The Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy received a warm reception at Waitangi today after the ceremony was moved from Te Tii Marae to the upper marae this year, following years at the lower marae.
Mori Rapana Cultural Manager of Waitangi Treaty Grounds said, ”It was a great occasion, it was very united and peaceful”.
Powhiri for dignitaries have been moved from Te Tii marae to the treaty grounds following years of controversy which included a lack of speaking rights for government officials.
Rapana said, “The iwi made this decision and we agreed to take on the responsibility.”
Labour MP Rino Tirikatene agreed that there was a different vibe this year. “Having been a part of many powhiri to Te Tii in the past, I know it has been hard for certain governments, they have been confronted. Here there is a different feeling.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be welcomed on tomorrow.