4 Feb 2012

Tensions not putting PM off going to Waitangi

6:56 am on 4 February 2012

Prime Minister John Key is not being put off from going to Waitangi Day celebrations in the face of escalating tensions between the Government and some Maori.

The Mana Party is predicting explosive protests at Waitangi with the Government's proposition that a Treaty clause be deleted from asset sale legislation and job cuts at the Maori development agency, Te Puni Kokiri.

But Mr Key says no-one should walk away from discussions that need to be had with Maoridom just because there is some disagreement.

Mr Key says he believes there is misinformation around and he wants to put the Government's side of the case.

And he says potential redundancies at Te Puni Kokiri should not be coming as any surprise, as changes to the agency form part of the Maori Party's confidence and supply agreement with the Government.

The Maori Party says it will be disappointing if there is trouble at Waitangi, given how far things have come in terms of open debate.

Labour Party leader David Shearer says while protests at Waitangi have become a tradition, differences should be set aside on Waitangi Day.