Titewhai defies Ngāpuhi kaumātua

  • Northland

Obvious signs of tension flared when a stoush broke out between Titewhai's son Arthur Harawira and the kaihoe of Te Tii who tackled him after he rushed them during the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae's pōhiri.

He had renowned matriarch of the Harawira family, Titewhai, at his side but regarding the ruckus that occurred during his welcome, Mateparae says he wasn’t fazed.

He said “I was feeling a lot more relaxed today than last year as at the time I was unsure of how things were going to go. This year I was more familiar with what was going on and it’s just seeking the ambience of the place."

Elders of Te Tii say Titewhai's role is a self appointed one and that it’s not in Ngāpuhi protocol but a superficial one she created herself.

Rihari Dargaville says “regarding this particular incident I have this to say, for some of us don’t get on your soap box.  If you don’t know what your talking about or you'll just end up fulfilling their wishes, not your own.  Back to the days esteemed visitors and representatives of the Crown who addressed Māori on behalf of the Queen of England."

Te Tii kaumatua Nuki Aldridge says “his role is that of the Queen but the power lies with the Government and that’s where the confusion lies at occasions like this.  If we look carefully at what's happening, he is there as a liaison between Māori and the Queen but it’s  just not happening and that’s a problem.”

Tomorrow will see the arrival of another Crown official, Prime Minister John Key.