A Northland kaumatua says, while Prime Minister John Key is welcome at Te Tii Marae, there will be no political talk allowed, despite Mr Key being told otherwise.

It is confirmed that Mr Key will be welcome at the marae for Waitangi commemorations, despite a gathering of Ngapuhi voting 38-14 to ban him, but now there is also confusion about the conditions of Mr Key's invitation.

Mr Key announced yesterday he intended to attend Waitangi Day commemorations after receiving an invitation from the chairman of the Te Tii Marae trustees.

"The Prime Minister was formally invited by the chairman of the Maori trustees of Te Tii Marae offering all the same privileges and procedures as the Prime Minister has been offered in the past. The Prime Minister has indicated he will be attending Waitangi Day celebrations at Te Tii Marae," a spokesman said.


However Te Tii Marae kaumatua Rihari Dargaville said the letter received by Mr Key was written before a hui held by marae trustees at 6.30pm on Tuesday where trustees made the decision Mr Key would be invited on to the marae, but no political korero would be allowed.

"Irrespective on the fact they [the people who voted] do not want him coming, we are still about to bring him on to the marae. But the marae will not be a place for political talk. If he wants to talk politics he can do so in the political forum tent (outside of the meeting house)," said Mr Rihari.

When the Advocate asked Mr Key if he had received a second letter and what he thought about the idea of not being able to speak about political issues on the marae, a spokesman said he had no further comment.

However, previously the Prime Minister had said if he was not asked to the marae or told he could not speak, he would not go to Waitangi, despite other commitments such as the dawn service, meetings with iwi leaders and his annual Waitangi breakfast.

Mr Dargaville said he was "devastated" marae trustees went against the wishes of those who voted against Mr Key being welcomed on to Te Tii Marae.

"At the end of the day it's not for me to decide; it's the trustees. I am disappointed and angry and feel used and abused. I have had to facilitate Ngapuhi, which is not an easy job. " he said.