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Dame Patsy greeted at Waitangi treaty grounds

Dame Patsy welcomed onto Waitangi treaty grounds

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has been formally welcomed to Waitangi this morning at a pōwhiri on the treaty grounds.



Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

The ceremony hosted by Tai Tokerau elders marks a change in protocol after years of disruption at Te Tii marae.

Dame Patsy was escorted onto treaty grounds by kuia Titewhai Harawira and Naida Glavish - and was met with the traditional challenge by three Ngāpuhi warriors.

After formal speeches she spoke from the porch of the whare rūnanga, saying dialogue between the treaty partners must continue.

She said she looked forward to contributing to that, with her experience as a Crown treaty negotiator.

MetService had forecast bursts of heavy rain for the Far North, but the pōwhiri was held in brilliant sunshine outside the carved meeting-house.

The event went smoothly, and elders are hoping it will be the same story tomorrow when they welcome Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tomorrow.

It's Ms Ardern's third day at Waitangi and RNZ Te Manu Korihi reporter Shannon Haunui-Thompson said the Prime Minister has been warmly received there so far.

Haunui-Thompson said protests so far have been low key but a group is planning a hikoi from the lower marae to the treaty grounds on Waitangi Day on Tuesday.

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