Sadly once again Maori have been tarred with ignominy, shame, and a loss of mana. The few have shamed the entire race. Waitangi Day is supposed to be a holiday celebrating the beginning of the New Zealand nation. Traditionally, Waitangi plays host to the Prime Minister and a bevy of politicians. In recent years it has become the pretext for airing of Maori grievances--of which there appear to be no end.
Waitangi and the Treaty Grounds fall within the tribal area of Ngapuhi tribe. It has traditionally played the role of host for guests and visitors to the Treaty Grounds on Waitangi day. Ngapuhi is a deeply divided group, bedevilled with internecine bickering and animosity. At present it appears that the extremists and the radicals are in charge.
One blogger wrote, urging Key not to attend:
John, don't go to the Ti Ti (sic) Marae at Waitangi. The lunatics have taken control of the asylum. The debate in Maoridom over the TPPA has become irrational egged on by the lies pedaled by opponents of the agreement. I doubt whether anyone at Ti Ti has bothered to do the hard yards and read the agreement. If they had then the sort of canard being pedaled around the unwashed that the agreement could see Maori prisoners sent off-shore to serve their time in US and Aust prisons would be seen for what it is ... loony tunes stuff.
What has happened on the Marae is mirrored in the discord among Ngapuhi as to who has the mandate to negotiate their treaty claim(s) and you can see why. Their leadership has been highjacked by the likes of Kingi Tauroa, Sonny Tau, Hone Harawira, Margaret Mutu and the Popata brothers. And so it is with the TPPA debate ... rationality has gone out the window.