Labour's Māori caucus have been given a reminder of the aspirations of Te Tai Tokerau and have been met with protesters as they went to Waitangi's the Tii Marae today.
It's the first time for several years Government ministers have been welcomed on to Te Tii Marae in the lead-up to Waitangi Day commemorations in the Bay of Islands.
About 40 people have marched to Te Tii Marae to protest the sale by Far North District Council-owned company Far North Holdings of Ōpua's Puketiti Hill to a property developer.
The marchers are a near-even mix of Māori and Pākehā from Ōpua.
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They say the land should not have been sold without consultation while four Treaty claims are pending in the Ōpua area.
Slogans on their placards include "Stop the privatisation of public land" and "Far North Holdings the smiling face of theft".
People have been occupying the Ōpua headland known as Puketiti since November.
The former council-owned headland was sold in March to an overseas businessman who plans to build up to 17 houses. Far North Holdings, the Far North District Council's commercial arm, is the project manager.
The visit by the Labour Māori caucus, along with several other Government MPs, is the first official event of this year's Waitangi Day commemorations in the Bay of Islands.
Ngāpuhi matriarch Titewhai Harawira has also arrived on the marae.
Whānau of Ngāpuhi leader Rudy Taylor, who died in November, were today taking his photograph on to Te Tii marae to be placed with his ancestors in the marae.