How the Herald has reported on Waitangi Day over the past three decades - three edited reports from our files.

1972: Nga Tamatoa calls for total boycott

A warning of a new wave of Maori militancy was given by Dr P.W. Hohepa, chairman of the Auckland District Maori Council, during a meeting at Waitangi.

The New Zealand Maori Council meeting - much of it held in Maori - was discussing the value of the Treaty of Waitangi, and, in particular, a plea by the Auckland Nga Tamatoa Council for a total Maori boycott of the Waitangi Day celebrations.

After a wide-ranging discussion the meeting decided to receive Tamatoa's recommendations in support of a boycott. but it also decided that the boycott would have to be a matter of personal conscience.

Criticising recent Government legislation on fisheries, Dr Hohepa said Maoris were still being asked to celebrate what the treaty had guaranteed them - rights to their forestry, fisheries and lands.

"We will not use the same tactics that have failed in the past. The hard line has come. I think you are going to get a group of young people that will follow along the roads of our warrior ancestors. Instead of clubs and guns, we will use our brains, feet and mouths because that is what we have been trained to do," he said.

The chairman of the New Zealand Maori Council, Dr P. Jones, told the meeting that after his speech at last year's treaty celebrations, the Minister of Finance, Mr Muldoon, had assured him that the question of the treaty would be referred to the Government for investigation.

The MP for Northern Maori, Mr Rata, said that there was every possibility that legislation could be provided for the ratification of the treaty as it was written. Under the legislation, it would be possible to challenge any law which came into conflict with the principles set out in the treaty.

Earlier, a discussion on the Waitangi Maoris was marked by bitter clashes between the Minister of Maori and Island Affairs, Mr MacIntyre, and members of the Nga Tamatoa Council, who accused the Government of introducing legislation such as the Race Relations Bill without previous consultation. They were also critical of the fact that the submissions were held in committee.

Mr MacIntyre said that it was the committee's prerogative to decide whether submissions on the bill should be opened to the press or otherwise.

He was sceptical of the claim that Tamatoa members spoke for the Maori people. The discussion began to deteriorate after an emotional speech from a woman member of the council. An expansive Maori spoke up and virtually ended the discussion.

"We have a saying among the Ngapuhi," he said. "If the hen crows, you screw its neck".

* * *

1982: Beattie hit by golf ball in protest

The Governor-General, Sir David Beattie, was hit by a golf ball and an egg in a hostile demonstration at the Treaty House grounds.

As Sir David walked down a roped off "aisle" leading to the officials' seating, the missile attack began.The egg landed on his back, but did not break until it hit the ground.

The golf ball struck the Governor-General in the chest and was obviously a painful blow.

Sir David was reported to have told a policeman that "it hurt". He later confirmed the hard blow to the Herald.

Protesters outside the main entrance to the Treaty House grounds chanted, sang, heckled people going to the evening ceremony and threw occasional eggs at police and official cars.

There were two violent clashes.

The first flared about 7.55 pm when a protester threw the first of several Molotov cocktails.

As the flaming device landed at the feet of scattering officers, police moved in from behind to arrest the protester.

Fighting broke out and the police formed a wedge and drove into the demonstrators. A brief, violent battle followed as police grappled with a small group.

Four people were arrested and, within a minute, a group of police officers who had experience from the Springbok tour were brought in from the Treaty House grounds in a supporting role.

The second incident happened five minutes later. Several "bombs" were thrown from the crowd, one of them striking a policeman's back.

Police moved in to make arrests and a full-scale battle broke out with some of the demonstrators.

Officers grappled with protesters on the ground and several people were arrested.

Inside the grounds, three people were arrested after running towards the official party during the ceremony.

* * *

1992: Bolger demands action to combat violent crime

The Prime Minister, Mr Jim Bolger, challenged New Zealand to do something about Maori crime during a speech at the Waitangi Treaty grounds.

New and distinctive solutions were needed, Mr Bolger said.

"I have come here to commit the energies and the resources of my Government to discovering those solutions."

He had been concerned for many years that acts of violence by Maori and to Maori were "subjects of which we were hardly permitted to speak, and that in our silence we turned away from a problem that - left unchecked - would cause great misery".

He said his recent comments about the high level of Maori offending had caused a predictable outcry.

As that died down, however, calmer and more thoughtful voices had agreed there was a problem, and called people to address it.

"We must seek answers, and inevitably these must begin in the home, with the family and among the young."

In facing the challenges, the community could take heart from the success of kohanga reo (language nests), which were a distinctive Maori response to development of the young.

He applauded new agreements for the return of the Hopuhopu military camp and Railways Corporation land to Treaty of Waitangi claimants.

The pace at which treaty claims were being settled was the fruit of new thinking, and the result of applying new approaches to old problems, Mr Bolger said.

There was no finer example of the new cooperation than the settlement reached with the Tainui for the return of Hopuhopu camp, he said. Hopuhopu educational facilities would be used to provide young Maori and Pakeha with the skills they needed to gain jobs.

"We hope that settlement and others like it will become models for the type of cooperative approach which can advance the aspirations of both treaty partners."

The Treaty of Waitangi spoke of all relationships between New Zealanders, Mr Bolger said, "and we devalue it if we see it solely in terms of land claims, as many Pakehas sometimes do".

Delays in settling claims made against the assets held by the Broadcasting Corporation had saddened the Government, he said.

The new Ministry of Maori Development, which began operation on January 1, offered the opportunity to design policies to ensure that services and programmes were directed to the needs of Maori, the Prime Minister said.

The ministry would maintain a regional presence to ease contact between Maori and the public, private and voluntary sectors of the community.

The sight of a waka returning to the water at Waitangi, crossing San Diego harbour to deliver New Zealand's America's Cup challenge, and retracing the migration voyage of the Tainui canoe, and its eventual arrival at Expo in Seville, Spain, offered an example for the future.

"I see Aotearoa as a great waka," Mr Bolger said. "It is a waka that needs many paddlers - some of them are Maori, some non-Maori. Some of them came here long ago, some in recent times."