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Don Brash invited to speak at Waitangi despite past controversies

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Sunday, 3 February 2019, 3:52p.m.
Don Brash had mud thrown at him when he last spoke at Waitangi. (Photo / File)

Don Brash has been invited to speak at the lower marae at Waitangi, where he was once pelted with mud by protesters.

The mud was turfed in 2004, when he was National leader.

It was just a few days after his infamous speech to Orewa Rotarians in which he railed against special treatment for Māori.

He is now spokesman for Hobson's Pledge, a group which campaigns against racial separatism or favouritism under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Dr Brash told the Weekend Collective when he received the invitation to speak at Te Tii Marae he was surprised, but pleased.

"Initially I was a bit suspicious, I thought 'is this a have'? I began to wonder if the person who invited me actually have the authority, but it turned out he did have, and I'm absolutely delighted to be accepting it."

He says he has written a speech for the purpose, and he believes there will be a panel discussion. 

Brash says he was told to expect some strong opposition at that panel, and people are already making their views heard. 

He says he is pleased to have been invited, especially after his Massey University ban.

"That's an appalling thing for a university to do, and the marae leadership showed themselves to be in a completely different place to allow someone who they may not agree with to have a say."

Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson says he is not looking forward to hearing the former politician speak. 

"I have no interest in listening to Don's carry on and rhetoric."

He says there is no need to hear his rhetoric again, and he says it is a waste of time to listen him. 

Organisers say while some people are unhappy Brash is speaking, they want to hear his side of the story, and he will be safe.



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