The Chair of the Northland Māori Rugby Board is in protest at the trampling of Māori protocols as the British & Irish Lions begin their 2017 tour in Northland.
The longtime Chair of the Northland Māori Rugby Board is not attending the Lions first up match tonight in protest against his parent board the New Zealand Rugby Union to Māori protocol.
Northland Māori Rugby Chairman, Moses Cherrington says, "They've got it so wrong. The right time to welcome our visitors is as soon as their feet touch the ground here. I know they received a welcome at the airport but for us here in Northland they should've been received under Māori protocols when they arrived, not on Sunday."
Yesterday, NZRU officials were scolded by Ngāpuhi elders over a taiaha that was given by the rugby union to the people of Whangarei, who subsequently received a directive from the Union to return it.
Cherrington says, "Are they Māori do they understand Māori protocols do they understand Ngāpuhi protocols obviously not! Because it's a very real issue for us and I'd never have allowed that to happen when I was on the national Māori board."
Tomorrow the Lions will be officially welcomed at Waitangi but the Chair of the Northland Māori Rugby Board is questioning whose protocols are being practised.
Cherrington says, "So they've arrived here and they get to play a game on our turf without first being welcomed them amongst us. That's why I don't agree with tomorrows' powhiri and under protest, I will not be attending tomorrows welcome."
We contacted the NZRU about this issue, they are yet to respond.