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Media, public blocked at GG's marae visit

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/02/2017 Karen Sweeney

Governor General Patsy Reddy © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Governor General Patsy Reddy Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has made her first visit in the role to Te Tii a Marae for a powhiri ahead of Waitangi Day but spectators who turned out to see have been barred.

Marae representatives put tarpaulins across as gap in the hedge around the marae to block the view of media and bystanders who were on the road hoping to catch a glimpse of the events inside.

Almost 50 police also surrounded the marae, moving cordons further back throughout the morning.

Don Mandolo is a fifth-generation pakeha New Zealander whose ancestors signed the treaty who says the reaction of the marae representatives was disappointing.

"Ever since the 1970s I've been coming to Waitangi from Auckland ... and there's been so much good stuff over the years but it's become very disappointing such a tiny minority can spoil it for the others," he said.

"I think everyone's got a right to protest, that's fine. But you erecting a tarpaulin like that and asking people to leave the road ... that's a little disappointing."

Mr Mandolo went to Waitangi on Saturday to see Dame Patsy but didn't see her at all during her visit.

Details of her visit and the events that took place are unknown.

She arrived later than expected with her husband Sir David Gascoigne and went straight into the marae for the official powhiri.

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