5 Feb 2012

Labour leader gets warm reception at Waitangi

5:42 pm on 5 February 2012

Labour leader David Shearer has made his Waitangi debut without a hitch - in contrast to the hostile reception faced by the Prime Minister.

Mr Shearer led a group of Labour and Green MP's onto the Waitangi marae, after the powhiri for the Government was cut short by rowdy protest.

Protesters showed no interest in the powhiri for the opposition - apart from a small group of Auckland watersiders who called on Mr Shearer to stop sitting on the fence and support them.

Mr Shearer says he had expected some protest action.

Mr Shearer says he would like to see politics kept out of the one day that New Zealanders celebrate.

The Labour leader introduced himself to Ngapuhi elders by his Maori name - Rawiri Katikati.