Ngapuhi elder apologises as Committee set to get the axe

As many in New Zealand continue to back Bill English, an elder at Ngapuhi has apologised for comments where he called the Prime Minister “a spoiled child”.

Kingi Taurua says he is ashamed of how his iwi have treated Bill English, and he has vowed to take it all back. The Ngapuhi elder now has egg on his face, but the damage is done. English is still in Europe on PM duties,

Letters that leaked yesterday reveal that English was told that the only way he could speak at Waitangi was if a Maori Representative did so on his behalf.  In a tent outside the Marae, political discussions would’ve been able to take place, and English was only allowed to speak freely there.

What was laughingly referred to as protocol, has now led to an apology from Taurua. The committee at Ngapuhi are likely to be stripped of their roles as many New Zealanders support English, and Taurua even went as far as saying that some supporters are “against the National Party”.

No other political party has been told they can’t speak at the powhiri, but did the media keep their knowledge of the letters between the two parties hidden? Some argue that Taurua wouldn’t have made such comments if was aware of the letters, but all along, the committee itself also knew of the discussions in the letters.

Ngapuhi will meet on Thursday and go into damage control.

Bill English vs Waitangi vs Truth

This blog is a response to the one I wrote yesterday surrounding Waitangi Day and the New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English.

It is my view, as I said yesterday, that English is right in his decision to turn his back on the celebrations. Like John Key did before him, English won’t put himself into a situation of protest, because Waitangi Day should be about celebrating New Zealand, and not a political forum.

That’s my personal belief, the day is about New Zealand and our way of life. The problem is, too many political interests and media discussion has influenced that very way of life, and some believe all respect has been lost along the way.

Not once did English say he would use his speaking rights to try and gain votes, or the respect of the Maori at Waitangi. That would imply that the Government doesn’t have the respect of Maori. English is the Prime Minister of New Zealand and deserved more respect than what he got in the letter Waitangi wrote in response to his request.

The issues surrounding Waitangi Day vary, and depending on the group of people you talk with, the sides are very different. What I am wrote about yesterday is Bill English, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, being told he cannot speak at the celebrations.

English himself said that to the media, that he had been refused speaking rights. My article was in reaction to that, and I shared my view on the Committee at Waitangi and the decision they made.

Subsequent stories have hit the news today that suggest it was English who didn’t want to speak at Waitangi, a direct contradiction to what was reported and said yesterday. We now find ourselves in a situation where the truth isn’t actually a certainty.

What is clear is that Waitangi Day is an issue for all of New Zealand, not just Maori.

I agree, we all need more education and balanced reporting on Waitangi. If both sides won’t work together, and the protests occur, like they are planned to, how is that supposed to happen? It is a no win situation and one that, clearly, English doesn’t want to be a part of.