

- Newstalk ZB

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