5 Feb 2024

Waitangi 2024: Watch government leaders speak at the Treaty Grounds

5:43 pm on 5 February 2024
David Seymour is welcomed to the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi on January 5, 2024.

David Seymour is welcomed to the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. Photo: RNZ / ANGUS DREAVER

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, along with with ACT and NZ First, were met with a fierce haka as they made their entrance at Waitangi.

Luxon stood at the front of the government delegation with ACT's David Seymour on one side and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on the other for the formal welcome on to the Treaty Grounds.

Many of the enormous crowd joined in the challenge with jeers and cries to honour Te Tiriti as the haka pōwhiri roared and conches sounded.

Leaders of the three parties were each required to accept and pick up the tāonga (token) placed in front of them by kaiwero (warriors). Luxon and Peters were each challenged by one kaiwero while Seymour faced a kāhui (group) of kaiwero.

Host speakers reiterated the challenge set out over the weekend.

Seymour was heckled at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, with some shouting "shame on you" as he walked by.

He told media he though it was "important to debate ideas rather than attacking people".

However, it was mostly "a very successful event where the real hosts were actually listening respectfully", he said.

Luxon said the heckling Seymour received was "pretty much what I expected".

"I came here thinking we'd be challenged and there'd be a range of views ... which there was."

Luxon said everyone had a right to express their views, but they must also listen to other people's views.

"At moments there wasn't full respect", he said.

Watch Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's speech:

Watch ACT Party leader David Seymour's speech:

Watch New Zealand First leader Winston Peters speech:

Watch Hone Harawira's speech:

Watch David Seymour get heckled by protesters at Waitangi:

Watch Christopher Luxon's stand-up here:

Watch David Seymour and Nicole McKee's stand-up here:

Watch Shane Jones' stand-up here:

Follow RNZ's live blog here.

See the day in pictures here.

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