A new chapter in Waitangi Day history is set to unfold as political leaders receive their official powhiri away from the Te Tii Marae for the first time in decades.

In the middle of a historic five-day stint at Waitangi, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lead a large contingent of Labour MPs at Monday's official welcome.

National's Steven Joyce will be among 11 National Party MPs at the powhiri with leader Bill English elsewhere in the country.

The welcome will be held at the Treaty Grounds' Te Whare Runanga upper marae, after event organisers decided to strip the lower Te Tii Marae of the right to host it in 2018.


The decision comes after years of controversy, which included English and former National Party prime minister John Key skipping events at the marae after they were not given the right to speak at them.

Last year, NZ First Leader Winston Peters also boycotted Te Tii, after members of the marae barred the media from covering a political forum held on its grounds as well as Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy's official powhiri.

Marae representatives put up large tarpaulins across gaps in the hedge during Dame Patsy's powhiri, preventing outsiders from watching.

Days earlier several media organisations were offered exclusive broadcasting rights if they paid $10,000.

Waitangi National Trust chairman Pita Paraone said in June events at Te Tii earlier in the year had been the last straw.

"People have tended to forget what is the real intention of welcoming visitors. They seem to have forgotten that concept," he said.

Following Monday's powhiri, Ardern will attend the Royal New Zealand Navy Beat the Retreat ceremony as well as the Waitangi National Trust dinner.

Waitangi Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, on Tuesday is a public holiday.