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Dr Muriel Newman

Time for the PM to be strong and principled

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TPP signing AucklandLast Thursday representatives from 12 nations – New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam – gathered in Auckland to sign the biggest free trade deal in history. The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, instigated by Helen Clark’s Labour Government and negotiated by National, will give New Zealand preferential access to some of the world’s biggest economies, covering 40 percent of global trade and 800 million consumers.

As in any negotiation, where there is inevitably give and take, our negotiators would have tried to secure the most favourable outcome for New Zealand with more gains and fewer concessions. But in the end the advantages of opening up this country’s access to lucrative world markets would have been seen to far outweigh any disadvantages.

If however, the deal should prove to be not as beneficial as expected, safeguards do exist. In particular, Article 30.6 of the Agreement allows any future government to pull out of the TPP by providing written notice of their intention to do so to the New Zealand Depositary and to the other Parties, with the withdrawal taking effect six months later.

This safeguard appears to have been conveniently overlooked by the activists orchestrating the anti-TPP campaign.

One of the country’s most outspoken critics of free trade is Professor Jane Kelsey from Auckland University. While Professor Kelsey presents herself as a learned academic, recently gaining a taxpayer funded grant of $600,000 from the Marsden Fund for research into Transcending embedded neoliberalism in international economic regulation: options and strategies, her call to action against the TPP sounds more like that of an ardent activist: “Now is the time to get out there and be visible in your opposition. WE NEED YOU THERE TO FILL THE TOWN HALL and show the government and corporate beneficiaries we don’t want a bar of their TPPA! …Those who can’t make it, please donate generously through the Give-a-Little page set up to help fund opposition over the next few months… Sponsors (so far) are Its Our Future, ActionStation, and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, as well as great local anti-TPPA groups.”

The TPP protest showcased a very destructive side of society in New Zealand. The protest organisers would have known their demonstrations would not stop the signing of the trade deal. They must also have realised that their deliberate scaremongering could incite acts of violence.

I wonder, in fact, if those who have been deliberately misrepresenting the TPP to win support for their socialist cause were pleased with the results of their actions last Thursday.  Were they happy that a disaffected rent-a-crowd – many of whom did not really understand what they were protesting about – turned out in force with their anti-TPP and anti-government slogans?

Were they happy that the protestors brought the central city to a standstill, denying people the right to go about their day?

Were they happy that militants had been vandalising the electorate offices of government MPs in the lead up to the demonstration?

I wonder if they considered it a success that the protest action escalated into the fire bombing of a Cabinet Minister’s office … and I wonder how they would have felt, if by some dreadful chance, someone had been in the office when those molotov cocktails were thrown – and had died.

The extreme irrationality of some of the arguments being made against the TPP can be exemplified by two claims in particular – the first, that the trade deal is secret, and the second, that it will breach the Treaty of Waitangi.

The reality is that the full draft text of the TPP was publicly released by the Depository in early November, as soon as it was received from the officials who had been drafting the agreement. The NZCPR provided links to the detail of the deal and outlined what was in each section at that time in our article Trading Into the Future.

 The final text of the TPP was released on January 26 and is publicly available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for anyone to view.

The fact that many protestors were claiming that the secrecy of the deal was the main cause of their opposition, shows just how much propaganda they had been subjected to. In reality, the TPP negotiations had followed the same process as every other trade deal that New Zealand has been involved in, with the talks remaining confidential until the parties agreed on the detail. This includes the Labour Government’s trade deal with China, which, while very controversial at the time, was not subjected to a sustained left wing attack.

As with every other trade deal, there will be an opportunity for public consultation during the Parliamentary process, when a Select Committee will investigate the TPP Agreement and call for public submissions, ahead of any necessary law changes.

The alarming scale of misinformation fed to the public about the TPP can also be seen in the claims that the deal will breach the Treaty.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is former trade negotiator, Charles Finny, who, in response to these outrageous assertions, went back to examine the TPP and other trade deals to see exactly how the Treaty of Waitangi is addressed. What he found is that rather than being inadequate in its protections for the Treaty, the TPP allows our government to discriminate in favour of Maori, and is the only country to have been given such a right:

“TPP is an agreement between 12 countries. Pretty much all the 12 jurisdictions are home to indigenous minorities – for example, the First Peoples of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, the Aboriginal people in Australia, the Malays in Singapore and Malaysia, and the Ainu in Japan. Yet none of these peoples is mentioned in the main text of the deal and none of their Governments has secured agreement from the other members that they should be allowed to discriminate in favour of them.

“In contrast Maori are mentioned, as is the Treaty of Waitangi. Article 29.6 of TPP is actually titled ‘Treaty of Waitangi’. It says that ‘provided that such measures are not used as a means of arbitrary or unjustified discrimination against persons of the other parties or as a disguised restriction on trade in goods, trade in services and investment, nothing in this agreement shall preclude the adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this agreement, including in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi’.

“This is pretty much the same clause that has been included in all free trade agreements New Zealand has negotiated since 2001. It has stood the test of time. It has allowed multiple Treaty settlements to be completed and has not had (as some critics claim will happen under TPP) ‘a chilling effect’ on Government’s ability to adopt policies more favourable to Maori than other New Zealanders or nationals of these FTA partners.”

Charles Finny believes that Maori have been very poorly advised over the TPP.

Audrey Young, the New Zealand Herald’s political editor agrees, pointing out that the TPP campaign is all about politics, not trade: “Hone Harawira went on RNZ’s Morning Report on January 21 to claim Maori were near unanimous in not wanting the TPP to be signed on the basis there was ‘no mention’ of Maori in the TPP, there was ‘no mention’ of the Treaty of Waitangi in the TPP and there was ‘no mention’ of the protections for Maori through the Waitangi Tribunal in the TPP. The fact that he was wrong and the reverse is true did not change his opposition; he just found other reasons to oppose it, as did Labour when the final deal met almost all of its bottom lines.”

Audrey Young also makes the point that by linking the anti-TPP crusade to one of Maori rights, organisers might just have set their campaign up for failure: “In the longer term, John Key has had more to celebrate about the opposition in the past few weeks. The linkage of TPP critics to Treaty of Waitangi activists settled the issue for many TPP doubters – the sort who think: ‘If Hone Harawira thinks the TPP is bad for the Treaty of Waitangi, it must be good.’ … Linking the Treaty to TPP has been a disaster for the left.”

The misinformation being dished out to Maori led to most Auckland tribes refusing to perform the official welcome for the foreign visiting dignitaries who had come to New Zealand to sign the TPP. In the end, a group did perform a shortened version – which some have said was preferable.

The misinformation also led to a large Maori presence at the Auckland protests. Organisers planned to move the protest to Waitangi to prevent the Prime Minister from attending Waitangi Day events.

In the end, concerns that protest action would endanger the Prime Minister and his team – along with an effective “gagging” order from Te Tii Marae to prevent him from answering criticisms about the TPP – resulted in John Key’s Waitangi visit being cancelled.

I have no doubt, that given some TPP opponents were inciting protestors to riot, that had the Prime Minister attended Waitangi, there would have been violence.

Despicable behaviour disrespecting the Office of Prime Minister is not, of course, uncommon during Waitangi Day – it is after all the one day of the year when media attention is undivided. It resulted in the former Prime Minister Helen Clark abandoning the venue for a number of years and, in 2001, shifting the official celebrations to Wellington.

But that shameful behaviour is resented by many New Zealanders who want to see our official day as a time of celebration and goodwill, instead of protest and anger.

In the days when Dame Susan Devoy, the Race Relations Commissioner, was still free to speak her mind, she wrote in her column in the Bay of Plenty Times on 5 February 2012:

“Waitangi has been hijacked and if it can never be really seen as a day of national celebration then perhaps the time has come to choose another true New Zealand day”

Just a few days later, broadcaster Paul Holmes had this to say in his column in the Herald on Sunday:

“I’m over Waitangi Day. It is repugnant. It’s a ghastly affair. As I lie in bed on Waitangi morning, I know that later that evening, the news will show us irrational Maori ghastliness with spitting, smugness, self-righteousness and the usual neurotic Maori politics, in which some bizarre new wrong we’ve never thought about will be lying on the table… it’s a bullshit day, Waitangi. It’s a day of lies. It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day… No, if Maori want Waitangi Day for themselves, let them have it”.

This year broadcaster Larry Williams had this to say:

“Radical Maori protesters have systematically destroyed Waitangi Day and New Zealanders are over it… They are sick and tired of the disrespect shown to the office of Prime Minister by a bunch of Maori separatists.”

And with regard to the Prime Minister’s decision not to go to Waitangi, he said, “I think the majority of Kiwis would prefer that he didn’t go.”

I wonder why the Prime Minister puts up with the nonsense from Maori separatists year after year and I wonder how long he will continue to pander to their outrageous and divisive demands. I think most New Zealanders would respect the Prime Minister more if he said enough was enough. He would be seen as principled and strong if he did so.


Did the Prime Minister do the right thing by not going to Waitangi?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


It should be boycotted by all politicians for ever . John
Was the right thing to do, I believe. Waitangi Day has deteriorated into a political freak show where disgruntled Maori activists have hijacked this whole affair to their own ends. I suggest the following to do list: Abolish Waitangi Day– Create a New Zealand Day instead Bring back this whole general political mess we are in to a managable level by demanding from Maori leaders from now on to be cooperative for our common good as a nation and to acknowledge that they are not entitled to preferential treatment based on some one sided interpretations of a treaty which by the way exists in several versions and creates nothing but confusion and a perpetual playground for lawyers to make some fat cash out of this mess.. And that means also that they have to realize that something like this ToW is nothing but a ball and chain to any progress in this country and serves only a few ( like lawyers and Maori leaders). Michael
Paul Holmes comments were exactly correct. I have long felt that Waitangi day should be scapped, the treaty shoulb be ripped up and all the eye bulging, arse bareing maoris who wish to remain savages should be treated as such and removed from the civilized society. Ive had enough of all past and present governments catering to maori demands. Des
Time to give up on Waitangi Day. Ross
Waitangi day is history and the sooner we drop it altogether the better. While discussing John Key`s activities he should also stop going to the, Big gay Out, before he becomes regarded as a patron. Frank
Why condone a day of disrespect. If looney Maoris want it so be it. Most true blue Newe Zealanders don”t want a bar of it any more. Bruce
Absolutely – why should the PM’s office be subject to disrespect from a few ill informed ignorant protectors. Warren
It’s becoming a discracefull circus, definitely not representing most nz-citizens. Guus
Why has Key not taken the trouble to explain why NZers should not be concerned about the TPPA? And give solid proof of that? In this day and age of corporate greed and power plays for influence in government, we need visible evidence that we are not having our democracy undermined by them. We are very aware of Key’s ties to and contacts among the wealthy ruling elite in the US. Colin
Stuff them. Barry
We should symbolically burn the treaty. Ian
It is time Waitangi Day was scrapped and we became a level playing field where we all had equal rights. Rename the day New Zealand Day and celebrate the day all over the country. Peter
Better to abolish Waitangi Day out right because divisiveness is not a cause for celebration but rather for embarassment. Paul
Definitely he is now the man the greatest standing up to that Maori crap. Now is the time for him to become great and remembered as a great PM making it NZ day not Waitangi Day. Andrew
Yes, he did the right thing – along time coming. Paddy
Who would pop along to a neighbourhood party to get a face full of excrement, spit or a massive pink dildo, or to be told “just sit in the corner and keep your trap shut”? Lesley
Yes,Yes,and a thousand times yes, and he should change the name back to NZ day as it used to be. Athol
To go there under a gagging order would be pointless. Rename Waitangi Day as “Harawera Day”. Tony
Absolutely yes, to show such disrespect and attempting to gag our head of state, whoever that may be,, does without doubt I’ll-mannered in all respects. Audrey
The time has come for all Kiwi’s to look beyond the gravy train, more commonly know as the Treaty of Waitangi and include all New Zealanders in the wealth distribution that we all generate. Barry
About time, continue the stand and rid this country of the racist misinterpreted document for good!!!!!! Craig
I agree with the comments of Paul Holmes which were quoted. Mick
Instead of a flag referendum, we need a National day referendum; my choice would be Sept.19th, the day all women got the vote – first in the world; a good time of the year & it could be Mondayised easily. Feb. 6th is too early and can be left to all the Maori protestors but should not be a national holiday. I avoid Waitangi(sic) celebrations at all cost, its a disgrace. Monica
He should not ever go again as he is only giving the activists the chance to be on TV!!! Russell
Of course he should not have gone, nor should any other elected member of parliament. Waitangi Day has become a racist fiasco and reflects the opposite of the Treaty’s original intention; to unite two races as one people. John Key has acknowledged subordination to Maori “sovereignty”; firstly by reneging on his pre-election promise to abolish Maori seats (Quote; “There would be a hikoi from Hell”), secondly by allowing the ‘body snatchers to defy a Supreme Court ruling. In the latter case the police representative’s excuse was, “It is our job to preserve law and order.” No, Mr Policeman, it is your job to enforce the law. Anyone who believes the claim that Maori did not relinquish sovereignty has obviously never read the transcript of the Kohimarama Conference in 1860. All but a handful of the 102 Chieftains in attendance were united in accepting the Queen’s overall authority. At the start of the conference Mr McLean (the Native Secretary) presented a Wanganui Chieftain with a silver staff. The Cheitain acknowledged the gift, stating, “Hearken O Governor! Hearken, also, Chiefs of this Runanga! I have received the Queen’s pledge (holding up the staff) – a pledge of her regard for her Maori subject. Now, hear ye! This shall also be the pledge of my allegiance to the Queen’s authority. I shall be firm in my adherence to the Queen even unto death. And when I die my son shall take this staff and follow in the steps of his father: so shall it be an heirloom in my family, and a pledge of our loyalty, for ever! ever! ever!” So, Mr Prime Minister, the Maoris accepted the Queen as overall authority. You and previous NZ leaders have buckled under politically correct pressure from a very undemocratic Waitangi Tribunal and made nonsense of the Treaty’s basic principle – One Law For All. It is time for you to represent all NZ’ers. Mitch
He should have done it sooner, and he should tell them that the people run NZ not them! William
John Key definitely made the correct decision not to attend Waitangi day celebrations this year. I– like numerous other NZers, have had enough of the so- called Maori grievances which go on, and on, and on. No- one today was actually present at the signing of the Treaty, and as such, I consider that something done so long ago, belongs in the myths and legends of NZ. We will never move forward as a nation whilst Maori continue to highjack a day which most NZers celebrated with good intention years ago. Perhaps the full version of God Defend New Zealand should be featured with prominence to remind us all– that we are New Zealanders first and foremost, and the verses show that very clearly. Jenny
I and many of my friends are over Waitangi day. Dianne
Should have done so years ago—& make this permanent policy !!!!! TONY
Key is our elected leader. Maori are ashamed of what goes on at Waitangi. Herbert
The Waitangi Treaty was about self-preservation and an end to constant tribal war that continued to decimate the tribes… All parties to the Treaty wanted to see NZ develop under one law, one nation, with equality of all citizens and this could only be achieved under the protection of the Crown… Tribes ceded soverenty to the Crown in 1840 and ratified it in 1860, at a Hui in Kohimarama…. Confirming citizenship under the Crown was the only way out of a stone age existence and culture… The Waitangi gravy train along with socialist academic appeasers, for their own ends which include a power grab, deny this, preferring the unmitigated bull-shit myth of a peaceful, integrated Maori Nation that was over-run by largely European colonialist… This is now taught in schools as fact so no wonder we have an attitude of entitlement which is reflected by poor educational and crime statistics for those claiming to be maori….. Les
With the benefit of hindsight I guess it was the right thing to do, But if I’d been John Key I’d have taken the Police and members of the Armed Forces and gone there ready for a confrontation and to quell any sign of protest – does the Riot Act still exist? Terry
The on/off invitations by the Tribal elders & gagging requirement demeans the office of “Prime Minister” regardless of who it is. Nick
The day should go back to being called new Zealand day, not as most New Zealanders call it Maori day. Hugh
A day off for the stirrers and a free meal paid for by the Tax Payer. Give it to Maori and let them fight among-st themselves. No place for separatism, scrap the false Treaty Claims and one and all will be very happy, the Maori were not the original persons, they are just immigrants like all as they butchered the Moriori. Who came to the New Zealand mainland and then to the Chatham Islands. Dave
Good on him for not going ! words elude me ! Roy
The various cabinet ministers and other MPs should not have attended either. The Treaty of Waitangi is not New Zealand’s founding document and has no relevance in modern day New Zealand. It is past time to consign the Treaty to the past where it belongs and for all New Zealanders to reach an accord with the Crown where no one racial group has any preference over any other. The word “equality” sums it up adequately. Peter
Best thing that ever happened. Peter
The day should be moved from Waitangi. Gordon
Who needs to be involved with that rabble every year. Ronmac
Yes and should never go again the wiatangian greedies are not worth wasting time over, get rid of the treaty and get on with life for all. James
P.M.s in future should travel to other places where the Treaty was signed. Akaroa was a lovely example about what being a kiwi really means. Leave the badly behaved children to their own devices. Jasmine
The Government should be running the annual event, around the country at a different location each year. It should be called NZ Day to acknowledge the contribution of many races. The Maori MP’s should be disbanded, to stop the now prevalent racial discrimination. Brian
About time. Owen
He promised (a few years ago) to ALWAYS attend but he is not a man of his word as this shows. Simon
Drop Waitangi day altogether. Graeme
The event at Waitangi no longer represents a determination that two peoples should become united in their ambition for a successful future for all in New Zealand. Brian
Yes absolutely. The sooner Waitangi Day is abandoned the better, whether it’s replaced or not. As regards protection of the Treaty in TTP negotiations, since Maori obviously don’t understand due consideration, then that should have been abandoned too. Bruce
As John Key says, respect goes both ways! Totally agree. Martin
Absolutely ! James
Why should the esteemed office of PM suffer such indignities year after year? Patricia
No Members of Parliament should attend Waitangi. No matter which party is in power they get abused.You will never satisfy that lot as this has been going on for more than 40 years,You would have to be mentality different to tolerate that abuse.Keep away and make sure they get NO funds for the event.The Press and TV should keep away also.That mob is a discrace to all New Zealanders. Carroll
Ngapui said, in effect, “if you come.,we will do our best to humiliate you, and we will give your political opponents more speaking rights than you. Of course he was right to avoid it. Geoffrey
I hope that next year he will inform them <24hrs before Feb 6th saying he’s not going. I’m sure it will take the puff out of all those protesters. then all the media will stay away too. That will be the day when we can return to have day of celebration rather than one of protest. Bryan
No one is required to visit someone else’s place if they encounter disdain and downright rudeness. Let him stay away unless there is an expression of sorrow. That is how society works. Alison
Our leader should not be used as a recipient of Maori radicalism. Chris
Do away with the Waitangi Tribunal they are of no use now settlements are over. Laurie
Absolutely. He should wash his hands of all things waitangi!! Enough is enough. William
Most New Zealanders I have spoken to are over Waitangi Day as it all about Maori venting their anger over something that happened a hundred years ago and most of those issues have been addressed by us! the now NZ Tax Payer not the Govt money . The day should be called New Zealand day and all nationalities that call themselves Kiwis celebrate the day as one. After all most of immigrated here a little later than the Maori. Wayne
Waitangi is about “us as a nation” not me as a Maori. Maurie
And should continue to do so until such time as the radicals hold sway! Helen
Waitangi Day is way past a celebration of ONE people coming together for the benefit of all New Zealand and New Zealanders. Maori have done this and it is about time they woke to the fact that it is only the elite tribal kings that are getting rich from the settlements. Marc
Certain Ngapui have ruined the day for years. Let the governor General attend Waitangi. The Prime Minister should visit different celebrations each year in different areas. Russell
Without a doubt… Graeme
Waitangi should be celebrated in other cities of NZ. Paul
Absolutely. Waitangi and the associated marae are now ONLY a soapbox for a few extremist Maori to feature themselves on national TV. As evidenced by the current TPP protests, most have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about. They have not done any research on this subject, and don’t even understand the basics of TPP. yet they still continue secretive dealings with Govt to attempt to ‘steal’ all NZ fresh water rights. Hypocrites. MervB
Why should any Prime Minister put up with that Bull Shit . give Waitangi a miss and let the Hones and al the other Maori shit stirrers have their day but not at the tax payers expense. Ken
We need a day for New Zealanders, not those hypocritical separatists. Neville
Absolutely correct. The rentamob Maori present at the event do themselves and Maori as a whole no favours at all. John
Waitangi Day should be abolished forever!!!!! Jim
It’s an utter disgrace that people, Maori in particular, should allow and in some cases actually promote that sort of uncivilised behaviour when it should be exactly the opposite. We have stopped watching the TV News on Waitangi Day as we are sick and tired of such inane behaviour, a denigration of our country which we are sure is detested by the majority of our citizens of all ethnic groups. My over-riding feeling of satisfaction was that Mrs T Harawera was denied the opportunity to hang on the arm of the P M. Mike
The Prime Minister made the right decision by not attending. They will continue biting the hand that should not be feeding them in perpetuity. Can’t they see that their continued demanding and receiving of this plunder will ultimately destroy them as a people while downgrading the rest of us ? One law for all the nation. Don
Most certainly – take Waitangi celebrations on tour! Jim
He should not go back again. Find a new way to celebrate Waitangi Day. David
We need to come down heavily when the prime minister and other ministers are shown such disrespect . the waitangi fiasco should be stopped , it is used by asmall and not representative group to abuse authority. that woman should should have faced up in court and been severly punished. the protesters shoul have been removed when blocking auckland motorway intersections . we need the day to celebrate our wonderful diverse society and stop and not giving any time to the sideshow. Anthony
But only is he stays away permanently and distances himself publicly from the demented Maori radicals. Terry
Waitangi Day should be celebrated by all New Zealanders. It shall not be used as a day of criticism by groups of people who are never satisfied with their lot in life! Donald
When will the PM say enough is enough, I doubt it that he will until MMP is the voting system of this country, another word it is politics my dear Watson. Frank
Most definitely, like many I am sick of what Maori have turned this day into and would be quite happy if the Waitangi Tribunal was abolished. Elsa
Waitangi day should be left to maori to do their thing. NZ should have a nation day that can be celebrated by all New Zealanders, maybe the the day Australia as 500000nzers live over there. Doug
Yes, yes and yes again. At long last we have a chance to distance the office of Prime Minister from all the activists that our younger Maori have become under the urging so of the likes of the Harawira Family. Bryan
I went to Waitangi Day several years ago and was so discusted by the behaviour of what I saw that I now look twice at my Maori friends and wonder why they are more advantaged than other immigrants. Mary
Absolutely! He is the head of our governing party and should stand tall as our leader. Maori show little respect for that office or the protocol of manners. Jim
The further the PM can get from Waitangi, the better the country will be. Advancement of separatism and privileged positioning is something that has to be countered with determined effort. Michael
Start all over a NZ day, not at a pa, some where for all NZers. LGF
Muriel I agree with your comment that the PM should be strong and stand up to the arrogant mis-informed demands of Maori. If he doesn’t I think he will lose the confidence of the NZ public and will say good bye to a fourth term at the helm The consequences are chilling.. Albie
That marae does not represent NZ Maori. Joan
He should commemorate the Day with more respectful tribes. Bernard
Waitangi day is a disgrace, maori demand respect but will show none to anyone, why anyone even considers going there to be abused is beyond me. I say scrap the day and celebrate another such as Anzac day. Stevo
Good on John Key for not going. New Zealanders are sick and tired of all the aggro! Peter
Now to change the flag! Rodney
Good on him!..The govt runs this country, not the maoris. George
I would love it to be a positive day. The problem is the news teams ram the negative at us. Roger
Enough is enough. Douglas
It is time we stopped giving any sepratist events and agreements any space in our Countries activities. Gerald
Absolutely! Steve
He needs to get stronger against these moronic maori racists. Trevor
Maybe he has finally seen the light. The Day is a joke, well which day now its mondayised. its just another cost to NZ business. Michael
Absolutely! I don’t think he should go back for a number of years, rather sharing the occasion with other tribes who were also party to the Treaty. Mark
He’s a coward – he used the elders as an excuse when really he was shocked at the 35000 protestors against tppa who showed him up in Akd in front of his International ‘buddies’! For the 1st time I do not agree with your column Muriel – our sites have researched tppa, and have extensive factual sheets which are available to all. tppa is NOT just a trade deal that is the difference this time! It jepodises our Sovereignty, our laws, our constitution, our Head of State, our flag!! our way of life, our workers’ rights, our minimum wage, the widening rich-poor divide, the medicines that 90% of us depend upon just to exist! and basically jepodises even more, any affordable way of life for the bottom half of income households in nz. Who wants to become another state of the USA anyway? We don’t that’s why we are protesting! We don’t put money first – we are putting people first! Now do you get it? This is our childrens’ futures that this govt. is gambling with – they do NOT have a remit to go beyond a trade deal and beyond that they have. They are arrogant and greedy and far too out of touch with hard-working poorly paid NZ families and deprived vulnerable people! Its such a shame we can’t all be rich isn’t it?? But there you go…… Heather
Waitangi Day !!! Cancel it. Mark
The Nation should withdraw all taxpayer funding related to the Te Tii Marae and direct the funding to other parts of New Zealand where the posited New Zealand Day could be used. Neil
He was left with no choice by the disgraceful behavior of the marae Trustees. Hopefully he will now begin to stand up to more of these Maori separatists on other issues. Rex
Dam right he shouldn’t have gone. It would take 1 of those radicals to try and prove a point and make a shameful name for themselves. These people don’t care about anyone else other than themselves, using Moaridom to spread their radical hatred. These people are no different than ISIS. Its about time all NZDERS stood up and make a stand. And it has started at the top with the PM. Lets start to correct the lies and the re writing of NZ history that has happened in only 40yrs. Ron
Waitangi has become a farce, the day is just an opportunity for northern maori activists to behave really badly – it is an embarrassment to ALL New Zealanders. Jenny
The Treaty should be torn up and put in the rubbish bin then maybe we could have a peaceful day to celebrate New Zealand as a nation of undivided people Mike
Yes he did and I wrote him a letter to this affect congratulating him on his decision to boycott the whole phony affair. Ralph
The flagrant disrespect shown to successive Prime Ministers has more than clearly demonstrated that Maori only wish to use Waitangi Day as another occasion to invent some new imagined cause for complaint agaisat New Zealand citizens,as represented by our democratic government & Prime Minister. No Prime Minister or other Minister of the Crown should ever deman themselves by attending the day and enue venue again. Douglas
Time to shift official celebrations to Wellington. Cut the separate Maori emphasis, celebrate oneness & national pride in sport music culture etc. Bruce
Don’t buy in to the nonsense and he didn’t best move he has made in a while. Laurel
Sick of the Waitangi Day nonsense. Forbes
Good on you PM for not going to Waitangi,you have our 100% support.These people will never be happy until they have total control of NZ. Malcolm
He only gets abused but still gives them money. Edward
Make it NZ day. Brian
Key did the right thing by staying away, but he should have sent Finlayson along as he hopefully would get shit thrown at him then he might not be so generous in giving our country away. BRIAN
Certainly. It is well overdue time to get Maori to accept that it is a day of celebration not protest. If you invite people to your place you should not use their coming as a reason to abuse them. Such behaviour is unacceptable. Graeme
Forget Waitangi Day. Disgraceful. Pam
Should have taken a stronger stand earlier. Kevin
He certainly did!! We should cancel Waitangi day as our National Day and fiond a more suitable day on which to celebrate our Nationhood. Jim
He did the sensible thing by staying away. Tony
John Key should go further and demand a full, public apology from these racist clowns as a precondition to his attendance in the future. He is after all, the Prime Minister of NZ, and as such is entitled to the respect that this office demands. Scott
The time has come for John Key to stand up and be counted. To treat Maori as a special race who have privileges that the rest of NZ citizens do not share, is wrong and will cause the downfall of this country of ours. If he has the courage to get rid of separate Maori seats in Parliament and treat Maori the same as every other citizen, in all respects, he will romp home in the next election. The big question of course is, does he have the guts to do this? Ernest
Just another Maori hard done by bull shit day. Glenn
Our PM, now and into the future, should visit places all over NZ on 6 February. What a message that’d send to the ill-bred and selfish protest groups who hang outside Te Tii Marae like ghouls each year. John
Arny we sick of this bullshit day that moari dump on us every year, it has nothing to do with most of us except down the way we will end up paying milloms of hard earned tax payers dollors that will probally cost us some of our hard fought freedoms!! Great. Shane
I would like to see Waitangi Day ended for ever.. Have another day to celebrate N.Z. I am fed up with the protesters and trouble-makers there.. Don
Te Tii Marae and 1,000 acres of land were gifted to “all the people of New Zealand” by owners past Gvnr General Lord Bledisloe and his wife. I cannot work out how Ngapuhi feel they have more say than any other on this public property or feel on public property they have the right to dictate to their Prime Minister. How can this be lawful and if not why are no charges laid? George
100% they can not agree on antthing so why go. It is time as suggested take the Treaty on the Rd to each area that signed it. Geoff
Why go and be abused by a bunch of rude maorii that have been given everything and have no protocol at all and are just seeking publicity. Murray
Stop pandering to Maori separatists, enough is enough. David
Most certainly. But the mindless posturing at Waitangi around Waitangi Day provides the opening for a discussion on recognising our national day in a suitable manner. We should be celebrating nationhood in all its diversity, in all its many facets and this should be up and down the country, including at Waitangi. Ngapuhi have failed us. Please can there be some fresh thinking for the future. Bruce
Waitangi Day should be dumped forever. It is not a day of celebration but one of division and even hatred from the Maori activist perspective>It is Ironic that PM Key and his Maori Party coalition has done more to establish a neo apartheid state in New Zealand than any other New Zealand politician with possible exception of Sir Geoffrey Palmer. Insulting the PM however in these circumstances is an insult to all New Zealanders. Tom
Scrub Waitangi Day. No respect given to government members. Jim
Time to ignore Waitangi Day and bring back New Zealand Day. John
It’s a free country, so, if he wanted to, of course he should have gone. If he felt intimidated by (racist half-breed) maori thugs, then he should have gone up there with the army and showed them who’s boss. John
Time to face reality. Waitangi has become a farce hijacked by radicals. John
All Government participation should be optional. Naval participation should be withdrawn. Roger
The name should be changed to New Zealand Day. It should be celebrated in each town or city just as ANZAC Day. This way the PM can be free to celebrate where ever he is invited. The days of maori protests has to end. Dennis
It should be scrubbed and get out of the Waitangi nonsense. IAN
Should never go there. David
Be strong. Doug
John Key made a good desission not to go Waitangi leave to the Maoris to fight out amoung themselves Russell
The whole thing is a complete nonsense. For a great number of New Zealanders , they’ve had enough of the crap that denigrates our so called ” National Day “. For my money, the whole day should just be another low key day marked on the calendar. As for being our founders day, forget it. New Zealand as a country no longer exists. Call it what you will, but it certainly isn’t New Zealand anymore. John
I’ve had a gutsful of Maori and the treaty. Murray
about time Martin
Absolutely. Leave the maori to Waitangi Day. Get over it Jeff
Absolutely!! Andrew
It is time the separatist day of ‘celebration’ was done away with. One nation, one people and one rule for all is how it should be. Brian
Cany believe that Key even contemplated going in the first place. Rename day NZ Day and celebrate the anniversary like every other country, as a day of celebration rather than mourning!! Tony
Time he stopped sucking up to Maori stirrers. Laurie
Cancel Waitangi Day It has had its time. If the Maori tribes want to continue with a day of rabble rousing let them go but no National celebration of Waitangi Day. Johan
And don’t go any more change to may 3rd for NZ day. Colin
Sick of seeing maoris continuing to make themselves look more and more foolish and disrespectful each year. At the same time the maoris expect people to be respectful toward them!!!!!! Just imagine the same offensive behaviour being metted out to maori groups and what their reaction would be? Neil
I’m over Waitangi day too, its time to change things, had enough of these maori protesters. Paul
He showed that he is not going to be bullied into conditions that are not democratic. Ian
Should have done it years ago. Murray
Absolutely. Let the local Maori have their day – to themselves. The world looks on and laughs. Ron
Its taken too long to stand up and let the Waitangi days GO. Lets change it now to a New Zealand day ( like our Ausi friends ) and have a really great day. william
I simply get tired of all the Maori Drama. They continue to wear out what little good will is there for them. Alan
JK is as cunning as an outhouse rat. Suddenly trying to convince the electorate he will not be pushed around by maoris after 7 years of kow towing to their every demand makes one very sceptical. And this, at the same time, perhaps within hours, of Whinlayson complaining uncharacteristically about a Waitangi tribunal decision smacks of things dark, sinister and devious. Graeme
About time he stood up to this separatist bunch. He now has to carry that through into parliament and stop the privilege gravy train. Lachlan
Yes, he did. We should not be pandering to Maori. Kerin
The day is a national disgrace. Compare it with the patriotism and celebration of Australians on ‘Australia Day’ – it couldn’t come close to comparison. Marie
Absolutely. Lyla
Stand up to the irrelevance that is the maori treaty grievance train once and for all. Tina
Undoubtedly. And he should never return. Graham
Bullying behaviour by Maori is unpalatable at any time of year. Waitangi seems to bring out the worst kind of racialism. Well done John – you effectively stole their thunder. Peter
I absolutely agree. The time has come for a “New Zealand Day” – one which we may really celebrate without abuse, division and lies. Brian
Yes, finally! Although, he might have won more points if he’d simply gone to another Waitangi Day celebration. The Nines don’t really count. Fiona
Shameful that our prime minister was subjected to such disrespect – but the positive side is that it was a watershed moment whereby many kiwi folk from now on will demand the allocation of a separate New Zealand Day celebration. In other words, that has nothing to do with the circus at Waitangi. John Key does need to push back more vigorously and shed this constant appeasement behaviour which is interpreted as being weak. That’s not a good look. The great thing about some really strong push back would be he would win far more votes because of it than he would lose. Peter
Forget about Hone Hawaria , his cranky mother and the offensive rabble on the lower marae. Celebrate Waitangi day on the Waitangi Grounds, throw trouble makers out or can the celebrations. David
John Key’s decision as right. And, yes, it’s time he said “enough is enough” to Maori, especially the Iwi leaders group he meets with, and who push their own agenda for their own gain. It’s also about time that the Waitangi Tribunal were Put on notice to close down because of the increasingly outrageous decisions that they are giving and expecting the Government to agree. I agree that John Key would go up in people’s estimations if he cut the Maori Party loose from Government. After all, it is very much a minority party -‘but the tail wags the dog! Waiting I Day has become more and more a day of division between Maori and evyone else. Let the Maori activists have it to themselves, and let’s have a day that celebrates New Zealand. Laurence
Waitangi day should be confined to history. There it will give some academics basis to rewrite history as many have already done. Excellent response by Mr. Key. Ray
Yes of course he made the right decision. Look, the vast majority of New Zealanders are over Waitangi Day and the disrespectful disgusting mob who are hellbent on disrupting proceedings. Can it once and for all. If you wish to celebrate the signing of this document, then proponents can organise festivities themselves. Frankly I dont think we have a lot to celebrate about this document. Steve
It was the wisest option. RAE
It should never be used again this Maori thing is rubbish I’m a new Zealander not a Maori. Norm
I would love to see a New Zealand Day in preference to Waitangi Day – something all New Zealanders can embrace with a positive attitude, just like other countries celebrate their national day. Susan
Absolutely. Mr Key said “respect had to go both ways”. When will Mr Key respect and ‘hear’ the rest of New Zealand over this Waitangi farce? Or is he just interested in votes for Mr Key? Stuart
He should call a snap election, should hose in with majority to pass desired improvements to RMA. Gerald
The surprise is that John took so long to finally decide not to go. The Maori dissidents who inhabit Waitangi year after year are simply terrorists and should be charged with treason … problem is, silly old Helen removed such a charge from the statute books, along with our access to the Privy Council and our Knighthoods. How bizaar! Good on John Key for finally realizing he is on a hiding to nothing trying to appease Maori belligerants and trouble makers. Surely it is obvious, even to most obtuse, that these dissidents are simply spoilt children. Destructive, dangerous non contributors. Dianna
Maori self interests have hijacked Waitangi Day – PM safety is much more important than pandering to activists. Hilary
Key should have shown true leadership and made other arrangements for Waitangi Day some weeks prior as no formal invitation had been tendered/received from the host tribe. Rod
Nah-Phooey are a sick joke, posturing on a marae that didn’t exist until 1880! As suggested, time to take proceedings further afield, where any PM of the future is treated with respect. Paul
Attending farcical events on Marae now or in future will only perpetuate the APARTHEID system that exists in NZ. Better to immediately do away with separate Maori seats and have one system for all NZ’ers – part Maori and otherwise. Geoff
Pity it took him so long. Jan
Dignity and respect of Law and Order is a requirement. Wayne
Absolutely He should stop paying those who organise the so called celebrations and let them fund them themselves. Colin
Time to give Maori a miss we are all the same New Zealanders./ Ian
He should stay away until the separists come to their senses and/or have learnt to read the pre-signing document that was available to them. Alan
I think the vast majority of the country is sick and tired of the rubbish and misinformation the Maori minority keep on repeating. They should respect the office of the PM whoever holds that office as he/she has been elected by the majority of the country. Keith
As a third generation NZ’r the respect for maori of long ago has now faded into the distance and so hould no longer need to pander to a nasty minority, just racism when there are no true maori left. IAN
Good for us and him!! Brian
Each year let’s have one official small-scale event anywhere but Waitangi. A different city/town each year and alternating between North & South Island. Waitangi folk can go and look at the museum the rest of NZ has just bought them. John
Militant maoris are quite abusive to NZ over and above what has so generously been given to them over many a year. They become repugnant to the ordinary NZer. June
Waitangi Day is just an opportunity for radical Maori to bitch to the government over decisions made that don’t satisfy their demands. I believe that he and all the other politicians should stay away permanently. Rog
We should have a NATIONAL day – NOT Waiting Day. Jack
He should be well over it now like many of us are or have been. Time for some political (esp National)! Frank
So pleased Mr Key stayed away, may he stay firm [with the majority of NZ’s] who think it is time Waitangi Day was left to the Sh…t stirring Maori. Let us have a True NZ Day for all people who live in our land. As for the TPP and anti Govt. rabble, lock them up and throw away the key.. Elayne
Time to change Waitangi Day back to NZ Day, this will let all Kiwis speak not just Maori. No one should go to a meeting they are banned from speaking at. I hope John Key finally understands that the Maori will make demands until they own NZ.They have nointerest in compromize. JC
Paul Holmes’ comments about Waitangi Day are well made and acurately echo my own feelings. David
Definitely. Barbara
It’s high time we celebrated our heritage with just a N.Z. day, not at Waitangi. Mike
Rent a mob must be really short of real issues to mobilise over. Waitangi day has evolved into an opportunity for divisiveness and has long passed its use by date. The public holiday should be cancelled and another day chosen to celebrate New Zealand. Enough is enough!! Ray
Why should anyone go anywhere just to be abused and listen to a heap of Maori activists tell a lot of lies. Lets hope the Ministers and the press have the good sense to totally ignore future Ti Tii Marae bullshit. Robbie
And he waited far too long before confirming he would not be there. Don’t go there again. Terry
Why would he go knowing the abuse he would cop. I’m bloody sure I wouldn’t bother. Donald
Lets can Waitangi day,instead have a New Zealand day where we can all be proud of our nation instead of treating it as just another day off. I was born in New Zealand & I love my country but am sick of being made to feel I don’t belong here because I’m no a maori I do belong here for I am a NEW ZEALANDER. NIGEL
I wonder if becoming a Republic would effectively cancel the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori and the Crown.? David
Maori’s have become a “TOTAL EMBERARMENT” to hard working New Zealanders Forget Waitangi day Should be “NEW ZEALAND DAY”. Wiramu
Mr. Key is a. True patriot and a natural leader. Bruce
Why would any kiwi bother to go to a far North village, to watch some poorly educated idiots who refuse to accept civilization, doing some primitive dance with a pointed stick, & demanding a free ride for the rest of their lives, without contributing a damn thing towards it. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed to make us one nation of people, under British law. This should be celebrated through-out the country. The chiefs who had the wisdom & foresight to agree to the signing, would hang their heads in despair if they could see how their descendants have become no more than greedy opportunists who have cottoned on to the fact that politicians will give anything for the vote that keeps them in power. Was this a glimmer of strength from the P.M., or did he not have the courage to face the idiots who would have challenged him.. A.G.R.
He should never go again. Roy
He should attend functions all round NZ. A different area each year. Jan
On one hand the PM is guilty of promoting separatism and full speed a head with the gravy train. Then he confirms his intention to continue this with mention in the TPP of Maori and Waitangi. His only real reason to go was politics. The PM only suited himself not going for fear of violence. If he had of gone , got a blood nose, maybe it would have been the jolt he needed to bring his drive for separatism to a halt along with the gray train. Guess he was advised not to go to leave the vote purchasing door open. Bruce
Absolutely the right decision – why would he want to go there knowing there’ll be some dickhead waiting to hurl whatever this year’s projectile is in his direction. Dave
About Time He is leading us down the Separatist road by listening to his Advisor the unelected Racist Chris Nga Tahu Finlayson. Greg
We’ve lost patience with the carry-on at Waitangi Day “celebrations” and would be happy for the media to stop paying for the so-called privilege of attending. We also feel we need a REAL day of celebration for all New Zealanders – rather like the USA’s Thanksgiving. This is far more important for many Americans than Independance Day and this is what we need – not a day of dissention. Cheryl
Waitangi day is a day for all NZers and if certain people cannot respect it then lets just sideline them and celebrate elsewhere the joy of being New Zealanders. Willy
John Key, still gutless still not giving us democracy still frightened still worried about his small party vote. HE is stuck in his thinking. Lance
He broke his word and cannot be trusted now. Simon
Enough is enough. We’ve had a ….full of the iwi and their bull…. Kevin
Please let’s finish with this Waitangi nonsense and have a New Zealand day. A day when all of us can celebrate together. Alan
A no brainer. Lee
Is this the beginning of a trend to finally start pushing back on the more unrealistic demands Laurie
Perhaps “All Fools Day” would be a more apropriate name for Waitangi Day. Graeme
Time to do some dictating, rather than being dictated to. Andrew
Waitangi Day is passed its best use by date. Gary
Who needs Maori Separatist Rubbish Day, they can keep it!!! Neil
It is not and never has been a true New Zealand national day. It is a maori whingeing day Roderick
” you reap what you sow…” years of handing the “iwi” near on 2 Billion $’s to catch a few votes…,Key/finlayson have divided the nation forever…Greed/power rules with the ‘iwi’…apartheid NEW ZEALAND is here…….disgusting is a polite description…. Christopher
Definitely the right thing to have done. You do not get invited or go to someone elses place to be abused. Most of us would like to think that this country is civilized but clearly that principle is sullied by a few malcontents who do not deserve the attention they seem to crave. Gary
Make it a New Zealand Day, and then lets all embrace it and enjoy Phill
Bloody oathy he was right. Eric
156 years under a treaty is far to long and should have expired in 1940 and the nation one people, no free tax for Maori trusts. Each Maori should have been given equal shares, women, man and child to buy and sell of their own choice,, election of directors, land sold off and divided if the votes carried. Individual Maori, family should be allows to follow their own destination. For far to long NZ`s history has been falsified by historian if not slanted to appease them. The truth is absent, if not hushed up. Maori where not the first to settle NZ, the came as conquers cannibals tossed out of their homeland because of their bad behaviour of in fighting even from the NI to the SI. The SI originally known as the Middle and Stewart Island where claimed in the name of the Governor of NSW the Treaty was instigated in the NI by their/its own Governor so it was not sanctioned by the Gov., of NSW. Politicians, Race relation officer and Councils are under the fear of utu, hence NZ`s mess. Robert
Protest Day. Time to stop the xinterpretation of Waitangi treaty and compensation. The Hospitals & schools need it-as do some pensioners. Leigh
The maori attitude was an insuklt to our PM and even worse an insult to the citizens of NZ. David
Waitangi Day is as farcical as the treaty is now. The treaty needs to be dumped as it is now just a mumble jumble of greed and bullshit. Wally
Waitangi Day must go. A day for the lazy and inept to spend time protesting over things they do not understand led by a communist element from Auckladnd Unviersity. Murray
He should have made the decision sooner. Monty
Not ever again,. Peter
Absolutely he should not have gone. The media give too much attention to the radical Maori and the activists know that and make the most of it. Frank
The Prime Minister deserves more respect. Monty
It is time those Maori were shown they don’t rule over things like they think they do. Robert
Completely endorse his actions. Charles
DEFINITELY! It is well past the time when when the government of the day respond only to reasoned and civilised behaviaour. It is also about time to return to being a truly democratic country wher each voter has one vote, not this system which gives an undefined group of people two votes each. Paul
It is time someone stood up to these maori separatists. At the end of the day he should be able to celebrate our national day anywhere he likes. Carol
Absolutely. Waitangi Day has become Maori Grievance Day with continual disrupting and whining by some groups, In any case I suggest we scrap Waitangi Day and replace it with New Zealand Day on a different date. Let the people celebrate the progress New Zealand has made and pay tribute to the ones who have gone before who have worked for he advancement of New Zealand. On this day let the politicians stay at home with their families and their local communities. We can do without them and the protesters for one day. Now I think many New Zealand citizens would agree with this approach but will the politicians listen? They didn’t listen to us on the anti smacking and Foreshore and Seabed issues so why would they listen to us now? The brutal reality is they will only start listening when their seats are threatened. There is a solution if enough people are prepared to take action. Withdraw your support from Parties who won’t listen and set up a Party or an Independent candidate of your own. Over in the United States voters are at last taking action seeking to dump politicians who won’t genuinely represent them. I wish we had reached that stage in New Zealand. Denis
Let Maoris have waiting I day & NZ day for us kiwis! Donald
I vote we now delete the day! BRENT
Enough is enough. Les
Our family and friends are sick and tired of the endless trouble caused by the Prime Minister attending Waitangi. Please John give a thought to the rest of us who have to witness one Maori Family constantly performing in from of the media. Jan
Time to give up on Waitangi Day. Too much attention to the wrong things for too long. It is a day of division not inclusion. I am happy to give up my holiday and get back to making this nation work. Lisa
For sure its a waste of precious time. Nevkath
Waitangi Day is a disgrace and we should have a New Zealand Day to celebrate all the great things this wonderful country gives us. Peg
Yes, we talk about being “one people” and this day does nothing but separate us into two groups – Maori and the rest of us. The answer is to get rid of Waitangi Day completely asap. Mike
The disrespect that he would have been subject to and the real possibility of physical danger to him from a disenfranchised minority make his decision a “no brainer”. Ian
We should tear the treaty into pieces and then burn it! Brian
It’s time NZ was no longer held to hostage by NZ Maori or other protesters. David
I thought Waitangi was a mutual meeting place and a happy occasion not one of protest and fighting. Celebration being the operative word not disrespect for the man doing the job of PM glad you didn’t go Mr Key. Ray
It is time the darkies in Nz (called Maori) became NZ citizens. If this is not acceptable, then I am sure the Island across the ditch would welcome them in transit to Nauru. Keep up the momentum PM, you are getting on to the right track. Bloody Hell!!! John
Disrespect for our ‘elected ‘ PM and govt representatives shows lack of respect fro the elders – the marae and to all who call themselves New Zealanders — John
Yes! Absolutely. It is one powerful message that the rest of us are not interested in the Treaty of Waitangi, and their silly actions and demands for the rest of NZ to look at them. Part of bringing up children is to ignore their shouting and demands, as if you take notice and give in, they are encouraged to perform every time they want something. Who has heard of spoiled brats? Leave the Maoris to mouth off to each other whilst we celebrate NEW ZEALAND DAY in Wellington, the capital. I suspect that the reason Maoris protest at the TPPA, is that it is too hard for them to read the on line version so of course they can say ‘we haven’t been told what’s in the document’. The academics are probably just anti establishment.. Chris
Why should he go there just to be abused and shown no respect. Diane
No opportunity to address the attendees. Pierre
I think it is demeaning for the PM to be kowtowing to a bunch of radicals simply to be seen to be giving honour to so9ne an anachronistic Treaty. The PM calls the tunes in this instance. Warren
Absolutely. Claire
Much as I can’t stand the man and his policies… Andy
We should ignore the atrocious behaviour and disrespect Maori show.The media should also ignore it, as they do it for the publicity. Jill
Time to stand up against all this Maori PC business on cost of all other New Zealanders. Konrad
Enough is enough – what happens at Waitangi year after year shows a total disrespect of the OFFICE of the Prime Minister – plain and simple. Hylton
ABSOLUTELY…..NZ as a whole (and that includes Maori who are not continually grinding their axes) now needs to take a stand against this annual outburst of the ignorant (because they do not confuse themselves with facts of any matter?) and dissociate ourselves from the whole Waitangi annual fight-fest. That they are not prepared to accommodate the PM in a manner suitable to the dignity of his office, and that the whole day is reduced to name-calling and abuse, lies, and aggressive poses, does us no good either here in this country, nor as we are represented in what is now the world-wide media. It’s far too nasty, now, to be just another “protest”.. This hooliganism must stop. Forthwith. Absenting ourselves (including the PM and members of the Cabinet) is the only way to go. If Canterbury can have a decent, happy, celebration of our national day, then why cannot the remainder of us? do likewise? Maggie
Complete disrespect shown annually by some maori to the prime minister’s office (never mind who the incumbent is) is disgusting. This day should be a national day and leave ALL tv and news medaia coverage away from Waitangi and then lets see how many rent a mob will turn up ! Mel
You can not go back on your word, just because you feel it will be tough, Life and respect is about facing up to those hard things and showing that you are made of respectable metal, respect our Forbears they went to Gallipoli, Flanders, North Africa, Monte Cassino, and many other places, and Died. The Least Key should do is to Front up to a rabble of separatists. Terry
About time!!! Robert
It’s time the country ignored Waitangi and the minority activist Maori of the north. Concentrate on the majority of New Zealand for a change. Claire
It’s not our day. It’s their day. Richard
Yes, but for the wrong reasons. Time to tell these radical bludgers that the world doesn’t revolve about them. Rodney
Absolutely. Clive
It’s the second best thing he could have done. The best would be for us to get rid of the ToW altogether and live in harmony as New Zealanders. John
Waste of time. Bring back NZ Day. Trevor
Bloody oath, cancel Maori day altogether. Clark
Waitangi day has lost any relevance to most New Zealanders, in fact I’d hazard a guess, that most would be happy if it was done away with. Holiday aside. Brent
Absolutely! Albert
Very much so, this Prime Minister and any future Prime Minster should never go back. Robert
Absolutely, I’m so over waitangi day, I’m sick of greedy maori activists and their desire to grab everything they can get their grubby little hands on. Carolyn
Without MMP the government would be able to rule & law make without having to pander to the minority coalition parties. Time once again to call it New Zealand day. Rick
No future visits either. Catherine
Definitely, and if I were him, I’d never go again. Chris
This is a trend that should continue every year – no politician should attend. lorna
Why should he be disrespected by out of control savages? Graham
No one should have to put up with the type of abuse that happens at Waitangi most years. Don’t think Waitangi Day should be political. Janice
Why should the PM waste his time trying to talk sense to a pack of idiots? These “professional protesters” simply don’t deserve the PM’s time or energy. Let them protest and jump up and down until the cows come home. Nobody is listening to them nor crediting them with one ounce of credibility. The Auckland 9s was a better choice by the PM and a much better look for NZ sport him being there. Waitangi is not only a bad joke but also a national embarrassment. Steve
Absolutely John Key did the right thing. He should not go back to Waitangi if radicals continue to hijack the day. Graeme
He should have pulled out of Waitangi as soon as he was pushed around by protesters a few years ago, otherwise they get rewarded for unacceptable behaviour. Roger
Its such a shame that separatists are spoiling our national day – they should get over it and be thankful for being Kiwis and the progress this country has made, Sharon
The PM did the right thing. Waitangi Day at Waitangi has become grievance day. Peter
Definitely. He should move the official Waitangi Day celebrations to the capital, like Helen Clark did. David