Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says rogue MP Hone Harawira should consider "cutting himself loose" if he wishes to continue to undermine the party leadership.

After this morning's Waitangi dawn service, Dr Sharples said he was insulted by Mr Harawira's decision to give an address dubbed as a "state of the Maori nation" speech an hour before Dr Sharples gave his own speech with the same title last night.

Dr Sharples said the only way to view Mr Harawira's actions was as "a challenge" and if Mr Harawira wished to continue to undermine the leadership, he should consider "cutting himself loose".

He said there was a risk the party would collapse if the stand off with Mr Harawira continued, and said it would destroy what was "last chance" for a Maori-based party to succeed in Parliament.

But Mr Harawira said he had been making similar speeches at Waitangi since well before he was a Maori Party MP and nobody should be surprised at him doing so again.

"At the moment I'm simply following through on a kaupapa that's been part of my history for a long, long time," he said.

Mr Harawira said that if the minister wanted to make a state of the nation address, "he might want to consider doing it in his electorate".

Dr Sharples has spent Waitangi weekend alongside Prime Minister John Key.

Speaking at the Prime Minister's breakfast this morning, Dr Sharples said the relationship was healthy and valuable. However, he said it was sometimes difficult to persuade Maori people of that.

"They see an intimate relationship with the government as selling out to their people. In actual fact, it is the only relationship which can field real results by Maori for Maori."

"For Maori this is possibly our last chance to have a real Maori voice in Parliament, so there's a lot of responsibility on our shoulders. If we fail, we may have closed the door for others. So even though we are having the odd trouble here and there, we have not moved from the course we are on."

He believed the Maori Party could retain the Te Tai Tokerau seat if it had to field a candidate against Mr Harawira.

Speaking at his now annual Waitangi Day address, Mr Key said one of the virtues of the relationship was that it was entered into at a time when neither National nor the Maori Party needed each other.

National's relationship with Act meant it did not require the Maori Party for a majority.

"So there was no pressure. Without that pressure I think we've shown it can work well."

Mr Key said a United Nations special rapporteur was due to report on progress made on indigenous rights, and Mr Key expected that report to show significant progress over the past four years - during which the government has affirmed the Declaration on Indigenous Rights, sped up Treaty settlements, and tried to address the foreshore and seabed problem.

He said National remained committed to settling all Treaty claims by 2014, but only if they were fair and durable.

"If that means we have to wait a little longer to get one or two done, we will do that."

He said the iwi leaders had expressed an interest in investing in SOEs due to be partly privatised, promising they would be long-term shareholders.

He said there was a pool of investors who were largely New Zealand-based, reducing the risk of large shareholdings going into foreign hands.

Mr Key also repeated his previous call for Maori to focus on bettering the situation for their children through education rather than constantly focusing on past grievances.

Trouble-free hikoi

A peaceful hikoi took place at Waitangi this afternoon, but the message was clear.

The group of around 200 protesters, led by Hone Harawira's nephew Wi Popata, marched up to the treaty grounds to express anger at the government.

And Popata, who was convicted of assaulting John Key at the lower Marae in 2009, says the next generation of Maori is calling for a revolution.

He says they're prepared to do whatever it takes to fight the National Government's racist laws.

Another speaker, Rueben Taipari, told the gathering they were on Maori land and they were all passionate about Aotearoa and its resources, and he had some words for the National Government.

"It doesn't matter how much money you have in your banks, National, if you pollute all of our seas and rivers and mountains, we're all screwed."

It was shocking the waters around Waitangi had become so polluted that it was unsafe to eat seafood from the bay, he said.

The hikoi included Green co-leader Russel Norman and several Green Party flags could be seen along with Tino Rangatiratanga flags, a United Tribes flag and a Kotahitanga flag.

Dr Norman said his party was equally aghast at the water pollution but did not wish to comment on a Maori revolution.

Hundreds attend dawn service

Early risers filed into the whare on the Treaty Grounds to listen to prayers led by the Prime Minister John Key, the British High Commissioner and Dr Pita Sharples.

The service was led by John Komene from Ngapuhi who kept the tone light and fun.

He drew giggles from the crowd overflow who sat outside the whare when he invited Labour Party leader Phil Goff to pray - joking that his offering shouldn't be one to outdo Mr Key's.

He thanked speakers for getting "straight to the point" otherwise "we'd be here til next Sunday," he mused.

In his address Mr Key made special mention of those who died at Pike River as well as remembering the country's Pakeha and Maori forefathers who had the foresight to sign the treaty.

He said in Opposition he had promised to continue attending Waitangi Day - including the often volatile Te Tii Marae - and he hoped to continue with that.

However, he said he had increased security this year and each year he would decide whether to attend based on the advice given to him.

"There was obvious tensions and you can never be sure. It's an environment that attracts those sort of protestors and it is what it is. That's always been the case. Waitangi has been unpredictable."

He said things had improved since he became Prime Minister, especially since 2009 when he was grabbed by protestors as he entered the marae.

If he had serious security concerns he would not attend, partly because of the risk also to those who attended alongside him.

He believed more families should consider visiting Waitangi to celebrate the day itself, which was usually spared the protests of the day before when Te Tii Marae was the focus.

Mr Key is now hosting his annual Prime Minister's breakfast, where he will address his party colleagues and iwi leaders.

But it wouldn't be the country's national day without a quirky episode.

It came when another Ngapuhi minister spoke of his premonition of a tsunami hitting Wellington possibly in June, the knowledge of which he'd been sitting on for 38 years.

Bagpipes being played under the flagpole gave the service a reflective air as people wandered quietly from the service to listen.

Out in the Bay of Islands, a lit-up Navy ship twinkled as people listened to a conch.

A Pakeha tertiary worker from Whangarei attending the service for the first time said the dawn service had been on her bucketlist.

"It's such a beautiful peaceful spot - it's just been so special."

- with Newstalk ZB, NZPA