Newshub will bring you updates of all the key moments at Waitangi throughout the day.
7:30am – Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is calling on the coalition to leave decisions on Māori Wards up to local councils.
It comes after the Government revealed plans in its coalition agreement to “restore local referendums on the establishment or ongoing use of Māori wards”.
Currently, councils can make decisions about the establishment of Māori wards and constituencies for themselves. This followed a 2021 law change that repealed the need to hold a poll to establish Māori Wards.
Local Government New Zealand said in a statement changing the rules on Māori wards again is burdensome for councils. It also said for the proposed rules to only apply to the establishment of Māori wards and constituencies and not all wards showed a lack of fairness.
“Others such as rural wards do not need a referendum. We say the Government needs to either apply them to all wards and constituencies or none at all,” LGNZ said in a statement.
LGNZ president Sam Broughton appeared on AM this morning from Waitangi and said it is important to be “part of the national conversation and making sure that we listen, hear with our ears turned on to the current matters that are in front of our nation.”
“[Also] thinking about how we locally embed the decisions that need to be made at a local level between mana whenua and councils.”
He asked the Government to treat Māori wards fairly, adding councils don’t need a referendum and are more than capable of making those decisions on their own.
7:15am – A hīkoi has arrived at Waitangi this morning, led by Tāme Iti.
It is coming over the bridge from the lower marae and will march up to the treaty grounds.
The group of at least 200 are chanting “Honour Te Tiriti”.