Te Pāti Māori Will Not Be Attending Waitangi On Iwi Advice
Te Pāti Māori Co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi have today announced that they will be taking a cautious approach and will not be travelling to the Bay of Islands to commemorate Waitangi Day this year.
The party has cancelled its plans to attend the commemorations and hold a party planning wānanga given the potential that the virus has spread within Te Tai Tokerau.
“Following the advice of our people in the North, and the decisions of other Māori movements, we have decided we will not be attending the 2021 Waitangi commemorations,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“We will err on the side of caution and will continue to do so until our people are vaccinated and we can minimise the risk of spreading the virus – there are wonderful commemoration events right around the country that the Māori Party will have a presence at.
“Last week I called on Government to reduce border numbers bring forward the vaccination schedule. Aotearoa is currently at greater risk than we’ve ever been of another significant outbreak,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“We acknowledge and support the actions of Tai Tokerau iwi who have re-established community checkpoints to discourage inter-regional travel while there is a risk of community transmission in the North,” said Mr Waititi.
“Iwi were outstanding in taking the lead to protect their people on the first outbreak and we have the utmost faith in whatever decision they make this time around. In making this decision we are clear that we will always stand by iwi – they have the mana to determine the tikanga to keep our people safe.
“It’s a real shame that we won’t be travelling to Waitangi this year, but there’s nothing more important than the protection of whakapapa and ensuring we don’t increase the risk of community transmission,” said Mr Waititi.