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31 January 2002

Prime Minister Helen Clark said tonight that overwhelming goodwill towards her impending visit to Waitangi meant that very serious consideration was being given to the invitation to be at Te Tii Marae.

Helen Clark said that feedback from Northland suggested there was a strong desire to put past events at Te Tii behind everyone and move on. She said she shares that view.

Helen Clark said discussion is continuing on the overall format of the visit to Waitangi and that she is positive about the outcome. A further announcement will be made when details are available.

"As I said last week prior to my visit to Ratana Pa, one can never rule out being on the receiving end of strong comments in such a setting.

"It is widely acknowledged in Maoridom, however, that the government I lead has engaged in a very meaningful way with Maoridom and that the many initiatives in which government is a partner with Maoridom are making a difference.

"It is against this background that discussion is continuing about the format of events at Waitangi this year," Helen Clark said.


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