Breakfast over business at Ōrākei Marae

By Talisa Kupenga

Ngāti Whātua welcomed Prime Minister Bill English to Ōrākei Marae with open arms this morning, as hosts for his annual Waitangi Day breakfast. The PM spoke at the pōwhiri, a right he was refused at Te Tii Marae, which led to his boycott and non-attendance at that event.

Prime Minister Bill English was welcomed at Auckland's Ōrākei Marae following his boycott of commemorations at Waitangi's Te Tii Marae.

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei spokesperson Taiaha Hawke told Te Kāea, “It is appropriate the Prime Minister attended today, not only because is it the 40th year since Bastion Point, but to acknowledge when the Treaty was signed here in Auckland.”

And with his sought after speaking rights, the crux of his no-show at Waitangi, he and other speakers acknowledged Bastion Point 40-years on.

“It is still very much a sore point, and although there have been many positives since then, the government needs to be aware moving forward, there's still much more work to be done.”

Breakfast was served but business talks with iwi wasn't on the menu, despite matters still before the courts about the overlap of treaty claims between Ngāti Whātua and Ngāti Paoa.

“That can wait for today. Right now we are working with the government to build houses in West Auckland and would like to discuss the government's housing plans in central East Auckland and others out South. So you could say business is the reason for breakfast.”

The Prime Minister departed Ōrākei for the public event at Ōkahu Bay before attending another marae event in West Auckland.