Te Tii Marae off Waitangi welcoming duties

Te Tii Marae will be informed this morning they will no longer host official welcomes preceding Waitangi Day celebrations.

Newshub:  Te Tii Marae will no longer host Waitangi welcomes

A meeting will be held at Te Tii Marae this morning where trustees will be informed they will no longer host official welcome ceremonies for dignitaries and Members of Parliament.

Chairman of the Waitangi National Trust, Pita Paraone, says those ceremonies will instead be held at Te Whare Rūnanga, the upper marae at the Treaty grounds.

“I think there will be some resistance… so I just wanted to have the opportunity of speaking to them face to face,” he said.

Mr Paraone says although he received repeated requests in recent years to move the celebrations up to the Treaty grounds, the latest problems were the last straw.

“I’ve been reluctant to act on that request, but I think this year has brought it to the conclusion that we perhaps need to move the powhiri away from Te Tii Marae and allow them to just settle down and reflect on the consequences of what they chose to do this year.”

“People had respect for both our visitors and our taumata (elders) ,” Mr Paraone said. “Unfortunately that’s been lost over recent years and people have tended to forget what is the real intention of welcoming visitors. They seem to have forgotten that concept.”

Mr Paraone believes moving the ceremonies away from Te Tii Marae is the appropriate decision for the time being.

It had become an attention seeking farce, with no sign of any serious or effective effort to sort it out, so this change isn’t surprising.

Te Tii day

Today is that day that (historically at least) media try to find headlines, protesters try to get in the headlines, some politicians try to get into the headlines and other politicians try to avoid getting into the headlines.

And the rest of New Zealand goes about their normal lives largely ignoring all the attention seeking.

ODT editorial: Waitangi Day change needed

Te Tii Marae is a traditional working marae at Waitangi, and is sometimes referred to as the lower marae, which dignitaries visit tomorrow  as part of their schedule before Waitangi Day on Monday. Waitangi National Trust Board chairman Pita Paraone, a New Zealand First MP, said the situation was ridiculous and he expressed shame at being a descendent of Ngapuhi.

The greed and a lack of nous in terms of creating an amicable atmosphere between Te Tii Marae and the rest of the community, not just the media, is disappointing.

Nothing can be done this year, because the damage has been done  even if Te Tii  retracted the condition  for media coverage.

It is time to stop the nonsense at Te Tii. Labour Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says next year something different will happen; it has become embarrassing for everyone. Mr Davis is a strong voice for Maoridom and if he is embarrassed it is  time  to start seriously reviewing what Waitangi Day has become.

Many people,  sadly, are turned right off what should be a national day of history and celebration — a genuine and heartfelt tribute to all those who developed this country, not a grandstanding opportunity for a few. Turning people away from Waitangi is no way to make progress. It is time for change.

Every New Zealander must be allowed to celebrate Waitangi Day in whichever way they choose. For the South, it is simple. Otakou marae has provided an open and warm invitation.

The best way to change it is for New Zealanders around the country to take ownership of the day and make more effort effort to turn Waitangi Day into something better.

Te Tii Marae trying to charge media

Is this another reason why Waitangi celebrations should be spread more around the country?

Newshub: Waitangi marae’s $10k coverage fee

Waitangi’s lower Te Tii Marae is seeking to charge media outlets up to $10,000 to film dignitaries and politicians arriving on Saturday and Sunday.

The marae’s communications liaison, known simply as ‘Tana’, says the tradition of media companies gifting a koha to the Marae has been scrapped, and replaced with a ‘coverage fee’.

The cheapest ‘coverage fee’ is $1200, which gives entry to journalists, photographers, and camera operators – but restricts them to two areas of the marae grounds.

The only other option is an ‘exclusive package’ costing $10,000 which gives access to all parts of the marae, including inside during speeches.

Newshub was offered the exclusive rights last night but declined.  It’s understood TVNZ was then approached, but also refused.

Media can be a pain, what they broadcast, print and post is selective and at times can misrepresent the overall situation, but charging them for coverage of New Zealand’s major annual celebration seems more than cheeky.

Another reason why Waitangi Day celebrations should not focus so much on one place.