Forty thousand people battled the scorching heat in Waitangi yesterday to make it to one of the biggest and busiest Waitangi Day commemorations ever.
It was Jacinda Adern's first appearance as Prime Minister. In her speech from the porch of the meeting house on the Treaty Grounds, Ms Ardern spoke about bridging the gap between Māori and Pākehā in terms of inequities in education, incarceration, poverty and employment.
Former Labour Party minister John Tamihere is the chief executive of Te Whanau o Waipareira, which works with Māori families on the wrong side of the social ledger.
"Closing the gaps was very important, [Helen] Clark pulled the pin on it because of polling shudders," he tells Guyon Espiner.
"If Grant Robertson and co go down that track, that'll be seen as ... treachery's probably too strong a term ... but a number of promises were made."