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Waitangi Day ceremonies to be moved

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/06/2017

Waitangi Day organisers have decided it's time to stop using Te Tii Marae for welcoming ceremonies.

After years of controversy, the Waitangi National Trust intends using Te Whare Runanga, the upper marae, instead.

Trust chairman Pita Paraone will trustees about the decision later on Friday.

"I think there will be some resistance so I just wanted to have the opportunity of speaking to them face to face," he told Newshub.

Demonstrations on Te Tii Marae have delayed and disrupted ceremonies in recent years, and this year Prime Minister Bill English decided to stay away after confusion about whether he would be allowed to speak.

Mr Paraone said that was the last straw.

"People have tended to forget what is the real intention of welcoming visitors. They seem to have forgotten that concept."

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