All eyes were on the ladies of Te Tii today as the newly elected escort, Ani Taurua was involved in a stand off against Titewhai Harawira who has held the role for many years.
The issue blew up last week when the Marae asked Mrs Harawira to stand aside and while she refused some had hopes of her sharing the role with Ani Taurua. However her intentions were clear when she was heard to say “no that aint gonna happen” on her arrival at the gate.
It was a showdown the Marae hoped wouldn’t occur but once it did, it became a magnet for attention. While Minister of Māori Affairs joined others in trying to intervene, his efforts were wasted.
The fight for the Prime Minister's arm continued while he waited in his car. Despite Marae Trustee Kingi Taurua trying to find a compromise he was better off to stay away as it resulted in a heated exchange of insults both ways.
Neither of the two women would retreat so in the end the Prime Minister kissed the defiant Titewhai and was escorted onto the Marae by not one but four women.