Prime Minister John Key has announced that he will not be attending Waitangi day the year.
A spokesperson released this statement: “The Prime Minister’s Office has had no response to its letter sent to trustees at Te Tii Marae earlier today. Accordingly, the Prime Minister has decided he will not be attending celebrations in Waitangi this year.”
Mr Key said hat he won’t attend Waitangi because he did not get a reply from Te Tii Marae to his concerns about an attempt to stop him from talking about politics.
When Mr Key sent a letter to Te Tii marae asking about clarification on a condition of his visit, he was told that he is not allowed to talk about politics on the lower marae. He can, however, do so in a nearby tent.
The condition comes in the midst of the recent signing of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
“I made the call that I’m not going … I’ll take advice from my office about where to go and celebrate Waitangi,” he said. “I’m certainly not scared, I’ve been very keen to go. I won’t go with a gagging order on me, especially when elders are encouraging acts of violence.
Mr Key denied that he’s “running scared,” and said that he still do not know where he’s going to celebrate Waitangi this year.
“But I can’t go and I won’t go to Waitangi with a gagging order on me and I won’t go when there is a position where senior elders of that marae are actively encouraging I think violence actually, and that is what Kingi is putting out there,” he explained.