3 Feb 2012

Tensions high ahead of Waitangi celebrations - Mana

10:03 am on 3 February 2012

A Mana Party spokesperson says there could be explosive protest at Waitangi celebrations this year over state asset sales and predicted job losses at Te Puni Kokiri.

Malcolm Mulholland says feelings are running high after revelations the Government may restructure the Maori development ministry and omit a Treaty of Waitangi clause from new legislation covering partial state asset sales.

Mr Mulholland says he is surprised Prime Minister John Key intends to speak about the Government's plans at Waitangi in Northland on Sunday.

He says he respects Mr Key's courage and wishes him the best of luck in getting his message across.

Mr Key says the Crown is not walking away from its Treaty obligations and he will explain any misunderstandings.

Pita Paraone from the Waitangi National Trust says New Zealand is one of the few Western countries where the anniversary of its birth is marked with protest.

Mr Paraone says as always, there will be extra police available to deal with any protests.